Spinal cord injuries are often devastating for victims. However, no two injuries are exactly alike and determining the value of these claims can be challenging. If you or somebody you love has sustained a spinal cord injury caused by the actions of someone else, you deserve compensation. Here, we want to give a brief overview of how much a spinal cord injury claim may be worth based on with severity of the actual injury. The total amount of compensation victims receive in these situations can vary widely.
How Does the Level of Spinal Cord Injury Affect Compensation?
When most people think of a spinal cord injury, they may very well think about the massive hospital bills that will be forthcoming. While it is true that spinal cord injury will certainly cost money, there is no way to properly discuss the true medical costs unless we look at the level of injury we are discussing.
When we turn to information available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), we can see that they list four spinal cord injury levels, each with a corresponding dollar value in annual medical expenses.
- High tetraplegia. This is a form of quadriplegia, and the first year of medical care can cost more than $1.1 million, with each subsequent year of medical care reaching more than $200,000.
- Low tetraplegia. This is also a form of part of quadriplegia, though less severe, and the first year of medical costs can reach more than $840,000, with each subsequent year reaching approximately $124,000.
- Paraplegia. This injury will affect the lower limbs, and the first year of medical costs can reach approximately $567,000, with each subsequent year costing $75,000.
- Some motor function. This level is considered less severe and can result in partial paralysis of any limb. The first-year medical costs for this level of injury can reach approximately $380,000, with each subsequent year reaching around $46,000.
The True Costs of a Spinal Cord Injury
When we are looking at the dollar amounts listed above for the various levels of spinal cord injury, we have to point out that these are only the medical costs associated with the injuries. This does not include a wide variety of other costs that spinal cord injury victims and their families are likely to incur. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- A loss of income if a spinal cord injury victim cannot work
- The lost income of a family member if they have to quit their job to become a full-time caregiver
- The cost of travel to and from spinal cord injury specialists
- The costs of modifying vehicles or homes to aid with the mobility of the victim
Finally, there are other immeasurable costs associated with these injuries. There is no way to properly calculate the level of pain and suffering a spinal cord injury victim is likely to endure if they can no longer perform the same functions that they were able to before the injury occurred. We are talking about a lifetime loss of the ability to interact with their friends and family members in the same way. Additionally, we have to take into account the pain and suffering experienced by the family members who never expected that their loved one would be in this type of situation. If you are suffering, call our Orange County spinal cord injury lawyers today for a free consultation, and let’s see how we can help you.