Many traumatic injuries, like broken bones, can result in full recovery with the right medical treatment. Advances in medical care have made it easier than ever before for people to cure major medical issues and to live the same life they previously enjoyed even after a severe traumatic injury.
Spinal cord injuries remain some of the most severe possible medical issues. Although there is a broad range of spinal cord injuries based on the location of the injury, the completeness of the injury and the underlying health conditions of the affected individual, most people can expect to require ongoing medical support for the rest of their lives after a spinal cord injury.
How much will all of that medical care cost?
Spinal cord injuries come with six- or seven-figure price tags
Numerous elements, ranging from the hospital where someone seeks care to the location of the injury on their spine will determine how much a spinal cord injury will cost to treat. Injuries that are higher on the spine or that have completely severed the spinal cord tend to cause far more expenses than incomplete injuries.
However, even incomplete injuries can cost around $380,000 in the first year after someone gets hurt and another $46,000 on average every year after that for the rest of their lives. The first-year care costs for those with complete spinal cord injuries range from $567,000 to more than $1,100,000 for those with high tetraplegia or quadriplegia. The annual care costs after that first year will be anywhere from $75,000 to $200,000.
Overall, experts estimate that lifetime care costs can be anywhere from $1,200,000 to more than $5,000,000. Those costs do not include the income the individual may lose when they are hospitalized or the cost to adapt their homes and vehicles to accommodate their functional limitations after their injury.
Keeping an eye on the big picture is key after a catastrophic injury
The average person adjusting to life with a spinal cord injury knows they will have major medical expenses and lost income, but they may struggle to quantify the possible impact of those losses. Especially if an insurance company offers a settlement, it is very important to understand how much their injury will actually cost. Putting a fair price on your personal injury claim is a crucial step on the path toward reasonable compensation.