Spinal Cord Injuries Can Cost Millions

December 08, 2020

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Spinal Cord Injuries Can Cost Millions

Spinal cord injuries are probably the most life-changing injuries that our clients can suffer. A person whose spinal cord is torn, nicked, or bruised can suffer serious impairment of their ability to move or feel any sensation below the point of injury. When the spinal cord is severely injured, a person can be paralyzed for life.

Spinal cord injuries are life-changing in another way—they are incredibly expensive to treat. Data compiled by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has found that many patients will incur over $1 million in lifetime medical expenses. The amount of care will depend on several factors, including the location of the spinal injury and the victim’s age. However, most patients with spinal cord damage will require expensive medical care.

Many Victims Require Multiple Surgeries

Depending on the accident, a patient might need several surgeries to stabilize the spine. A devastating truck accident, for example, could crush the vertebrae surrounding the spinal cord. A patient might need a transplant of the spinal column and probably needs bone fragments removed before they cause additional damage to the spinal cord.

Trauma care is incredibly expensive in the United States, which is why medical treatment for a spinal cord injury is so pricey. Unfortunately, many patients will need future surgeries if their spinal column degenerates or narrows over the years.

Patients Can Require Ongoing Rehabilitation

Some victims can recover mobility and sensation if their spinal cord is not completely cut in two, but they need ongoing, grueling rehabilitation. This rehab can last for years, even a lifetime. A spinal cord injury victim might need to relearn how to talk. Physical therapy can help maximize mobility and movement. And behavioral therapy might be necessary to help a victim manage their emotions following a catastrophic injury.

Rehabilitation is not cheap and is a key driver in the ongoing cost of living with a spinal cord injury. For example, physical therapy alone often costs hundreds of dollars per session. Even someone with health insurance could be swamped by the expense over the course of a year.

Patients Might Require Ongoing Care

Many accident victims cannot take care of themselves but require someone to help them bathe, dress, and cook meals. Someone paralyzed from the neck down could require around-the-clock care, all of which adds to the medical expenses stemming from a spinal cord injury.

Even someone with a moderate injury could require a wheelchair and other prosthetics to help them maintain independence. For example, a van can be outfitted so it can be driven by someone in a wheelchair. The accident victim should not have to pay these expenses if they were not to blame for their injury.

We Can Fight for Compensation

Keffer Hirschauer LLP is a leading law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of accident victims. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, you should seek to maximize the amount of any settlement. Please contact our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys today. In a free consultation, we can discuss your chances for success.