How Much is a Spinal Cord Injury Worth?
Spinal cord injuries can leave victims with lifelong disabilities and in need of permanent medical care. When a person sustains a spinal cord injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, they should be entitled to recover various types of compensation. Here, our Nashville personal injury lawyers look at how much a spinal cord injury is worth. The reality is that there are various aspects of these claims that we need to examine when it comes to understanding the overall costs a victim and their family will incur.
The Medical Expenses Associated With a Spinal Cord Injury
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about a spinal cord injury is the medical care needed to help a victim. The medical costs associated with spinal cord injuries can reach extreme levels but vary significantly depending on the severity of the injury.
For example, a person who experiences “high quadriplegia,” which would be characterized by complete paralysis from the neck down, is likely to incur more than $1.1 million in medical expenses during the first year after the injury occurs. However, those who experience motor functionality issues but are not paralyzed will see medical costs reaching approximately $380,000.
Spinal cord injury victims are likely to see costs landing somewhere in between those two figures during the first year of medical care. However, the need for medical care does not end after the first year. Most spinal cord injury victims will need continual care for the remainder of their lives. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) says that every subsequent year of medical care and ranges from approximately $46,000 to more than $200,000, again depending on the severity of the injury.
Spinal cord injury victims and their family members can expect to incur millions of dollars worth of medical bills during the course of a person’s life, particularly if a person experiences their injury when they are relatively young.
The Hidden Costs of a Spinal Cord Injury in Tennessee
Medical bills are not the only costs associated with spinal cord injuries. Victims and family members need to be aware of other “hidden expenses” that can reach extreme levels almost immediately after a spinal cord injury occurs. These costs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Transportation to and from spinal cord injury specialists and other medical professionals
- Compensation to modify homes or vehicles to help with mobility
- Lost income if a spinal cord injury victim can no longer work
- Lost income of a family member if they have to leave their job to become a caregiver
- In-home assistance from a nurse or other aide
In addition to these monetary costs that are relatively calculable, we also have to discuss the emotional and psychological trauma that spinal cord injury victims and family members experience in these cases. Victims can no longer live their lives the way they were accustomed to. Family members will lose the ability to interact with their loved one in the same way. This can all lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and more. When examining the overall costs of a spinal cord injury and when looking to secure compensation if the injury was caused by the actions of someone else, all of these costs have to be examined – the physical injuries as well as the emotional and psychological injuries.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of someone, you should contact a Nashville spinal cord injury attorney to help you recover the compensation you deserve.