Traumatic Brain Injuries in Personal Injury Cases
Ted Molis, HMR
In 2014, an estimated 2.5 million people visited an emergency department for a Traumatic Brain Injury-related injury, 13.2% of those with a TBI diagnosis in the ED were due to a motor vehicle accident. From 2006 to 2014 there was a 24% increase for TBI-related ED visits as a result of motor vehicle crashes according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”). A majority of these ED patients, over 2.2 million, were treated and released from an emergency department with no hospitalization.
“We have been told a lot of TBI cases are being missed,” says Kyle Kinberger, National Sales Manager at HMR, the leading plaintiff-oriented medical funding company. “Many law firms lack the manpower and screening tools to assess them.”
Research published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation shows about half of the brain injuries are missed in the emergency room. However, technology can now help prove even mild TBI cases without positive image scans.
A new study published online in JAMA Neurology on January 6, 2020 suggests “early initiation of care after a concussion may be warranted to expedite recovery time.”
Traumatic brain injuries are a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States, and motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths. Direct medical costs and indirect costs of TBI, such as lost productivity, totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 2000, according to the CDC.
“The medical care for these cases can be very expensive and often is not covered by health insurance because they have so many exclusions and loopholes, or the plaintiff does not have healthcare insurance” Kinberger says. HMR specializes in providing funding for medical expenses in traumatic brain injury cases, and many of these cases need hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care.
We have been told that ordinary CAT scans and MRIs are often not as useful because they do not display a TBI, however, emergency rooms perform these scans to detect skull fractures and internal bleeding. When an attorney suspects a TBI has occurred, they often want their client to see a neurologist for diagnosis. If the plaintiff is uninsured or cannot afford their deductibles, HMR can often help by paying the neurologist directly for their services, and then wait for the case to conclude before they are paid back from proceeds of the legal case.
Neurologists tell us they can provide admissible evidence that demonstrates an injury caused by a TBI. An attorney will get all the medical records including a review by a neuropsychologist.
Causes and Symptoms
There are many causes of TBIs, including motor vehicle collisions, falls and industrial accidents, according to C. Alan Hopewell, Ph.D., who is a neuropsychologist at Advantage Health Systems. Hopewell is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology.
In a past webinar he says symptoms range from headaches, dizziness, irritability, fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, personality change and apathy.
“There’s a saying that if you’ve seen one brain injury — you’ve seen only one brain injury. The reason is that brain injuries differ so much in severity, types and causes, and happen to individuals with varying education levels, mental health and physical health.”
He says there are several indicators that attorneys can look for that may call for an immediate referral to a rehabilitation clinic:
- Current altered consciousness
- Progressively declining neurological exam
- Pupil asymmetry
- Mood changes
- Slow thinking
- Sleep changes
- Repeated vomiting
- Double vision
- Worsening headache
- Cannot recognize people or disoriented to place
- Behaves unusually or confused and irritable
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady on feet
- Weakness or numbness in arms/legs
For information on treatment options once a TBI has been identified, check out this recent TBI Webinar with Dr. Nathan Zasler.
How HMR Can Help
“Be certain that your funding company has the financial horsepower. If the company doesn’t have significant finances, they could run out of money for you,” Kinberger says.
In TBI cases, HMR may purchase the medical receivables, covering the cost of:
- Reports from a neuropsychologist, neuropsychiatrist, behavior analyst, and vocational assessments.
- The qualification of quality of life losses and loss of consortium.
- Receivables involving the spectrum of care regarding to TBI injuries.
When a personal injury client is seeking treatment from a medical provider who will not provide medical services due to payment concerns, HMR may be able to help by paying the provider directly for their services, and then wait for the case to conclude before they are paid back from proceeds of the legal case. HMR may even be able to provide funds to plaintiffs to help them with other health care costs or living expenses.
HMR can be your medical funding solution. We could pay for their medical care now, whether the injury is a simple TBI, moderate or the most severe in-patient brain treatment that results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. In many of these cases, the plaintiff will be in treatment for years.
There is no case that is too large for us.
Contact us now or give us a call at 888-377-1245 to discuss your personal injury case
We will quickly review your case, and can purchase medically necessary bills from medical providers promptly upon approval. We purchase medical accounts receivables from a nationwide network of high quality medical providers, or we can work with your plaintiff’s provider of choice. The choice is always theirs.