The Potential Costs Of An SCI—Physical, Financial, And Emotional

A spinal cord injury risks much more than a trip to the hospital. Whether incomplete or complete, an SCI may require long weeks of physical therapy and still leave anyone with numbness, loss of motor function or complete paralysis for the rest of their lives.

These injuries cost money, time and emotional labor that many cannot afford. Insurance companies rarely step up to the plate willing to pay for it all, so knowing the costs of an SCI may help a victim secure the compensation they need to adjust to a new normal.

The physical and financial costs of an SCI

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, average yearly costs break down by severity. The higher up on the spinal column, the greater the risk of full-body paralysis. The more widespread the damage and paralysis, the greater the average yearly expenses in the first year:

  • Motor function loss – $375,196
  • Paraplegia – $560,287
  • Low/high tetraplegia – $830,708/1.149 million

Subsequent years cost less, but still average a range between $45,572 and $199,637 depending on the severity. These expenses do not take into account money lost from the inability to work.

The emotional costs of an SCI

Depression is a common disorder that affects many across California, but SCI victims tend to have a greater risk for it. As the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center details, 1 in 20 Americans get depressed, but that ratio becomes one in five for those in the SCI population. This, on top of the physical limitations and financial pressures, complicates a person’s life further.

Understanding these costs may not alleviate them, but anyone suffering from an SCI after a catastrophic accident should know what the costs look like in order to know what they deserve out of a damages case.