Maryland Injury Lawyers: The Costs of Living with a Spinal Cord InjuryOctober 22, 2013
Spinal damage is caused by a powerful blow or jolt to your body — from a car collision, a dive into shallow water, a fall from height or a violent assault, for example. The extent and type of medical problems caused by a spinal cord injury depend on which area of your back or neck is affected and whether the damage was complete or incomplete. Symptoms range from tingling, numbness, pain and weakness to total paralysis.
To help you deal with the physical challenges of living with a disability, your doctors and therapists might suggest medical treatments, rehabilitation, home alterations and mobility aids. Understanding the costs of these items is an important aspect of collecting your rightful compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, workers compensation claim, Social Security disability benefits or other government program.
Although every case is unique, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates that an individual who sustains spinal damage at the age of 25 should expect to incur lifetime costs of:
- $4,543,182 for high tetraplegia from damage to vertebrae C1 to C4
- $3,319,533 for low tetraplegia from damage to vertebrae C5 to C8
- $2,221,596 for paraplegia from damage to lumbar vertebrae
- $1,517,806 for incomplete motor function at any level vertebrae
Expenses during the first year immediately following your injury are typically very high as you undergo intensive treatments and rehabilitation. Even though expenses dip dramatically in subsequent years, your costs of living continue to remain high. According to NSCIS, your average costs may be:
- High tetraplegia — $1,023,924 in the first year and $177,808 each subsequent year
- Low tetraplegia — $739,874 in the first year and $109,077 each year after
- Paraplegia — $499,023 in the first year and $66,106 each year thereafter
- Incomplete motor function at any level — $334,170 in the first year and $40,589 in following years
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation provides an abundance of educational materials that can help you plan for your future, including the costs of implementing tools and services that can improve your health and quality of life. You may also have access to nonprofit organizations in your area to defray costs of equipment and services. In addition, you can contact the knowledgeable Maryland injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. to learn how to get the compensation you deserve.