November 10, 2022

Hidden Cost of Treating & Living with a Spinal Cord Injury

By Jonathan Damashek

Posted in

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Spinal cord injuries could occur in a variety of ways. Whether you were involved in a construction accident or suffered critical injuries in a car accident, injuries caused by another party’s negligence impact your life for years to come.

However, many injury victims are shocked to discover the hidden costs associated with treating a spinal cord injury and learning to live with the permanent effects of your condition.

What Are Spinal Cord Injuries?

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) can take many forms. A complete spinal cord injury causes permanent damage to the portion of the spine that has been affected. Alternatively, incomplete spinal cord injuries refer to only partial damage to the affected area of the spine.

Paraplegia and tetraplegia are considered complete SCIs, as they involve total loss of the affected limbs. However, paraplegia is different from tetraplegia because paraplegia results in the arms unaffected by spinal cord damage.

What Can Cause an SCI?

Under the worst conditions, there are virtually endless ways in which a spinal cord injury could occur. However, some types of accidents and events are known for causing spinal cord injuries more frequently than others.

Everyday events resulting in SCI include:

What Does SCI Treatment Typically Cost?

The total cost of your spinal cord injury varies widely depending on the extent of the damage, the specific location of your SCI, your overall health, and other factors. However, additional treatment must occur first.

Healthcare providers need to treat any immediate physical threat to your life, followed by lengthy medical procedures that could reduce the impact of your spinal cord injury or improve the damage.

While the after-effects of your spinal cord injury may be permanent, with healthcare providers’ help, you could reduce your pain, improve your mobility, and increase your quality of life.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the average cost of an SCI in the United States could range from $300,000 to more than $1 million over the first year after your accident.

Subsequent years often cost an average of between $40,000 and $170,000, depending on the medical care you receive.

Many spinal cord injury victims require surgical intervention, intensive care, and intense physical and occupational therapies. Many spinal cord injury victims could spend more than $4 million throughout their lifetime.

What Costs Are There After Medical Care?

After receiving your initial medical care, there are many other ongoing costs you should prepare for concerning your SCI. You must consider how your injury impacts your entire life, including your living situation.

For example, if your home has multiple floors, you might consider moving your room to the first floor or modifying your home altogether. Other potential costs you could expect include:

Therapies or Rehabilitation Costs

When dealing with a complete or incomplete SCI, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and occupational therapy are likely. You may require the help of a professional to learn how to walk, regain motor function, and complete daily living activities.


If you are dealing with a complete SCI, you will likely require caregivers for the foreseeable future. You may need assistance bathing, using the bathroom, feeding yourself, and doing other daily activities.


Depending on the severity of your SCI, you could require prescription medications to treat infections that arise, complications, and alleviate any discomfort or chronic pain resulting from your injuries.

Adaptive Tools

Adaptive tools may make it possible for you to improve your quality of life and rely on healthcare providers less. However, these adaptive tools are costly, and you will want to ensure these costs are covered by the party responsible for causing your SCI.

Treating Secondary Complications

It is not uncommon for people dealing with SCIs to endure secondary complications after the fact. These secondary complications also require medical treatment and care, which the liable party should cover.

Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

A personal injury attorney helps you go over the costs of your spinal cord injury in detail to ensure you receive full compensation.

We will need to carefully review the circumstances of your case to determine whether another party’s negligence or misconduct caused your SCI. If it is, you may be entitled to total recovery.

Your attorney will work tirelessly to negotiate with the insurance company, gather compelling evidence to prove fault in your case, and bring your case to trial if the defendant won’t settle or they do not have sufficient insurance coverage to meet your needs.

Call HKD for Help with Your SCI Case Today

Making sure you have an experienced New York spinal cord injury lawyer at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. advocating for a total recovery of your damages could make all the difference in the outcome of your claim.

With so many hidden costs associated with spinal cord injuries, having a law firm with extensive experience litigating spinal cord injury claims across New York City fighting for your rights could help to ensure you are awarded maximum compensation for your suffering.

Contact our office for a no-cost, risk-free consultation when you are ready to move forward with your personal injury claim. You can reach us through our quick contact form or by phone at (212) 490-5700 to get started.