Costs of Living with a Spinal Cord Injury

spine scanSpinal cord injuries are some of the most serious injuries a person can suffer, often resulting in lifelong conditions such as paralysis. While the injured individuals will undoubtedly have to endure the physical and emotional hardships associated with a spinal cord injury, it is the financial difficulties that can impact a person the most. It is these potential long-term costs that make legal action so crucial after someone else’s negligence causes a spinal cord injury. Here are some of the costs that people can expect when living with a severe spinal cord injury.

What Are the Expenses?

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center[1], lifetime costs associated with a spinal cord injury — depending on the severity — can easily exceed $1 million in the first year following the injury alone. After the first year, each subsequent year still results in hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenses that the injured party and his or her family must pay. Over the course of a person’s lifetime, depending on the age at which the injury occurred, the total expenses associated with the injury can reach between $1.5 million and $5 million. The breakdown is as follows:

  • A person who has suffered high tetraplegia can incur $1,064,716 in expenses the first year following the injury. Each subsequent year results in roughly $184,891 in expenses. If the injury occurs at the age of 25, this is the equivalent of $4,724,181 over the course of a lifetime.
  • For a person who has suffered low tetraplegia, the cost isn’t nearly as much, but is still quite high at $769,351 in first-year expenses. This is followed by $113,423 each subsequent year. The lifetime costs for this type of injury sustained at the age of 25 is still $3,451,781.
  • A person with paraplegia can expect to incur costs of $518,904 in the first year with each subsequent year costing about $68,739. If the injury occurs at the age of 25, this would result in $2,310,104 in lifetime costs.
  • For a person who has suffered damage to motor function at any level, the first year costs will equate to roughly $347,484 and every year after will average $42,206 in costs. Over the course of a lifetime, this is equal to $1,578,274 if the injury occurred at the age of 25.

The Costs of Medical Care

A spinal cord injury requires long-term care to help the victim live in a comfortable manner. This care often includes the following:

  • Surgery — Shortly after the injury, the doctor may opt to perform surgery. While this may not completely remedy the pain, it can help relieve some pain or pressure.
  • In-Home Care — Victims may have a hard time doing everyday tasks. This would require a caretaker to help provide the assistance the victim needs.
  • Medical Equipment — Paralysis means that the victim loses function in certain parts of the body, such as the arms, torso, and legs. This means the individual will need to rely on a wheelchair.
  • Medication — Paralysis often involves pain, which requires the victim to take medication. These prescriptions are often very costly.

Any time someone sustains an injury as a result of negligence, they may have the right to seek legal action and pursue compensation from the responsible party. Our Dallas spinal cord injury attorneys at Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP have the skills to help our clients reach the outcomes they desire and recover the compensation they need to help them cover the costs of living with a spinal cord injury.

Call us today to learn more about your potential options.


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