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The Staggering Costs of Spinal Cord Injuries

Of all the injuries we see at Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe. Any damage to the spinal cord can require a lifetime of rehabilitation and at-home care, as well as frequent surgeries. If you have suffered spinal cord damage, you could easily be looking at seven figures in lifetime costs.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves running down our backs, connecting our brains to our extremities. Because the cord is so important, it is surrounded by bones called vertebrae. However, traumatic accidents like car collisions or slip and falls can damage the vertebrae and end up tearing, stretching, bruising, or shredding the spinal cord.

As a result, victims can suffer a total or partial loss of sensation and mobility. If the spinal cord is completely severed, then victims are paralyzed from the point below the damage. Even if the spinal cord is only partially damaged, victims can struggle with movement, coordination, balance, and impaired sense of touch. As a result, many are unable to return to their old jobs or work any sort of job.

Expensive Treatment in the First Year

A recent study from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation estimated how much someone will spend in the first year after sustaining a spinal cord injury. They also calculated the lifetime costs based on the age of the victim.

The results are staggering. Here is how much a spinal cord injury victim will pay in the first year:

  • $1,064,716 if you suffer tetraplegia (all four limbs) at a high point in the spinal column
  • $769,351 if you suffer tetraplegia at a low point in the spinal column
  • $518,904 if you suffer paraplegia (paralysis in the legs)
  • $347,484 if you suffer incomplete motor function

The high costs in the first year can be attributed to surgeries needed to stabilize the spinal column. Although surgery must occur less frequently, the costs in subsequent years are still considerable:

  • $184,891 for high tetraplegia
  • $113,423 for low tetraplegia
  • $68,739 for paraplegia
  • $42,206 for incomplete motor function

These amounts cover rehabilitation, at-home attendants, and other necessary medical care. everyone’s situation is different, but these are the averages.

High Lifetime Costs

A lifetime of care can easily surpass seven figures, especially when victims are young at the time of injury. The same study found that a 25-year-old would spend the following amounts over the course of her lifetime:

  • $4,724,181 if she suffered high tetraplegia
  • $3,451,781 if she suffered low tetraplegia
  • $2,310,104 if she suffered paraplegia
  • $1,578,271 if she suffered incomplete motor function

These amounts are only for medical care. They do not cover lost wages if the victim cannot work. Someone who is completely paralyzed at an early age might lose out on millions of dollars in compensation and benefits, as well.

Speak with a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today

As you can see, the lifetime costs of medical treatment are staggering. If you or a loved one has been injured, you will need to find all available compensation, including compensation from a settlement or lawsuit.

At Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, we put client well-being at the center of our practice. In this emotional time, you need experienced, steady hands. We have decades of experience in this field and will do everything possible to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free consultation, please reach out to us today.

Published July 24, 2018
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At Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd., whether you need us to file for medical malpractice or seek recovery for your motorcycle accident injuries, we’re committed to helping you achieve justice. We offer a straightforward evaluation of your case and quickly respond to any pressing inquiries. Call 815.398.9700 or contact us online for your free consultation. For your convenience, we have offices in Rockford and Streator.