Any injury that requires a long recovery may leave you missing out on weeks or even months of wages. But when you suffer a spinal cord injury on the job, you not only have to content with the initial surgery and physical therapy — you need to tackle the long-term rehabilitation to a new normal.
Since medical science has yet to devise a cure for SCIs, most people have to pay for costly procedures or equipment in order to continue living and working. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center works to estimate each year how much initial costs are on average and what the expected lifetime costs are depending on your age at the time of injury.
Initial and subsequent costs
Depending on the severity of your SCI, you may face motor function loss or even full body paralysis. Not only is this detrimental to your every day living, it deeply impacts your ability to work. Initial costs range anywhere from $375,000 for motor function loss and run as high as $1.1M for high tetraplegia injuries. Subsequent years range between $45,000 and $200,000.
Overall lifetime costs
Depending on when you sustained your injury determines the average amount of money you may spend over your lifetime. People suffering paraplegia at 25 may live more years with that injury than someone at 50. Average lifetime costs differ between those age groups by nearly $1M, costing more for the 25-year-old due to the increase in expected years lived.
No matter how old you are, you deserve support through your immediate recovery and into your years with a spinal injury. Knowing how much to expect at the start of this long road may help you understand what to consider out of your workers’ compensation.