The High Cost of Spinal Cord Injury Treatment: How to Prevent It

According to the United Spinal Association, medical treatment for a spinal cord injury can cost between $200,000 and $700,000 in the first year alone. Annual costs for each following year range from $14,000 for less severe cases to up to $127,000 for more severe injuries. These costs are hard for the injured to cope with not only because the costs themselves are high, but also because those living with spinal cord injuries are less likely to be employed.

Spinal Injuries Can Come With A Lifetime of Financial Hardship

In the lifetime of a person suffering from a spinal cord injury, their individualized needs will create medical and cost-of-living debt anywhere between $600,000 and $2.8 million dollars. These costs are incurred not only through emergency treatment, such as surgery and immobilization, but also in various forms of therapy. 

For instance:

  • Many SCI sufferers need increased medication to cope with the symptoms of their disability.
  • Lifelong physical therapy can be required if the victim hopes to retain mobility.
  • Specialized health care, including psychiatrists and speech coaches, are often needed to improve a sufferer’s quality of life.

Quick Treatment Can Prevent Long-term Effects

However, not all spinal cord traumas carry a lifelong sentence. The sooner you receive medical treatment after an accident, the less likely you are to suffer long-term effects. Time is such a critical factor in these cases that the effects—and costs—change drastically:

  • Corticosteroids administered just after an accident can reduce swelling around the spine, allowing for immediate surgery.
  • Removal of objects obstructing the spinal cord can reduce or prevent paralysis.
  • Immobility after an accident allows for the body to heal without the added stress of its own weight. A hospital inpatient stay allows for bed-rest and traction.
  • Through proper healing techniques, the physical therapy required may be reduced to only occupational therapy or occasional strength training.

Contact a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you did not receive immediate or adequate care for injuries sustained in a Virginia car accident, you may be owed compensation. Call Shevlin Smith today at (703) 591-0067 for information from a medical malpractice attorney. 

Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.
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