How much could your spinal cord injury cost you?

Spinal cord injuries affect over 17,000 people each year and arise from a variety of sources. Depending on whether your SCI is complete or incomplete determines a lot, including chances of recovery.

Regardless of the recovery chances, SCIs often demand surgery, physical therapy and long-term changes to your life in order to adjust to the new normal.

Complete and incomplete SCIs

A complete injury represents a total loss of function in a part of your body whereas an incomplete injury may be partial paralysis or tingling. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center breaks these injuries down into four categories: motor functional, paraplegia, low tetraplegia and high tetraplegia.

Costs of SCIs

Initial year costs vary depend on the severity and, compared to subsequent years, represent a bulk of the lifetime costs.

For example, a paraplegic case at 25 years old may expect medical expenses to average around $560,000 with an estimated lifetime cost of nearly $2.5 million.

The NSCISC’s report does not factor indirect costs such as wage loss and productivity, which they estimate an average of $77,701 per year in 2019.

Causes of SCIs

Car accidents represent nearly 40% of SCI causes. Another portion includes falls and violence. A small fraction of SCIs result from medical or surgical reasons as well.

Regardless of the source, suffering an SCI brings several types of costs. On top of the financial and physical costs, you may experience emotional and mental costs as well.

It’s important to continue research into this topic if you or someone you know recently suffered an SCI. Knowing the potential costs may help you prepare for a compensation case, especially if it involves negligence by a driver or medical practitioner.