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Will car insurance be enough to cover a traumatic brain injury?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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If you suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car crash, you may not have realized you were hurt at first. Brain injuries often have delayed onset for symptoms. Only when bleeding or swelling continues without medical treatment does the pressure on the brain becomes significant enough to produce symptoms.

A diagnosis with a TBI could happen right after a crash or even a few weeks later in some cases. You will probably need medical care and possibly some kind of rehabilitative support depending on the extent of the injuries and your prognosis. Can you count on car insurance to cover all of the expenses that arise from a brain injury?

How much will a brain injury cost?

It is almost impossible to estimate the lifetime costs of a brain injury without looking at your personal circumstances. Everything from the severity of the injury to your earning potential before the TBI will impact how much it will cost you.

There will obviously be medical expenses, which could be tens of thousands of dollars. You will also probably have to take some time off of work. Those with moderate to severe brain injuries may need to change professions or retire early because of their injuries, drastically impacting their lifetime earnings and economic circumstances.

When you consider that North Carolina only requires $30,000 worth of bodily injury coverage for a single person hurt in a crash, it’s easy to see how the other driver’s policy might not be enough to compensate you for your losses.

What happens when insurance isn’t enough?

When someone else causes a crash that leaves you with a life-altering injury like a TBI, their insurance will usually cover you. You may also have coverage on your own policy that helps protect you.

If you paid for underinsured or uninsured driver coverage, you can make a claim against your own policy for losses that the other driver’s policy didn’t cover. You may also need to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or even the third party who contributed to the crash.

Understanding the cost of a crash-related TBI is often the first step toward getting compensation for it.