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Calculating the Cost of Severe Spinal Injuries

 Posted on March 15, 2017 in Catastrophic Injuries

Calculating the Cost of Sever Spinal InjuriesSuffering a catastrophic injury to your spine is a life-altering event. The immediate treatment and long-term effects can take a physical and mental toll on you. It may be hard to put a monetary value on how much a spinal injury will cost you, but you should have an idea if you are seeking legal compensation from the party at fault for the injury.

Immediate Cost

The initial medical fees often are the most expensive part of a spinal injury. Treatment can require surgery, prolonged hospital stays, rehabilitation and use of medical equipment such as wheelchairs. A study found that the average first-year cost for a patient who loses any level of motor function is more that $300,000. The first-year cost escalates, depending on the severity of the injury, including:

  • More than $500,000 for people with paraplegia, which is a loss of body function below the waist;
  • More than $750,000 for people with low tetraplegia, which is a loss of function in the lower body and part of the upper body; and
  • Approximately $1 million for people with high tetraplegia, which is full paralysis from the neck-down.

Long-Term Cost

The annual medical costs for spinal injury sufferers typically decrease after the first year. However, the long-term costs can accumulate to a large sum, because the severity of the injury may require medical treatment for several years or the rest of the person's life. There is also a risk of other medical complications developing as a result of the spinal injury, such as:

  • Blood clots;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Cardiovascular disease;
  • Gastrointestinal problems; and
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction.

Collateral Costs

Living with a spinal injury can be costly in ways other than medical expenses:

  • Many people with spinal injuries are unable to return to work, losing their source of income.
  • The pain and suffering from chronic injuries can lead to mental health issues that require a different kind of medical attention.
  • People with decreased mobility may have to modify their living areas, including installing elevators and ramps if they are in wheelchairs.
  • People with decreased mobility are often no longer able to drive. If family and friends are unable to drive for them, they may have to use a transportation service. Depending on the severity of their injuries, they may need to purchase modified vehicles such as a wheelchair-accessible van.

Catastrophic Injury Compensation

If you have suffered a spinal injury, you may be owed compensation from those responsible. A Barrington personal injury lawyer at Lucas Law works with medical experts to build your catastrophic injury case. Call 847-381-8700 to schedule an initial consultation.


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