The nervous system is a complicated control center for a person’s motion and sensation, so anything that affects it may have widespread implications. A spinal cord injury is often the result of traumatic impacts and they lay a heavy cost both financial and physical on whoever suffers one.
Given the central nervous system’s complexity, many people experience different grades of paralysis due to the unique nature of the damage. So knowing the broad strokes of how SCIs happen and how much they cost may help those in need of compensation build a strong case to get the help they need.
According to the Mayo Clinic, car accidents represent the leading cause of spinal cord injuries — nearly half of new spinal cord injuries each year. But falls, acts of violence and even medical or surgical reasons may result in an SCI.
Other risk factors include age and gender. The most likely age range for a traumatic SCI is between 16 and 30. Being older than 65 increases the risk of an SCI from falls.
The cost of an SCI varies greatly on the severity and the potential road to recovery. A complete SCI refers to one that causes full and permanent paralysis of a portion of a person’s body. An incomplete SCI refers to partial paralysis, numbness and tingling.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that first-year costs may average from $375,000 for motor functional loss all the way up to nearly $1.15 million for high tetraplegia. Subsequent years average between $45,000 and $200,000 depending on the severity.
These figures may be useful to anyone dealing with insurance settlements regarding their SCI. While insurance companies may cover some of the costs, it may come down to a strong and researched claim to get them to secure most of the costs.