When you suffer a personal injury in an accident due to negligence, it is a reasonable hope that you recover quickly in order to avoid any lost costs like wages. But when it comes to spinal cord injuries, medical science has no cure. Right now, if you suffer an SCI that leads to partial or full paralysis of a portion of your body, there is no reliable way to turn back the clock.
Your road to recovery may involve surgery, physical rehabilitation and disability. As the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center details, there are different average costs for first year and subsequent years of your life after an SCI.
SCI effects along the spinal cord
Generally speaking, the lower down the injury is on your spinal cord, the less widespread potential paralysis is. Any injury may affect your motor control in some fashion. Paraplegia refers to the partial or full paralysis of your lower half while tetraplegia refers to the partial or full paralysis of your body as a whole.
SCI costs in the first year
Surgery and physical therapy in your first year may be extensive. Motor function loss at any level costs an average of $375,196. Paraplegia costs an average of $560,287. Sources divide tetraplegia into high and low categories, representing the highest vertebrae. Low tetraplegia, around the C5-C8 vertebrae, averages out to $830,708 while high tetraplegia, around the C1-C4 vertebrae, averages out to $1,149,629.
SCI costs in subsequent years
The average health care costs and living expenses for these injuries in later years is not as high, but still affects you. Motor function averages $45,572, paraplegia averages $74,221, low tetraplegia averages $122,468, and high tetraplegia averages $199,637.
These medical costs burden anyone suffering from these injuries and they do not include indirect costs like wages or productivity. Many medical providers have provisions for you if you have a pending lawsuit seeking compensation.