Did you suffer a spinal cord injury in a car accident? Now, you want to know how much you can expect to receive in an insurance settlement. Unfortunately, there is no average spinal cord injury settlement. That’s because each victim has unique circumstances in their case that affect its value.
What Is the Average Cost of Treating Spinal Cord Injuries?
A car accident lawyer determines what to request in a settlement for a spinal cord injury using many different factors. Examples of these factors include:
- The total cost of your medical bills for primary care immediately after the accident.
- Lifelong costs for continuing care or long-term treatment (e.g., physical therapists, 24/7 home care, or nursing home care).
- Remodeling or retrofitting your home (e.g., adding ramps or accessible showers).
According to a National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) study, the average cost over a lifetime of treating spinal cord injury victims depends on the age of the accident victim. For example, the lifetime costs of treating victims ages 25 to 50 range from $1.7 million to $5 million. Victims over 50 at the time of the accident could face lifetime costs between $1.2 million and $2.8 million.
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Treating the Injury Isn’t the Only Cost Spinal Cord Injury Victims Face
Obviously, the medical expenses for treating spinal cord injuries are incredibly high. However, they are far from the only expenses that factor into a settlement amount. Almost all spinal cord injury victims (and their families) experience unimaginable pain and suffering or lost quality of life due to the injury. In addition, many spinal cord injuries leave victims unable to work.
So, your spinal cord injury lawyer will account for your lost income and pain and suffering in any settlement request from the at-fault driver in your car accident. Because your long-term earning potential as a spinal cord injury victim and the amount of pain and suffering you and your family endured vary so much from another accident victim, the settlement amount your lawyer will seek doesn’t fit into any “average” calculations.
What Are the Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
According to the NSCISC study, roughly 17,800 Americans yearly suffer spinal cord injuries. The same study shows that nearly 300,000 Americans live with these debilitating injuries. While that number may seem insignificant compared to the national population (estimated to be around 320 million people), the devastation that spinal cord injury victims and their families endure makes it a club no one wants to join.
You can suffer a wide range of spinal cord injuries after experiencing the severe trauma brought on by a car accident. However, Johns Hopkins Medicine explains how most spinal cord injuries fall into one of two categories:
- Complete: An irreparable injury to the spinal cord that causes permanent damage to the affected area of the spine. Complete spinal cord injuries can result in full or partial paralysis.
- Incomplete: A severe injury to the spinal cord that does not necessarily result in permanent loss of movement or feeling. However, your medical history and health status at the time of the accident will significantly affect your long-term prognosis for an incomplete spinal cord injury (i.e., how completely you recover).
Why Is the Spinal Cord So Important?
The spinal cord basically acts as the telegraph system for the body. Its job is to carry instructions to the rest of the body. Everything from voluntary functions like walking, talking, and eating, to involuntary functions like blood circulation and breathing is made possible by signals from the brain that travel up and down the spinal cord.
So, a spinal cord injury can affect both voluntary and involuntary functions. In addition to the initial injury treatment, spinal cord injury victims usually require significant long-term care. Unfortunately, treatment and long-term care of spinal cord injuries often become incredibly expensive because of the complexity and importance of this body part.
Want to Learn What Your Spinal Cord Injury Case Might Be Worth?
Did you sustain a spinal cord injury after a car accident caused by another party’s negligence? You have the right to hold them financially accountable for both your economic damages and intangible losses like your pain and suffering. While it’s perfectly natural to be curious about the average spinal cord injury settlement, it’s probably better to talk to a personal injury attorney about the specifics of your case.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help. We are an experienced personal injury law firm that has represented numerous spinal cord injury accident victims. We’re here to fight for our clients and would like to speak with you about your case. Contact our office today for a free consultation. We’ll get a clear picture of the circumstances surrounding your injury and the amount of your losses, then advise you on your next steps.