You may instinctively understand that a spinal cord injury is expensive. After all, it will be a permanent medical issue, as there is no cure for spinal cord damage. The insurance carried by the other driver may not be enough to cover those costs.
The financial consequences of a spinal cord injury can be much more far-reaching than people realize initially after they get hurt. You can roughly categorize the losses you may suffer into three different types. How will a spinal cord injury negatively affect your financial circumstances?
It will generate medical costs
You will need emergency care right after you get hurt and then ongoing medical support for the rest of your life. You may rely on assistive technology like wheelchairs, which will frequently require upgrades and replacement. Routine examinations and treatment are also frequently necessary even with incomplete injuries that still allow for some sensation and motor function below the site of the spinal cord injury.
Adjusting your house and vehicle will be expensive
You will require accommodations in every area of your life following your injury. Your living space may require some changes to make it wheelchair accessible.
Although those who rent can expect their landlord to make some changes, people inevitably pay for at least some of the work out of pocket. Homeowners may have to pay these costs all in their own and could spend $30,000 or even more making their property wheelchair accessible.
It can also cost tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle or update an existing vehicle to accommodate a wheelchair.
The injury will affect earning potential
Those who have spinal cord injuries can expect a reduction in income. If they have very few medical complications, they will still need to occasionally miss work for medical care. Additionally, their injury may affect what job functions they can perform and therefore their earning potential. Although employers should not discriminate, wages may stagnate following a serious medical issue.
The costs that result from just one of these three categories would be enough to completely consume the insurance coverage that a driver has. When you combine all of those costs, you may find that a car crash that leaves you with a spinal cord injury costs you many times more than what insurance will pay. Having a realistic understanding of what your spinal cord injury will cost can help you negotiate an insurance settlement or push for compensation after a car crash.