Spinal cord injuries typically produce lifelong symptoms. It is easy for people to become so fixated on the medical consequences of a spinal cord injury that they don’t stop to think about the financial impact it will have.
Whether you were in a car crash or fell at work, there may be insurance that helps cover some of the costs from your spinal cord injury. Before you accept a settlement from an insurance company, it’s important to look at the broader impact that the injury will have on your life and your household finances.
There will be ongoing medical expenses
Immediately after a spinal cord injury, you will likely incur tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical costs. Surgery, rehabilitative care and other medical interventions could easily cost six figures or more in the first year after a spinal cord injury.
After medical professionals help stabilize the condition of someone with a spinal cord injury, there will still be ongoing medical expenses. It will cost thousands of dollars a year to connect with necessary medical care if you or a family member have a spinal cord injury.
Your home and vehicle will require expensive changes
Whether you can get around with crutches or require wheelchair access in your home, it will cost quite a bit for you to make your living space accessible after a spinal cord injury. It could cost as much as $30,000 to make a standard home accessible for a wheelchair. There could also be thousands of dollars in costs if you need to retrofit your vehicle for wheelchair access.
Your lifetime earning potential could decline
The more physically demanding your job is, the more likely it is for your spinal cord injury to have a significant impact on your profession. The more severe the injury is, the more likely it is to limit what you can do on the job.
Some people may need to move to another, lower-paying industry. Others may actually need to stop working altogether because of their condition. Combined, these three different sources of financial losses could leave you with difficulty providing for your households and paying your bills.
Thinking critically about the long-term financial impact of your injury can make negotiating an insurance settlement or deciding to file a lawsuit easier.