Approximately 6,000,000 people are living with paralysis, reports the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The cost of living with paralysis is enormous; it can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for some individuals. Unfortunately, the majority of spinal cord injuries affect young adults, which means overall it is considered a major financial drain for most families.
Average Yearly Costs of Living with Paralysis
The costs of treatment for those suffering paralysis depends upon the severity of the injury. For instance, someone who sustains paraplegia at the age of 50 might incur lifetime medical expenses of $2.5 million, while a 20 year old who sustains high tetraplegia in the C1 – C4 vertebra might amass $4.6 million, according to the National SCI Statistical Center.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports the following estimated figures (using February 2013 dollars) for those with a spinal cord injury:
- high tetraplegia – first year: $1,044,197, subsequent years: $181,328/year;
- low tetraplegia – first year: $754,524, subsequent years: $111,237/year;
- paraplegia – first year: $508,904, subsequent years: $67,415/year; and
- incomplete motor function at any level – first year: $340,787, subsequent years: $41,393/year.
While these figures are shockingly high, they still aren’t even taking the complete picture into consideration.
These approximations are only for the medical expenses; they do not include other ramifications of paralysis injuries such as:
- loss of wages;
- fringe benefits; and
- reduced productivity.
Why are the costs so considerable?
The care and treatment required for victims with paralysis is both extensive and expensive, and the nature of the condition is such that it requires a lifetime of care. Plus, many of the treatments for paralysis are cutting-edge and use breakthrough technology, which can make costs extremely high.
Medical bills quickly begin accumulating with paralysis treatments and aides such as:
- electronic assistance devices;
- motorized, high-tech wheelchairs;
- bladder therapy (to prevent renal failure);
- numerous expensive medications (from muscle relaxants to anti-depressants);
- nerve grafting and reconstructive surgery;
- decompression surgery;
- alternative, complementary treatments, such as acupuncture; and
- home health care aides.
Obtaining Compensation to Pay for Medical Bills
How is someone supposed to pay for these incredibly high medical bills? Insurance may cover a portion, and some individuals might qualify for government medical assistance. Usually, though, these resources still aren’t enough. If someone else contributed to the accident that caused your or your loved one’s injuries, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation and recover your medical expenses.
Not only can you receive restitution for your bills, but also for:
- future treatments;
- loss of income;
- pain and suffering;
- mental anguish;
- loss of enjoyment of life;
- physical therapy;
- loss of consortium; and
- the adverse effect of your injuries on your and your family’s well-being.
A Lawyer Can Seek Financial Restitution for Paralysis Victims
Injury attorney D.J. Banovitz in Denver is dedicated to obtaining the best possible settlements for his clients so they can focus on healing and building a new life, not on bills.
Our firm can help accident victims and their families recover compensation for their paralysis injuries. For legal counsel, contact D.J. Banovitz for a free consultation today at 303-300-5060.