Spinal cord injuries are a possibility in major car accidents, but may also happen due to falls or sports-related activities. These pose deep impacts on your physical capabilities and weigh a heavy cost on your financial resources.
As seen in the facts of figures of the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the average cost per year of your SCI may start in the tens of thousands of dollars and rise up into the millions.
Types of SCI severity
Every SCI is unique because they impact so much of your nervous system. An incomplete SCI may leave you with tingling and numbness while a complete SCI often leaves paralysis in its wake.
The NSCISC highlights four severities: motor functional at any level, paraplegia, low tetraplegia and high tetraplegia. The first two may occur anywhere along the spinal column, but tetraplegia refers to damage between the C1 and C8 vertebrae. Damage to these vertebrae pose a risk of full-body paralysis and therefore higher costs.
Costs in relation to SCI severity
First year costs include surgery, physical therapy and rehabilitation and represent the bulk of the lifetime costs associated with an SCI. First-year costs average out like this:
- Motor Functional – $375,196
- Paraplegia – $560,287
- Low Tetraplegia – $830,708
- High Tetraplegia – $1.14 million
Subsequent years cost less but may still pose a substantial financial burden on you. These costs average on the low end around $45,000 and go up almost as high as $200,000.
These figures do not include any indirect costs like loss of wages or productivity. If you suffer from an unexpected SCI due to negligence or trauma, it may help to know what to expect cost-wise when filing a compensation case.