Spinal cord injuries are the leading cause of paralysis in the United States. Approximately 291,000 people in the U.S. live with a spinal cord injury, with about 17,730 new cases of spinal cord injuries each year. Motor vehicle crashes and falls account for roughly 71 percent of spinal cord injuries.
Accident victims who suffer a spinal cord injury often face a lifetime of challenges, including how to pay the costs associated with paralysis injuries. Many accident victims seek the help of a California personal injury attorney to recover compensation from the party responsible for the accident to help pay for the costs and expenses related to their injuries.
What are the Financial Costs of Paralysis?
Living expenses and health care costs can be very expensive, depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury. Medical expenses related to spinal cord injury that results in paralysis can include:
- Emergency care immediately following the accident
- Hospitalizations and surgery
- Long-term occupational and physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Mental health treatment
- Medications and medical equipment
- Personal care services
It is estimated that a person with High Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia (loss of use of all four limbs and torso) incurs about $1.1 million in health care and living expenses during the first year following the injury. Each year after that, the expenses average about $196,000 annually. Based on those figures, a person who sustains an injury at age 25 can expect roughly $5 million in lifetime expenses.
A spinal cord injury resulting in Paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and lower body) can result in healthcare and living expenses of $550,381 the first year and $72,909 each year after that. For a 25-year-old person, that results in approximately $2.5 million in lifetime expenses. Motor function at any level could result in almost $1.7 million in living expenses and health care expenses over a lifetime.
People Living with Paralysis Experience Other Losses and Damages
The lifetime costs associated with paralysis are not limited to the cost of health care, personal care, and living expenses. Some individuals also experience a loss of income and benefits. The total of the loss depends on several factors including, education, pre-injury employment, earning potential, age, and neurological impairment. However, loss of income is not the only damage.
A person living with paralysis can experience a substantial change in their standard of living and quality of life. While many individuals continue to have productive and fulfilling lives, some spinal cord injury victims suffer from severe emotional disorders, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The changes in lifestyle after a paralyzing injury can be difficult to adjust to for many individuals. In addition to the physical challenges, a person may face enormous emotional and mental challenges which add to the expenses as the person seeks counseling, therapy, and other treatments.
Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney for Help with an Injury Claim
Paralysis impacts a person’s life in ways that a person cannot imagine before a spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury can cause a significant financial hardship and leave the victim and the family overwhelmed. If an accident has resulted in a spinal cord injury or paralysis, you may want to speak with a California personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and your options for recovering compensation from the party who caused your injury. Schedule a consult with the legal team at J&Y Law today to discuss your claim.