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Brain Injury Rehabilitative Care Is Limited, At Best

Each year, more than 1.7 million Americans are involved in some sort of an accident that causes a brain injury. The most common cause of a brain injury is a motor vehicle accident. Car accidents, truck accidents and especially motorcycle accidents regularly lead to major brain trauma. The significant harm caused by serious brain injuries can be lessened by treatment, but only if the victim qualifies, a new study reports.

The problem facing car accident victims that suffer from serious brain injuries is that while insurance will often cover the costs of the intensive care required right after the accident, insurance companies vary widely on whether they will provide money for long-term treatment facilities.

These long-term rehabilitative care facilities, like the one that Tucson shooting victim Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is currently residing, are like boot-camps for the brain. Common rehabilitative activities include exercises that improve cognitive function. Studies show that cognitive therapy is most effective in helping a brain recover in the critical first months after an injury.

While the successes of rehabilitative treatment after a brain injury are documented, the availability of treatment for a brain injury victim is still inadequate. Insurance coverage is often limited to only hospital care following the injury, not the costs of long-term care. Many insurers consider the evidence for cognitive therapy to be "shaky at best," which is why such a large number of health insurers refuse to foot the bill for the $600 to $8,000 a day rehabilitative care.

And sadly, because most victims who suffer from a traumatic brain injury are discharged from the hospital, the full picture of a brain injury's long-term effects, such as memory problems, emotional distress, the inability to speak properly or to regain full limb function, disappear from view. Many are, instead, admitted to nursing homes or receive in-home care for their brain injury, but they don't receive the sort of rehab care that may be the difference in a victim suffering from temporary or permanent brain injury effects.

After a car accident where a victim experiences a brain injury, it is important to consult with a skilled attorney. If another driver caused the accident, there may be opportunities to obtain compensation for the important rehabilitative care that can seriously reduce the long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury. A Massachusetts brain injury lawyer can help a car accident victim iron out critical insurance issues and file suit against the at-fault party.

Source: USA Today (online) "For Brain Injuries, A Treatment Gap"

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