What Is the Lifetime Cost of Living with a Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury can temporarily inhibit mobility or cause permanent paralysis. As a result, when approximating a fair settlement in a spinal cord injury case, attorneys consider factors beyond just the short-term medical treatments. Victims might have to make drastic changes in their lives, such as installing expensive home modifications and attending regular physical therapy sessions. In this article, we discuss the costs of living with a spinal cord injury:

Medical Expenses

Depending on the seriousness of a spinal cord injury, patients can expect to spend anywhere from $40,000 to nearly $1,000,000 to cover the costs of treatment and living expenses in the first year alone. Keep in mind that in many cases, these expenses aren’t just limited to the first year, with patients – particularly those with tetraplegia – requiring treatment and care for the remainder of their lives. These expenses can include:

  • Surgery
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Counseling
  • Trauma care
  • Pain management
  • Prescription medication
  • Mobility aids such as wheelchairs

Lost Wages

A severe spinal cord injury could prevent a patient from returning to work. For instance, for younger patients, this might lead to millions of dollars in lost wages. Even patients who are eventually able to return to work might not be able to earn the same level of income. 

Home Modifications

If a patient uses a wheelchair or cannot complete everyday tasks without assistance, they may need to make modifications to their home. For example, these modifications can include installing a chairlift, adding ramps to improve wheelchair accessibility, and equipping showers or baths with stools and/or transfer benches. These modifications may also require regular maintenance and repairs. 

Long-Term Health Issues

A spinal cord injury can make the patient more susceptible to other conditions. For example, he or she may develop respiratory issues that require additional treatments and medication. When approximating a fair settlement amount, an attorney should consider this added risk factor before arriving at a final number.

Pain and Suffering

In some states, “pain and suffering” is a catch-all term that refers to a broad range of mental and physical effects stemming from a severe injury or condition. For instance, this term can be used to refer to:

  • Pain from the injuries
  • Loss of function
  • Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental disorders as a result of the injury

Furthermore, to obtain compensation for these non-economic damages, you (or your lawyer) will have to approximate their value and tie them to the accident. This typically requires an in-depth knowledge of relevant statutes and case law. 

Speak to a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today

If you sustained a spinal cord injury in a collision, slip and fall accident, or any other scenario where you believe another party was at fault, it is in your best interest to seek skilled legal representation. At Attorneys for All, our law professionals have many decades of collective experience providing tenacious representation to personal injury victims and their families. Send an email to info@claimyourcase.com or call (281) 475-4535 today to find out more.