If you receive a traumatic brain injury in a Florida car crash or other catastrophic event, the initial focus of your physicians will be to save your life and begin immediate treatment to attempt to minimize the long-term effects of your TBI. Unfortunately, you could incur hospital and other medical expenses of over $1 million during the first six months alone.

But what about the costs you and your family will incur after the first six months? Given that a TBI can affect you in multiple ways, you may require months or even years or rehabilitation and occupational and physical therapy. You may even require a lifetime of care.

Inadequate insurance

Even if your employer provides you with exceptionally good health care insurance, virtually no policy will continue to pay for your medical costs indefinitely. In addition, you will face co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, whatever disability benefits you may be entitled to likely will not cover everything you need for the rest of your life.

It likely will shock you to learn that if you suffer a TBI while in your twenties, you can expect your lifetime costs to total $15-20 million and accumulate at the rate of $500,000 per year. More frightening yet, these figures do not account for inflation.

Family costs

Studies show that a good 90 percent of overall TBI costs occur in connection with the support and services you may well require after your initial period of hospitalization and rehabilitation. The real TBI cost iceberg below your obvious medical costs has to do with your family.

Should you suffer a severe TBI that renders you unable to work while requiring a caregiver to help you with your day-to-day activities, someone must provide that care. Few insurance plans or governmental programs pay one of your family members to give up his or her job and stay home with you. Consequently, (s)he loses her own income and insurance covering his or her own medical and psychological problems.

According to one study, family caregivers and the care they give represent an estimated, but well hidden, $375 billion per year. Nevertheless, since no one really sees these costs, no one calculates them as part of the overall cost of traumatic brain injuries.