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Why car crash spinal cord injuries cost more than policies cover

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Spinal Injuries

Depending on the vehicles involved in a collision, drivers might have anywhere from $25,000 to $750,000 in liability coverage after a crash. The party at fault for the collision provides the liability coverage, so they determine how much coverage they carry.

The people affected by the crash then rely on that coverage to cover their expenses such as vehicle repair costs, medical expenses and lost wages. For those with more serious injuries, even a relatively robust insurance policy covering a semi-truck might be insufficient given how expensive their injury could prove to be. People with spinal cord injuries often need to file lawsuits to recover their losses.

Why are spinal cord injuries so expensive that car insurance coverage is inadequate to address them?

Massive lifetime medical expenses

The first year after a spinal cord injury tends to be the most expensive. People need trauma care and rehabilitation support as they heal from the initial injury and adjust to life with their new functional limitations. Many people can expect a collection of medical bills worth at least six figures after incurring a spinal cord injury. They are also likely to have ongoing medical expenses for the rest of their lives even if the injury they sustain is incomplete and they retain some motor function below the site of the injury.

Long-term lost earning potential

Someone who needs to stay in the hospital for a few weeks after an injury is likely to miss work for that entire time. They may also need to regularly miss a day or at least part of the day to attend other medical appointments. Beyond the issue of lost work time, there is also the loss of functional ability to consider. Spinal cord injuries can prevent people from fulfilling the physical tasks of employment and may render them incapable of continuing the career they have previously pursued.

The cost of accommodations

Someone in a wheelchair needs special adjustments to their vehicle to drive it safely without their legs. They may also need a lift system to get in and out of their vehicle. Beyond that, they may need to make significant adjustments to their living space as well. All of those expenses combined can prove to be far more than what someone has available in insurance coverage.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit is sometimes necessary when a car crash or other traumatic incident leads to a spinal cord injury. Those who have a realistic concept of the financial impact of an injury can use that information when making decisions about how they respond to an injurious wreck.