Spinal cord injuries are some of the most feared medical conditions. Despite advances in technology and trauma care, spinal cord injuries tend to result in lifelong functional limitations. It is often these changes in daily life that people focus on the most, rather than considering how those limitations will affect them financially.
But, ultimately, a serious spinal cord injury will typically result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses and financial losses, if not much more than that. As a result, these financial concerns need to be addressed promptly. Many spinal cord victims whose harm was caused by another’s actions or inactions are owed significant compensation but getting that compensation can be tough if they don’t act promptly.
The most obvious cost someone will have to cover after a spinal cord injury is the cost of treatment. People typically require stabilization and emergency transportation to the nearest well-equipped medical facility. They will require treatments to address their initial injury and then also rehabilitation support. Depending on the location of the injury and whether it is complete or incomplete, the person affected could possibly have millions of dollars in lifetime medical expenses. Even incomplete injuries will typically lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in care costs.
The amount of income someone will lose after a spinal cord injury depends in no small part on their chosen career path. Those who work intellectual, creative or white-collar jobs are often in a better position than those who work in blue-collar fields after an injury that will affect motor function. Most people will miss a significant amount of work after their initial injury because they require inpatient care at a hospital and rehabilitation support. They may also have regular absences after their initial injury related to treatment appointments. Many people may have to move into lower-paid and less-demanding professions because of the consequences of a spinal cord injury.
The cost of accommodations
The cost to purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle is often tens of thousands of dollars, and it can be similarly expensive to retrofit an existing vehicle with either a wheelchair lift or a legs-free system for operating the vehicle. Adjusting an apartment or house to make it more accessible for someone with a spinal cord injury can also cost thousands of dollars. From creating an accessible bathroom to adding a wheelchair ramp, there will be numerous different types of accommodations someone requires.
Those who understand the expenses associated with a spinal cord injury will have an easier time evaluating their options for compensation after a car crash. Discussing the prospective future expenses an injury with a legal professional can help someone determine if an insurance claim will be sufficient or if they may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to recoup the expenses generated by their spinal cord injury.