Spinal cord injuries occur in a wide variety of ways, and they can lead to varying levels of disabilities. Often, these injuries are considered catastrophic injuries. Spinal cord trauma can lead to a person sustaining lifelong disabilities that require continuous medical and rehabilitation assistance. Because of that, it is crucial for a person to receive the full payout of these claims for their true value. Here, we want to discuss how much compensation a person could receive after a spinal cord injury caused by the negligence of another individual or entity.
Examining the Medical Costs Associated With a Spinal Cord Injury
When we look at the information available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), we can see that these injuries can become incredibly costly. First, we want to point out that no two spinal cord injuries are exactly alike. In some cases, individuals experience complete paralysis (high tetraplegia). In other cases, individuals may only experience paralysis from the waist down (paraplegia), or they may even retain some level of motor functioning in all of their limbs.
Regardless of the severity of a spinal cord injury, the first year of medical costs will be extensive. Data from the NSCISC indicates that the first year of medical costs can range anywhere from $375,000 to more than $1.1 million. These expenses indicate the significant costs of emergency medical bills as well as what it takes to get a person stabilized and begin the rehabilitation process.
Additionally, data indicate that a spinal cord injury victim will sustain extensive medical costs each year after this initial first year of medical care. These costs can range anywhere from $45,000 to nearly $200,000, depending on the severity of the injury.
The overall lifetime costs of a person who sustains a spinal cord injury can reach from approximately $2 million to more than $5 million from this type of personal injury.
Lost Wages Caused by a Spinal Cord Injury
When we examine the overall effects of a spinal cord injury, we have to look beyond medical bills. The reality is that a spinal cord injury victim will likely no longer be able to work, or at least they will not be able to work in the same capacity in the aftermath of the injury. This will inevitably lead to a complete loss of income or a lower income if a person has to take a job that does not pay as well.
When examining the total effects of lost wages, this too can reach into the millions of dollars, depending on the age of the victim at the time the injury occurred. Lost wages must be taken into consideration when examining compensation payouts to spinal cord injury victims.
Looking at More Intangible Costs of a Spinal Cord Injury
Finally, no discussion on the costs of a spinal cord injury would be complete without examining how the injury affects a person’s emotional and psychological well-being. Individuals who sustain spinal cord injuries will inevitably experience an altered quality of life, different from what they are used to. They may not be able to participate in sports or their hobbies, they may not be able to play with their kids in the same way, and they may not be able to work.
All this can have a profound impact on a person’s life enjoyment. Individuals who sustained spinal cord injuries can suffer from extreme depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Spinal cord injury victims should be able to recover compensation for these non-economic losses.