Calculating The Cost Of Head Trauma
Remember when you were a kid? When you were really, really small you’d scrape your knees, skim your palms, bump your head and fall on your butt on a practically daily basis. The first time this happened, our parents scooped us up, salved our wounds and held us until we stopped crying. They cooed to us again and again that everything was okay. And then… as if by magic… it was! Then, we kept making the same mistakes. We kept falling, skidding and scraping as before but our parents no longer held and comforted us. They left us to learn from our mistakes and undergo the unpleasant but necessary process that is recovering from injury. It’s all part of the learning curve. The pain and embarrassment prevent us, over time from making the same mistakes, and without this important learning curve we would not live very long.
We apply this process of injury and recovery well into adulthood. We learn that if we don’t warm up and cool down at the gym, it’s only a matter of time until we have to endure a muscle injury. We learn which pairs of heels will cripple our feet and which will let us look good without taking an agonizing physical toll. But there’s one area in which we can be all too blase and that’s the subject of head trauma.
Are you using your head?
Sure, we all bump our noggins every now and then when fetching an errant pen from under our desks or walking through low doorways in tall heels after a few too many glasses of wine, but many of us are way less cognizant of the risks of head trauma than we should be. If you’ve ever cycled to work without wearing a helmet because you were running late, slid head first when stealing a base, jumped into shallow water without looking first or not worn the proper clothing and equipment when playing team sports, you’ve put yourself at serious risk of head trauma.
Because people take these risks so regularly we can become blind to the seriousness of the subject, which is why here we’ll look at the potential cost of a traumatic head injury…
Most of us are very conscious of our physical appearance. We sweat away at the gym, spend a fortune on the right clothes, makeup and beauty products and agonize over what to wear for each and every social event. A head trauma could leave you temporarily or even permanently disfigured with scar tissue on your face or head that never completely heals. Even if you’re only cosmetically affected it can place a huge toll on your emotional and psychological health.
Impaired function and loss of normal life
Thank goodness for brain injury lawyers, as these people can make all the difference if you’re injured as a result of something that isn’t your fault. But whether you’re to blame for your head injury or not, it can have far reaching and potentially permanent effects. To put it bluntly, you may not be the same person anymore. You may experience impaired cognitive function which means that you find it difficult or even impossible to return to work as your concentration and memory are no longer able to function as they once did. You may have decreased mobility and dexterity, and even if you’re not plagued by the agony of migraines and are still able to live a comfortable life, you won’t be able to pick up as you left off before your injury. You will at the very least lose income while you were unable to work while convalescing and possibly even face diminished earning capacity for the rest of your life as you are unable to do the same job or even work in the same field.
Ongoing medical expenses
Even if you have the best health insurance or are lucky enough to live in a country where healthcare is free you may still be plagued by ongoing medical expenses. You may have special needs as a result of your head trauma that are not covered by your insurance policy or your local authority. You may need specialized medical equipment or even a live-in carer. If you have been awarded compensation for your injury this may well go some way to mitigating the costs, but if you’re injured as a result of your own lack of foresight you may have to face these expenses alone.
The cost of head trauma can be extremely high, yet the cost of avoiding it is usually very, very little. Always wear a seatbelt, a crash helmet or appropriate protection when engaging in sporting activities (even wearing goggles while playing squash can save you a serious eye injury).
Just a little forward planning and protection can go a long, long way!