Any type of bump, blow, or sudden jolting or shaking of the head has the potential to disrupt neural pathways in the brain. Unfortunately, brain injuries in Oregon are among the most common types of personal injuries. They often occur as a result of accidents in which others are to blame.
Whenever a head injury is suspected, it is important to get immediate medical care. If you are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you may require ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. Our Oregon brain injury attorneys explain some of the challenges victims of TBI and their families face in terms of getting care and how to get compensation to help cover the costs.
Rehabilitation An Important Part of Treatment for Brain Injury Victims
Brain injuries often occur as a result of concussions, skull fractures, and other types of head injuries. Even a seemingly minor bump or blow to the head can cause potentially long-term impairments. According to the Oregon Health And Science University (OHSU), common symptoms victims are likely to suffer from for months or even years after include:
- Severe headaches;
- Blurred and fuzzy vision;
- Difficult maintaining balance;
- Lack of coordination;
- Loss of short and long-term memory;
- Problems communicating with others or understanding what is being said;
- Personality changes, such as increased anxiety, depression, and flying into fits of rage.
Brain injuries in Oregon often happen due to motor vehicle crashes, slips and falls, or other types of accidents. As they can potentially be life-threatening, victims should seek immediate medical care. Treatment often requires ongoing rehabilitative services, which play an important role in helping brain injury patients recover and regain skills needed to work and perform daily tasks.
Shortage Of Rehabilitation Services In Oregon
After receiving emergency medical care in local hospitals, people with serious traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in Oregon often require ongoing and intensive rehabilitative therapy to regain important physical and cognitive functions. OSHU is one of the few hospitals in the area that offer brain injury rehabilitation services. Unfortunately, there is a serious shortage in the number of facilities in the state, which means many brain injury patients in Oregon are likely to go without the quality care and treatment they need.
A January 2023 report by Willamette Week shows that Oregon ranks 49th in the nation regarding the number of beds in rehabilitative facilities per capita, falling only ahead of Alaska. Our state also has the dubious distinction of having two counties listed among the top 20 in the nation with no rehabilitation beds at all. Washington County ranked second on the list, with Clackamas County ranking ninth.
What is stopping the state from building more facilities to ensure brain injury patients get the care they need? To keep healthcare spending down, Oregon requires a certificate of need before a new facility, such as a rehab hospital, can open. This certificate is issued through the Oregon Health Authority. While they rarely deny requests, the application process is so complex and lengthy that it ends up serving as a deterrent to potential providers.
Recovery From Oregon Brain Injuries
According to the Willamette Week report, about 13,500 Oregon residents are admitted to local hospitals each year due to brain injuries, and more than 45,000 other victims currently live with long-term effects due to prior TBIs. With limited state rehabilitation facilities, they may need to go out of the area to obtain quality care, which can get expensive.
When brain injuries occur in accidents for which others are to blame, victims and their families have the right to hold those at-fault accountable. Under Section 31.710 of the Oregon Revised Statutes, common types of compensation available in a brain injury claim include:
- Hospital costs, doctor bills, and other medical expenses;
- Home health aides and other assistive care or devices;
- Treatment at rehabilitation facilities and travel expenses to get there;
- Lost income suffered by TBI victims and family caregivers;
- Compensation for the pain, suffering, and any loss of enjoyment in life experienced by those involved.
Contact Our Oregon Brain Injury Attorneys
Recovery from brain injuries is often a long process. Filing a personal injury claim helps victims and their families get compensation for medical care, rehabilitation, and other costs. If you or someone you love suffers this type of injury, reach out to the Johnston Law Firm. For caring support and trusted legal guidance in filing a claim, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Oregon brain injury attorneys online today.