The last thing you want to do after a car accident is guess at what everything costs. In a minor collision, you may have cosmetic or body damage to your vehicle — maybe whiplash to take care of in the weeks to come. But when a serious accident permanently threatens your livelihood, knowing what to expect may help you establish a better claim for compensation.
Spinal cord injuries represent some of the costliest, long-term results of a car accident. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimated the average SCI costs for both yearly expenses and lifetime totals.
SCIs are unique to each person and a lot of factors like age, education level and pre-injury employment history play into your situation. But severity plays a big part. Motor function loss from a fracture may run you a first-year cost of around $375,000. Costs of further living expenses average out around $45,000 in subsequent years.
Catastrophic SCIs like high tetraplegia where you suffer paralysis throughout your body sees an average initial cost of over $1 million with later years running nearly $200,000 per year.
Compensation payouts from insurance may revolve around the average lifetime costs versus the actual year-to-year expenses. Depending on your age, the costs differ:
- Motor function loss at 25 years old — $1.7 million
- Motor function loss at 50 years old —$1.2 million
- High tetraplegia at 25 years old — $5.1 million
- High tetraplegia at 50 years old — $2.8 million
You do not want your insurance company to take your case lightly. Medical science has yet to devise a cure for SCIs and so if you suffer one, you are likely stuck with the aftermath. Having an idea of what to expect may help you navigate the complex process of getting the money you need after an SCI.