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How much does a spinal cord injury cost?

Even those who get lucky and escape paralysis after a spinal cord injury will still likely spend millions of dollars in medical care and rehabilitation costs.

For example, those who suffer from some limitations after a spinal cord injury but who are still able to perform some motor functions will likely spend close the $350,000 in medical care and rehabilitation, plus additional living expenses, in the first 12 months after their injury.

For each year thereafter, they will spend about $42,000 a year. Overall, someone who suffers this type of injury at the age of 25 will spend over $1.5 million, while someone who suffers the same injury at the age of 50 will spend about $1.1 million.

While most victims of spinal cord injuries, almost 2 out of 3, will fall into this category, a good number of victims will experience complete paralysis. These victims will pay much more.

For instance, a person with paralysis from the neck down will spend over $1 million during the first year after her injury; thereafter, she will on average spend about $185,000 in ongoing care.

Those paralyzed from below the waist will spend around half as much, expending close to $520,00 in the first year. They will spend around $69,000 on average for every year thereafter.

Overall, a 25-year-old paralyzed from the neck down will spend close to $4.75 million over his or her lifetime, while a 25-year-old paralyzed from the waist down will spend around $2.3 million.

These figures only include actual expenses a victim will have to arrange to cover in some way. They do not include lost wages, benefits, job opportunities and the like. Depending on one’s work experience and qualifications, lost wages can amount to millions of additional dollars.

If anything, these figures show how important it is for victims to seek financial compensation if someone else is responsible for their spinal cord injury. Without doing so, it will be difficult for the victim to support himself.