When it comes to car accidents, one of the worst injuries is spinal cord injuries. Even if the person survives, they will probably need years of care, costing a lot of money.
If you suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, remember the following information so you know how to move forward and get the settlement money you deserve.
About Spinal Cord Injury Accidents
It’s estimated that 12,500 Americans survive spinal cord accidents per year. Most of the injuries are caused by auto accidents – 38% – while the other reasons are falls, violence, sports, and medical mistakes.
A spinal cord injury is usually catastrophic and some degree of paralysis is involved. When you experience a spinal cord accident, getting immediate medical treatment is often the difference between partial or complete paralysis.
Also, it’s vital to retain an experienced spinal cord injury attorney who knows how to calculate the true cost of your injury.
Medical Expenses For Spinal Cord Injuries
It’s not unusual for a spinal cord injury patient to need more than $1 million of care per year. However, how much you will need for immediate and ongoing medical care depends on the nature of the injury, severity, your health, and other factors.
Frequent expenses for spinal cord injury patients are:
- Spine surgery
- Ventilator expenses, if you can’t breathe on your own
- Physical rehabilitation can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological care, and speech therapy
- Long-term medical care, including the costs of home medical assistants
- Medical equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs
How Much in Medical Expenses Per Year?
For people with a spinal cord injury in the neck, this is the most severe situation that may involve complete body paralysis. One estimate is that someone with this injury may pay more than $1 million for care annually,
If you have spinal cord injury below the neck and above the mid-back, your costs may be approximately $770,000 per year, while paraplegia patients need about $500,000.
The first year of medical care is usually the most expensive. After that, the costs drop. Your ongoing care costs depend on how severe the injury is, ranging between $185,000 for a high neck injury, $113,000 for a lower neck or upper back injury, and $70,000 per year for paraplegia.
Are The Injuries Permanent?
A major factor in your spinal cord injury settlement is if the injuries are permanent. They often are with these injuries, but not always.
If you have permanent paralysis or other disability, the value of your case may rise dramatically.
What About Other Costs?
Most people never know anyone with a spinal cord injury, so it’s easy to overlook hidden costs. Fortunately, your car accident attorney knows what these injuries cost and will negotiate with that in mind.
For example, not every hospital in the country offers the skilled medical care a spinal cord injury victim needs. You may need to drive or fly to another city to get the care you require. This involves travel expenses for you, your loved ones, and your caregivers.
Don’t Forget Lost Earnings
Lost wages and earnings are areas that many people don’t understand with serious personal injuries to the spinal cord.
Statistics show that only 12% of people with this kind of injury have a job after one year. However, after 20 years, the number rises to about 35%. Still, your injury could cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost earnings per year.
Your attorney has access to employment experts and economists who will accurately estimate your current and future income losses from your injury.
How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Your spinal cord injury attorney has years of experience working on cases like yours. They know what spinal cord injuries cost in terms of medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost earnings.
The attorney is paid when you receive your settlement or verdict. It’s critical to retain a skilled attorney with such a serious injury so you get the maximum amount of money.