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San Jose family struggles to afford woman's brain injury recovery

Posted on in Catastrophic Injuries

Recovery from a serious car accident requires more than just good medical care. Injury sufferers also need money to afford that care. The parents of a San Jose woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a collision three years ago are all too aware of the costs of her recovery, which is ongoing without an end in sight.

The young woman, now 21, was on her way to church when her car was hit head-on by another vehicle. The collision left her in a vegetative state, and although she continues to improve, her medical costs continue to pile up. Both her parents, who are divorced, quit their jobs to care for her around the clock. The family does have insurance but it doesn't cover all of the costs , including her physical, occupational or speech therapy. One form of this therapy began in May 2011, almost two years after her accident. "Waking" treatment allowed her to communicate with her family for the first time using "yes or no" buttons. But this treatment isn't covered by insurance, either.

To help offset the cost of the treatments that are helping her improve, her family has collaborated with the International Brain Research Foundation to hold a 5 kilometer run benefit. The third annual event will take place at the end of this month and aims to raise $100,000.

It's not clear whether the other driver involved in the collision was found to be at fault or held liable for the crash. But in accidents where one driver's negligence caused the other's injuries, victims have the right to pursue a civil personal injury case, the success of which can offset or fully compensate victims for the cost of their medical treatment. For accident victims like this young woman who must otherwise rely on inadequate insurance and the donations of family, friends and strangers, a personal injury award can offer the best chance at affording a successful recovery.

Source: NBC Bay Area, "Marathon Raises Money for SJ Car Crash Victim," Aliya Mohammed, June 12, 2012

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