Everyone knows that brain injuries are severe. But not everybody knows the full extent of the severity. Oftentimes the injured victim appears to be recovering, or appears not to be as injured as they actually are. A new study found the effects of traumatic brain injury may never fully heal. The study suggests that brain injury victims have a higher risk of dying prematurely, particularly through another brain injury or suicide.

According to one of the study’s lead researchers, patients are three times more likely to die prematurely if they’ve suffered traumatic brain injury. A director in New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital advocates a strong support network for victims of traumatic brain injury to prevent depression. The study indicates that the risk of premature death is substantially elevated for five years or more after the injury, but health risks are only a part of traumatic brain injury.

Regardless of the cause, traumatic brain injuries have long-lasting and far-reaching effects. While the new study raises awareness to increased health risks, there are also financial implications to head trauma. Depending on the severity of the head injury, the victim may not be able to provide for their family in the same way they did before. Wage earners may no longer be able to perform the functions of their jobs; housekeepers may not be able to keep up with their daily chores.

The last thing families want to be concerned with when grieving over a loved one’s head injury is their financial stability. Unfortunately, mounting medical bills often make your financial future the most pressing issue. However, victims need not let themselves be overcome by despair. Not only can they receive compensation for certain brain injuries, victims can also set up a trust, annuity or another financial tool, so they can spend less time worrying about their financial future and more time taking care of their injured loved ones.

Source: Health, Brain Injuries May Raise Risk of Early Death,” Steven Reinberg, Jan. 15, 2014

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