Severe injuries in truck or motor vehicle collisions are a real possibility. The phrase “any one you walk away from” is cold comfort to anyone who, due to a spinal cord injury (SCI), suddenly cannot. SCIs are some of the most devastating injuries with wide-spread effect on your body. It is key to know how they can affect you and how much they may cost you over the coming years.

Much as we would love to see it, medical science has yet to provide a cure for spinal injuries beyond natural recovery and physical therapy. When you sustain an SCI, it may be with you for life. And as the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center details in their data sheet, it may cost you thousands or even millions.

Types of SCIs

SCIs are like real estate: location, location, location. Damage to the nerves around the lowest vertebrae may still lead to motor loss. Up the spine, but below the C8 vertebrae, can lead to paraplegia (loss of control of your legs). Serious damage to your C1-C8 vertebrae can leave you with partial to zero function of all your limbs or worse.

The costs

Initial surgery and recovery oftentimes makes the first year your most expensive. But regular maintenance and disability resources can eat into your finances every year after depending on the severity:

  • First year costs (on average, rounded to the lowest ten thousand)
    • Paraplegia – $560,000+
    • Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8 vertebrae) – $830,000+
    • High Tetraplegia (C4-C8 vertebrae) – $1,140,00+
  • Subsequent years
    • Motor function and paraplegia – $45,000-$74,000
    • Tetraplegia – $122,000-$199,000

Knowing these numbers may be grim, but having a grasp on what these injuries cost can give you a guiding number to know what you deserve in a settlement.