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How much does a spinal cord injury (SCI) cost?

Shawn E. McDermott

It’s very expensive to suffer from a spinal cord injury. The costs do depend on the location, which affects how much range of motion is lost, and the severity of the injury. But an SCI is almost always a very expensive injury, especially when you factor in lost wages, lost earning capacity and the long-term medical costs.

With all of this in mind, you may be wondering how much it’s going to cost to live with a spinal cord injury. Let’s take a look at some projections from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

A low tetraplegia

One example is a low tetraplegia, which is a spinal cord injury between the C5 and the C8 vertebrae. In the first year, it is estimated that there will be medical costs and other expenses totaling around $769,000. But the costs do not end there. For every subsequent year that the person lives with this injury, they will have additional costs in the range of $113,000. If someone has to live with this injury for years or even decades, it could cost millions.

A high tetraplegia

To show how the location makes a big difference, consider a high tetraplegia, which is between the C1 and the C4 vertebrae. Those who have this injury could see more than $1 million in costs in the first year alone. After that, they could face subsequent costs of $184,000 per year. So they are already starting out around $1 million in debt, but they could quickly increase that number in the years to come.

All of this is important because you may have filed an insurance claim to cover some of these costs and been denied. You do not have millions of dollars to cover them on your own, and you feel that the denial was unfair. It’s quite important for you to understand exactly what legal steps to take to seek the compensation you deserve.

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