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Many brain injury victims are blocked from treatment

Most Michigan residents are aware that U.S. Representative Gabriel Giffords has continued to achieve a remarkable recovery after suffering a serious brain injury when she sustained a gunshot wound to the head last year. Giffords' progress has been possible due to a number of factors, but of course access to top of the line medical care played a role.

Unfortunately, more than 4 million Americans that have suffered brain injuries are currently living with long-term disabilities that also require specialized treatments, but many are not able to attain proper care. A recent BloombergBusinessWeek article examined this problem that has been dubbed "the treatment gap."

After Giffords was injured, she spent about half of a year at a rehabilitation center, undergoing speech, music, aquatic and physical therapy, being treated by a team that included a neuropsychologist, a rehabilitation physician, a pharmacist and a dietician.

Facilities like this currently handle only about 40,000 patients.

Many brain injury patients, more than 240,000 of them, are instead placed in nursing homes that are not equipped to provide proper care. According to the Bloomberg article, this is because many Americans do not have health insurance policies that will cover the high costs of brain injury rehabilitation facilities.

The article paints a portrait of many brain injury victims that tragically do not have access to the care that would allow them to live up to their potential. In many of the cases mentioned, the patients have even been abused or neglected.

It is very difficult to obtain suitable care after suffering a brain injury, but it is not always impossible. Those who have suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of another party may be able to obtain compensation for medical treatment by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. This is not the answer in all cases, but it can be very helpful in others.

Source: BloombergBusinessweek, "Brain-Injured in Nursing Homes Without Care Gifford's Had," David Armstrong, Dec. 28, 2012

  • To learn about obtaining compensation after suffering a brain injury, please visit our Michigan personal injury law firm's Brain Injury page.

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