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The cost of care for people with spinal cord injuries

When individuals suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI), it will inevitably be costly to treat it. However, depending on the age of the victim at the time the accident occurs or how severe the injury is, the price can go up considerably.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, among the different types of spinal cord injuries, incomplete tetraplegia accounts for more than 45 percent of all SCI cases. The second and third most common type of SCIs suffered are incomplete paraplegia and complete paraplegia, both of which account for 21 and 20 percent of injuries respectively.

Around 14 percent of all SCIs are defined as complete tetraplegia. Of all individuals that suffer SCIs, only one percent experiences full neurological recovery before being ultimately discharged from the hospital.

Living expenses and health care costs that an individual with an SCI can expect depend greatly on how neurologically impaired they are, the job they had a the time of their injury, and what their educational level is. Indirect costs associated with a loss in wages, productivity, or fringe benefits averages $71,961 on an annualized basis for all who are afflicted.

As far as direct expenses are concerned with the two most common types of tetraplegia though, those afflicted with high tetraplegia along the C1 to C4 can expect costs to reach $1,064,716 in the first year and to be $184,891 for every year thereafter. For those with low tetraplegia, an injury which affects the C5-C8, it carries with it an estimated costs of $769,351 that first year and $113,423 every subsequent one.

To demonstrate how age impacts expected lifetime costs associated with SCIs, an individual that suffers a high tetraplegia injury at 25 can expect to pay $4,724,181 over one’s lifetime. A 50-year-old can expect to pay $2,596,329. Someone who is diagnosed with a low tetraplegia at 25 can expect to pay $3,451,781 during one’s lifetime whereas someone who is 50 can expect to pay $2,123,154.

Depending on an individual’s age and degree of impairment, employment opportunities for those who have suffered SCIs may make it extremely difficult to receive the level of care they need. A Chicago car accident attorney can help you make sense of these and other future costs as well as potential avenues for ensuring that the accountable party is held liable.