South Florida Hospital News
Sunday August 25, 2019
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October 2015 - Volume 12 - Issue 4

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Toral Family Foundation Provides Information, Resources to Families Affected by Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries

For more than 20 years, Toral Law, a statewide personal injury law firm, has been helping its clients get their hospital bills reduced. But while working with patients suffering from brain and spinal cord injuries, Senior Partner and founder Frank Toral realized that there was more that they could do.

 
“As a law firm that has focused for many years on helping clients with brain and spinal cord injuries, we realized that there was a critical piece missing in educating caregivers,” he explained. “These people, who are most often the injured person’s family members, need to know what resources are available to them during the acute phase of injury. While the patient may be receiving great medical and rehabilitative care, they are not aware of local resources that can connect families to the help they need along the continuum of care. After medical treatment, rehab and discharge - that’s when the real challenge begins.”
 
To this end, Toral and his wife, Olivia, established the Toral Family Foundation as a way to improve the lives of those with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and spinal cord injuries (SCI). “We wanted to do more than just write a check; we rolled up our sleeves and found ways to address the needs of these families with important information, education and resources to empower them to act as advocates for their loved ones’ care,” said Toral.
 
Most BCIs and SCIs are caused by motor vehicle accidents or falls, and even minor brain injuries can cause long-term issues. “These types of injuries affect more than just speech and memory; they can affect people’s relationships and jobs. They also impact patients’ families, who become the ultimate caregivers,” said Toral. “A person with a brain injury may spend a few days in a hospital and 30 days in rehab - but then they spend 30 years living with the results of that injury.”
 
The Toral Family Foundation has partnered with a number of South Florida organizations to help these patients, including establishing a $500,000 endowed professorship in traumatic brain injury at the University of Florida College of Medicine. The Foundation also works with Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, the University of Miami, and the Brain Injury Association of America, among others.
 
“We’ve looked at a number of studies that show that following access to salient information about their injuries, patients achieve better long-term outcomes,” said Toral. “That’s why our goal is to put information in families’ hands within 24 to 72 hours of their entering the trauma center and rehab.”
 
Toral notes that the foundation couldn’t succeed without the engagement of local health care professionals, like nurses, social workers and patient care managers, who provide the patients with the information. This in turn results in greater patient satisfaction, which benefits hospitals as they strive to meet Affordable Care Act guidelines that link reimbursement to patient satisfaction and positive outcomes. “Patients appreciate that they are being given the vital information that they need to know to prepare for what could happen in the future, and that they are not being treated like a number,” said Toral.
 
In the past year, Toral Law has also begun offering third-party liability legal recovery solutions to help hospitals capture a greater portion of patients’ bills, in a sense turning uninsured patients into insured patients, and enabling both parties to better cope with injuries that may require years of care. “We see our involvement as an opportunity to create a platform for medical and legal collaboration that lays the foundation for long-term funding,” said Toral. “When a person is in a serious accident, early legal intervention can pave the way to help families cope with issues that they may be facing for decades.”

For more information, contact Toral Law at (954) 703-2960 or visit www.torallaw.com

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