Monday, October 20, 2014

Traumatic Brain Injuries in Florida

In the United States—according to one of the most recent studies—about 1.4 million Americans suffer a TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury, per year. These can range anywhere from short term concussions to long term brain defects that severely disable the patient. Of those 1.4 million TBIs, approximately 50,000 of them result in death and 235,000 results in lengthy hospitalizations. The rest—1.1 million—are treated and released after a short period. In total, there’s about 5.3 million Americans living with a TBI today in the United States; meaning that 2% of the U.S. population is currently living with a long term disability.

In Florida, those numbers are scaled down to reflect a smaller population. Around 370,000 Florida residents are currently living with a long term disability as the result of a TBI and that number is expected to increase to approximately 435,000 by 2015. In 2005 alone, 93,000 TBIs occurred in Florida, 3,900 of which resulted in deaths.  Florida, however, has grown to be one of the most notable states for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries. (More on traumatic brain injuries in Florida)

The ‘invisible disability’—called such because of the often difficult or delayed diagnosis—has become a more common problem in today’s society in conjunction with the increased use of motor vehicles, participation in recreational and/or professional sports, and other activities which may or may not have become more dangerous over the years. There are understandable reasons for your TBI to go unnoticed right away such as:

  • ·        Symptoms—both mental and physical—take time to develop.
  • ·        Doctors choose to conduct only partial tests on patients because no head trauma is visible.
  • ·        Symptoms that were shown are blamed on something other than a traumatic brain injury.
  • ·        Drugs which are prescribed to deal with another injury may counter the negative cognitive effects as a result of the TBI.


Florida Fights TBIs

Life can become incredibly difficult for a patient who has received a TBI—sometimes even impossible for them to live on their own. Mandated by the Florida Legislature, the Florida Department of Health, Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program, or BSCIP, is called upon to assist, treat, and re-develop patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injuries. They are financially supported through a trust fund which receives a portion of money from many vehicle, motorcycle, and licensing fines, penalties, or fees. The main purpose that the BSCIP serves is the rehabilitation of patients. A patient who has suffered a severe TBI must be properly re-introduced to the community and requires assistance in doing so. The BSCIP helps in providing the tools and modifications needed for the continuance of easy living.

‘Easy Living’

Those who are blessed with working legs and a healthy, functioning brain have many choices of travel. A patient who has suffered from a moderate-to-severe TBI may lose his or her ability to walk. It’s the Florida BSCIP that can, for example, provide an electric stair lift that the person would use to travel up and down stairs with little to no effort. Another example is a transportation vehicle with a wheelchair loader inside which can lift the person—while still in the wheelchair—up and into the vehicle safely. It’s easy to forget how important our legs are, and it’s touching to see a group so dedicated to helping others make the transition into a new life a smooth one.

One unfortunate event that could happen to a patient—or the family of a patient—who receives a life-changing TBI in an accident, however, is the exact opposite. ‘Hard living’ is sure to ensue if the patient’s insurance provider treats the situation similar to the providers we at Dolman Law have dealt with did in the past. They can belittle the situation; they’ll insist that the injury is not as severe as people are making it seem; they’ll declare a lesser payment and demand the final say.

Dolman Law Group

CONTACT OUR CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA BRAIN INJURY ATTORNEYS

At the Clearwater based Dolman Law Group, we strive to achieve the maximum protection for our clients. If you or a loved one has been hospitalized or is currently living with a traumatic brain injury and has had trouble receiving the insurance coverage that is or was owed towards treatment in the situation, you may be eligible for compensation. It’s hard enough dealing with the TBI itself, even as a family member of the sufferer, so when medical payments start getting denied it can introduce an overload of stress. Don’t settle for less; get exactly what you’re covered for—no questions asked. Contact Dolman Law Group today for a free case evaluation and consultation and we’ll let you know your rights, options and more.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900

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Brain Injury