When you get hurt, whether you fall down a flight of stairs at an apartment building or get hurt by a drunk driver in a crash, knowing the true financial cost of your injury is key to asserting your rights. Whether you file an insurance claim or initiate civil litigation, you will need to understand the medical cost and secondary financial consequences of your injury.
Spinal cord injuries vary in severity from incomplete injuries that leave people with some sensation and motor function to cervical spine injuries that result in tetraplegia or the loss of motor function and sensation in all four limbs.
Regardless of the kind of injury someone suffers, they will likely have hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in losses.
When you look at the financial impact of a spinal injury, you need to look not just at the trauma care right after the injury but at long-term medical needs and reduced earning potential.
Someone with an injury that causes tetraplegia will likely incur more than $1,000,000 in the first year they have the injury. They will continue to incur an average of more than $180,000 in expenses or financial losses, including lost earning potential, every year for the rest of their life.
While less severe spinal cord injuries will have lower initial trauma costs and lower residual expenses, they can still add up to staggering amounts of bills for medical treatment and lost income over the course of several decades. Recognizing the true impact of the injury on your life will influence how you handle an insurance claim or personal injury claim.
Many drivers don’t carry enough motor vehicle liability insurance in the event that they cause a lifelong injury to someone else. Unless you make a claim against a commercial premises liability policy or a commercial vehicle insurance policy, insurance will likely not offer enough medical coverage for your lifelong losses. You may need to consider filing a lawsuit against the other driver or any other party with liability to reduce the long-term impact of the injury on your life.
Understanding the cost of a spinal cord injury will help you better manage the resulting personal injury claim.