According to data released by the National SCI Statistical Center, approximately 12,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the United States each year. Unfortunately, based upon the number of vehicle, boating, pedestrian, and slip-and-fall accidents we see each year, we know that many of these victims are residents and visitors.
SCI: The Financial Costs
It is a sad reality of our medical system that spinal cord injury victims typically face staggering medical costs and other associated financial burdens. According to the National SCI Statistical Center, a person who suffers a spinal cord injury at age 25 will, on average, incur healthcare and living expenses totaling:
- $4.6 million for high tetraplegia (C1-C4)
- $3.4 million for low tetraplegia (C5-C8)
- $2.3 million for paraplegia
- $1.5 million for incomplete loss of motor function
Of course, keep in mind that these are just averages. If you or a loved one has been paralyzed or experienced any other form of SCI in an accident, you will need a thorough diagnosis and case assessment to determine the actual financial burden of your (or your loved one’s) injury.
On top of these costs, many SCI victims are unable to maintain their employment – resulting in additional financial and emotional stress for their families. The National SCI Statistical Center’s data show that while nearly 60 percent of SCI victims have jobs at the time of their injury, just 12 percent are employed a year later. Ten years later, just 28 percent of SCI victims have returned to work, and after 30 years just 33 percent of SCI victim are employed. Sadly, many SCI victims are never able to return to work after their injuries.
SCI: The Long-Term Effects for Victims and Their Families
While most people tend to think of paralysis as the loss of motor function, the reality is that SCI victims – both the paralyzed and the unparalyzed – also live with many other day-to-day burdens. Some of the most common long-term symptoms and effects of SCI include:
- Cardiovascular complications
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Numbness and/or tingling in the extremities
- Pulmonary disease
Tragically, spinal cord injuries greatly reduce victims’ life expectancies as well. The National SCI Statistical Center reports that mortality rates for SCI victims have remained steady since the 1980s, and are significantly higher than those for individuals not suffering from SCI.
Have You or a Loved One Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury as the Result of an Accident? We Can Help.
At Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, our entire team is committed to helping SCI victims and their families Demand More® for their losses. While no amount of money can restore you or your loved one’s mobility and quality of life, securing just compensation is a crucial step toward securing your family’s future. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident in Palm Beach County, me, injury attorney Brian D. Guralnick, to discuss your case today.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.