Spinal cord injuries as the result of motor vehicle accidents or slip-and-fall accidents are expensive and may leave a lasting, permanent impact on your future. While medical science has cured many ailments, syndromes and diseases in the last century, there is still no way to truly reverse an incomplete or complete SCI.
The best chances for recovery include costly surgeries, long hospital stays and regular trips to physical therapy. Depending on the severity, recovery may still mean a life of paralysis and many new normals. Understanding the costs may provide some insight into what to expect.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center breaks down SCI costs and severity into four categories: motor function loss, paraplegia, low tetraplegia and high tetraplegia.
The general rule is that the higher up the injury is on your spinal column, the more widespread the paralysis. Wider effects tend to cost more in healthcare bills. The average first-year cost for motor function loss is around $375,000. Paraplegia averages about $560,000. Tetraplegia ranges between $830,000 and $1.14 million and may leave you without the use of most of your body. Subsequent years cost less but still average between $45,000 and $200,000 depending on the severity of your SCI.
This high cost is a source of stress and pressure for those people with SCIs. These estimates do not even take into account indirect costs like loss of wages or productivity.
In situations where negligence—on the roads or a premises—resulted in an SCI, there are options that may help you secure the financial support required.