Injuries can fall anywhere on a spectrum of severity. Some of them are so minor that they don't even disrupt an individual's day-to-day life. Others, though, are so severe that they leave an individual permanently disabled. This latter group of people can find it challenging to make ends meet at a time when they struggle to recoup as much of their life as is possible under the circumstances. This can leave them completely overwhelmed.
One type of injury that can have this effect is one that affects the spinal cord. While spinal cord injuries can have an enormous impact on one's physical capabilities, including potentially leaving one paralyzed, the costs associated with caring for such an injury can be financially debilitating. For example, those in California and elsewhere who suffer from incomplete motor function can face around $347,000 in medical and rehabilitative care costs in the first year alone. Those with high-tetraplegia may be hit with more than $1 million in similar costs in the year following their injury.
With medical expenses continuing to accumulate year-after-year, spinal cord injury victims face the potential for devastating life-long costs. A 25-year-old with incomplete motor function, for example, can accumulate more than $1.5 million in medical expenses. A same-aged individual with high-tetraplegia can easily rack up more than $4.7 million in that same timespan.
If these numbers have left you dumbfounded, you're not alone. Yet, these figures don't represent the true extent of damages suffered from a spinal cord injury. In addition to medical and rehabilitative costs, a victim may have lost wages and pain and suffering. He or she likely will never live the same kind of life that he or she had before the injury. These damages are unfair and unacceptable, especially when the injury is caused by the negligence of another. That is why those who have suffered a spinal cord injury caused by negligence need to carefully consider whether a personal injury lawsuit is in their best interests.