Paralysis Comes with a Huge Price Tag
One of the most devastating personal injuries one can suffer is paralysis. The loss of control and feeling in your limbs will change your life forever, and the costs of getting the medical care you need can be overwhelming, running even into the millions of dollars over time.
Guajardo & Marks understands that no amount of money can take away the suffering you will endure from a paralysis injury. But the last thing you need when dealing with this serious injury is severe financial stress as your personal resources are drained to provide your medical care. If your paralysis injury was caused by the negligence of another party, our Dallas paralysis attorneys can help you.
Different Types of Paralysis
No matter what type of paralysis injury you suffered in your accident, the costs associated with your care will be high. However, costs vary largely depending upon the type and severity of paralysis.
This is a spinal cord injury between the first thoracic spinal area in the middle of the spine. People who have paraplegia can still use their arms and hands, but their legs are partially or totally paralyzed. In a more minor injury, there could be tingling feelings in the legs and a decrease in the ability to feel some sensations in the lower extremities. In the most severe forms of paraplegia, full paralysis can occur from the waist down.
Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia
In a quadriplegia case, the injury to the spinal cord occurs above the thoracic vertebra and into the cervical vertebra in the neck area. When this happens, you may suffer paralysis of all four limbs. But the exact degree of your paralysis will vary, depending upon the exact nature of the injury. For example, some people may over time be able to regain some feeling and use of the arms and legs. In other cases, you may be totally paralyzed for life from the neck down.
What Are the Causes of Severe Spinal Cord Injury?
There are many reasons for paraplegia and quadriplegia injuries. The most common causes in the United States are car accidents and workplace/construction accidents. However, other paralysis cases are caused by product defects, medical errors and malpractice and vehicle defects that cause a crash.
According to national statistics, automobile accidents are the top cause of spinal cord injuries, accountable for 38.4% of all paralysis cases since 2010. The next most common is falls at 30.5%, gun shot wounds at 13.5% and sporting accidents at 8.9%.
The Overwhelming Costs of Medical Care for Paralysis Injuries
The initial costs for treatment, surgery and follow-up care after a paralysis injury are sky high. The cost of care only climbs as you get older. To make things even worse, people who have serious spinal cord injuries may not be able to afford to pay for insurance that covers the costs of care.
When you are first paralyzed from a spinal cord injury, such as in a car accident, you may face the following expenses:
- Initial treatment costs
- Ongoing medical costs
- Costs of medical equipment and modifications of the home
- Lost wages
- Loss of ability to earn a living
- Pain and suffering
- Strained personal relationships
- Emotional trauma
Over time, the costs of your medical care for a spinal cord injury can be shocking. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the cost of ongoing care for paralysis injuries can vary, depending on various factors, including the type and severity of injury. Below are estimates of the costs of care in the first year and subsequent years for different types of paralysis:
- High Tetraplegia C1-C4: First year $1,0640,000; subsequent year $184,800
- Low Tetraplegia C5-C8: $769,000; $113,000
- Paraplegia: $518,000; $68,700
- Incomplete motor function: $347,000; $42,200.
Also, the total estimated lifetime costs for a paralysis injury can run into the millions of dollars, depending upon the age at which you are injured and the type of paralysis. For example, the total lifetime cost for high tetraplegia for a 50-year-old is $2,596,000. How would you pay for this type of expensive care? Few people have the financial resources to do so.
Financial Compensation for Paralysis Injuries
If you suffered from tetraplegia or paraplegia in an accident caused by another person or entity, you may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to compensate you for your losses. There are many sources of compensation that can help to offset the high annual and lifetime costs of spinal cord injuries, such as these:
- Money for your pain and suffering – physical and emotional
- Home and vehicle changes
- Lost earnings, both past and future
- Medical costs in the past and ongoing
- Damage to property
- Loss of consortium
- Physical rehabilitation
- Vocational training so you can earn a living.
To determine how much your paralysis case may be worth, your personal injury attorney will work with your healthcare professionals, medical experts in spinal cord injuries, life care planners and economists who are able to demonstrate in court the costs you will have today and for many years into the future.
Some of the factors that will affect the value of the case include:
- Duration and severity of the spinal cord injury – Is it permanent or temporary?
- Extent of affect on your ability to earn a living
- How the injury has diminished your quality of life
- How your injury affects your family and social life
- The costs of housing modifications
- How much round-the-clock care you need.
Talk To a Personal Injury Attorney About Legal Options Today
At Guajardo & Marks, we truly understand the emotional and financial devastation that comes from a paralysis injury. People who have been paralyzed in an accident through no fault of their own are faced with severe emotional and personal trauma, as well as massive medical bills. If you or a loved one has suffered this type of devastating personal injury, Guajardo & Marks can help. Please reach out to our legal offices in Dallas today so that we can begin to analyze your case.