For many people, the biggest concern after suffering a spinal cord injury is the impact that the injury will have on their daily lives. They may think about the activities they enjoy, like dancing with their spouse, that may not be possible in the future.
It is only after someone grieves their lost mobility and opportunities that they will start to think about the more practical consequences of their injury. Spinal cord injuries will affect your life in many ways, including having a devastating financial effect on you and those in your immediate family.
What financial consequences will a spinal cord injury from a car crash cause for you?
Massive medical expenses
You will need emergency trauma care right after suffering a spinal cord injury and will likely continue to require hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment every year for the rest of your life. From therapeutic services to mobility devices, there will be numerous costs that typically go well over what insurance will cover.
Lost earning potential
The younger someone is when they get hurt and the more physical their job is, the greater the impact their spinal cord injury will have on their future earnings.
Those with incomplete injuries or low paraplegia will have more employment opportunities than someone coping with tetraplegia that affects the arms in addition to the legs, but everyone coping with a catastrophic injury can expect a reduction in their earned income.
Home and vehicle modifications
It costs, on average, just shy of $5,000 to make a house wheelchair accessible. Those who need to move bedrooms, install ramps or completely remodeled bathrooms for wheelchair access may have substantially higher costs than that. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a wheelchair van or to adapt an existing vehicle to make it wheelchair accessible or controllable without someone’s legs.
All of these costs combined will probably be tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars higher than the maximum amount of insurance coverage available after the crash. Learning more about the financial consequences of catastrophic injuries like a spinal cord injury will help those filing insurance claims or thinking about a civil lawsuit after a wreck hurt them or someone in their immediate family.