512.833.0111
Share

Austin Personal Injury Blog

Monday, February 5, 2018

Understanding the Costs of Living With a Spinal Cord Injury

The World Health Organization defines spinal cord injury (SCI) as damage to the spinal cord as a result of trauma, disease or degeneration. According to data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Center (NSCIC), 12,500 people suffer SCI in the United States every year. That’s about 34 new cases every day. The leading causes of these injuries are vehicle crashes (38 percent), falls (30 percent), violent acts (14 percent), sports (9 percent) and medical surgeries (5 percent). 
Owing to the painful and debilitating nature of SCI, victims have to endure sky-high medical costs that can be a real burden. For the thousands of people who suffer from spinal cord injury or paralysis because of someone else’s negligence, there exists a legal path to financial compensation. Consult a Texas personal injury attorney to find out more.

What Are the Real Costs of Spinal Cord Injury?

What makes SCI severe is nerve damage. According to NSCIC, the most common neurological level complication is incomplete tetraplegia, which affects 45 percent of all injuries. It is followed by incomplete paraplegia at 21 percent, complete paraplegia at 20 percent and complete tetraplegia at 14 percent. 

Neurological damage is associated with high healthcare costs. NSCIC estimates direct year-to-year costs of SCI to be:

  • For people with high tetraplegia (C1-C4) ASIS ABC, $1,064,716 in the first year and $184,891 in each subsequent year
  • For people with low tetraplegia (C5-C8) ASIS ABC), $769,351 in the first year and $113,423 in each subsequent year
  • For people with paraplegia ASIS ABC, $518,904 in the first year and $68,739 in each subsequent year
  • For people who’ve suffered incomplete motor function ASIS D, $347,484 in the first year and $42,206 in each subsequent year

These costs include direct costs such as spinal surgery, trauma care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, long term care, medication and associated medical equipment like wheelchairs and crutches.

They do not include indirect costs such as lost wages and fringe benefits, which averaged $71,961 a year in 2014.

Spread out over the lifetime of the patient, these costs become baffling:

  • For people with tetraplegia (C1-C4) ASIS ABC, $4,724,181 for people injured at age 25 and $2,596,329 for those injured at age 50
  • For people with low tetraplegia (C5-C8), $3,451,781 for those injured at age 25 and $2,123,154 for those injured at age 50
  • For people with paraplegia ASIS ABC, $2,310,104 for people injured at age 25 and $1,516,052 for people injured at age 50
  • For people with incomplete motor function ASIS D, $1,578,274 for those injured at age 25 and $1,113,990 for those injured at age 50.

Other factors could increase the lifetime costs of SCI. An example is re-hospitalization. An estimated 30 percent of people with SCI are re-hospitalized one or more times after injury with the average length of stay in hospital being 22 days. Another factor is lost earning capacity since only 35 percent of SCI survivors get employed 20 years after injury. 

Overall, SCI are quite costly. If you or someone you know suffered SCI as a result of someone’s negligence, schedule a consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer today to begin your journey to comprehensive financial compensation.




Archived Posts

2018
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February



© 2018 Tony Nguyen Law Firm, PLLC | Disclaimer
314 E. Highland Mall Blvd., Austin, TX 78752
| Phone: 512.833.0111 | 1.800.35.Texas

About Us | Staff Profiles | Video Faqs | Practice Areas

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative