Spinal cord injuries represent over 17,000 cases per year on average and the fallout can stretch on for years if you’re the victim of one. Car accidents represent the majority of cases where people sustain them.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, your SCI could cost you thousands over the rest of your life.
Injury and recovery
SCIs are still an injury for which medical science lacks a true cure. In general, the higher up on the spinal column that an SCI occurs, the worst the damage may be. Lower vertebrae risk paraplegia — the partial or full paralysis of your lower half. Higher up on the C1-C8 vertebrae may risk tetraplegia — the partial or full paralysis of your entire body.
Regardless of the location of your SCI, you may lose motor function. Surgery and recovery may help, but the possibility of permanent injury is high with SCIs.
Average costs over the first year and beyond
First year costs generally contain the initial surgery and ensuing physical therapy. Depending on the severity, first year costs may range from $375,000 for motor function loss at any level all the way up to over $1.1 million for a high tetraplegia injury.
Subsequent years involve check-ups, ongoing rehabilitation and quality of life improvements like wheelchairs or accessibility features around your home. These costs average between $45,000 to nearly $200,000 per year.
These numbers do not take into account indirect costs like losses in wages or productivity. Added all up, an SCI represents a deep and potentially permanent change to your life. When fighting for your comfort and livelihood after a negligent accident, you should know what to expect when looking for compensation.