Unless the victim is one of the handful of people who are lucky enough to escape any long-term damage, a spinal cord injury is almost always going to cost over $1 million to treat.
The exact cost of a spinal cord injury will depend on several factors. The location and extent of the injury and the age of the victim at the time of the injury are key cost drivers.
With respect to age, the younger one is when they suffer an injury, the longer they will require medical treatment and care.
After a spinal cord injury, most victims, around 45%, will suffer what is called incomplete tetraplegia.
This means that the victim loses some but not all mobility across most of their body. The most serious type of injury, complete paralysis from the neck down, affects just under 15% of patients.
For someone who is 25 at the time of an injury, incomplete tetraplegia will cost over $1.5 million in medical care and other out-of-pocket expenses. A 50-year-old victim would face approximately $1.1 million in costs.
Depending on their age, a person who suffers paralysis across their body could see up to $4.75 million in costs.
It is important to keep in mind first that these dollar figures are from several years ago. Medical costs and the costs of other care keep rising, frequently faster than the rate of inflation.
Also, these numbers do not factor in the loss of a person’s income should they no longer be able to work. Likewise, they do not include the value of the enormous emotional toll these injuries take on a victim and their family.
Many spinal cord accidents are preventable
The sad thing is that many if not most spinal cord injuries are preventable.
Motor vehicle accidents and serious falls account for a clear majority of these injuries.
While not all falls and accidents are the responsibility of another person, too many times, negligent drivers leave Atlanta residents dealing with the cost and fallout of spinal cord injuries.
Likewise, property owners, businesses and others have an obligation to keep people safe from catastrophic falls.
Many other spinal cord injuries are related to assaults and other violence. Sometimes, it becomes clear that a Georgia business could have prevented this violence by improving their security.
A victim of a spinal cord accident should make sure they understand their legal options for recovering the compensation they will likely need to stay financially afloat during an already difficult time.