Spinal cord injuries are costly, so people who have suffered one will often have a lifelong increase in expenses based on that singular fact. Motor vehicle crashes, which account for 38% of all cases, are the leading cause of this type of injury. Falls are the second leading cause accounting for 30.5%. For the victims of these types of accidents, trying to discover ways to cover the added costs can be challenging.
One thing that makes it so difficult to pay for these expenses is that the victim might not be able to do the same type of work they are accustomed to doing. Those with severe injuries may not have the ability to work at all. They might turn to a personal injury lawsuit filed against the party liable for the accident to cover these expenses.
Estimates for the cost of spinal cord injuries
On average, a person who has an injury to the spinal cord will spend 11 days in an acute care unit of a hospital and 35 days in rehabilitation. This is down from the average time spent in both facilities in 1970 when it was 24 days in the hospital and 98 days in rehab.
The overall cost of injury-related care varies greatly depending on the level and severity of the injury. Higher injuries are typically related to more expensive care costs, and the first year is usually the costliest.
A person who suffers a C1 to C4 high tetraplegia injury can expect an average first-year cost of around $1,064,716 with each subsequent year coming in at $184,891. A person who has an incomplete injury resulting in impaired motor function at any level will incur an average cost of $347,484 in the first year and $42,206 each year after.
Age at the time of the injury also has an effect on the overall cost. Younger people will have a higher lifetime injury-related expense than older people due to having more years left in their life expectancy.
Determining the damages to seek
You don’t need to make the mistake of not seeking enough compensation in your legal claim. Once your case is settled or an award is entered into judgement, you can’t go back and ask for more money. You must factor in the expenses you have already incurred and try to figure out what future expenses you will have due to the injury. Looking into cases similar to yours might provide a good starting point for making this determination.