How Much Compensation Do You Need for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Accident victims who suffer spinal cord damage have an uphill battle to fight when trying to return to normal life. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may lose your income earning ability while having to pay for expensive treatment and make changes to how you perform daily tasks.
Hiring a knowledgeable attorney to seek compensation is crucial to your ability to carry on with your life. Many spinal injuries require a lifetime of treatment, and you cannot recover more compensation in the future after a settlement or a court judgment is reached.
Spinal cord injuries require the care of highly qualified specialists, from orthopedic surgeons to physical therapists. Treatments include costly surgery and pharmaceuticals, which can add up throughout your rehabilitation.
Several medication types are used to treat spinal cord injuries, and the cost of these medications can vary widely. Pain medication may be prescribed to manage pain associated with the injury. Muscle relaxants may also be used to help reduce spasticity.
Other common medications for spinal cord injuries include antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and blood pressure medications. Pharmaceuticals for treating spinal cord injury symptoms can add up to thousands of dollars annually.
Different spinal cord injuries require various surgical procedures. Spinal decompression surgery helps doctors relieve pressure on the spinal cord by extracting damaged bone or tissue. Another option surgeons use is to fuse vertebrae to stabilize the victim’s spine.
Spinal cord surgery costs depend on the condition’s severity and the medical institution where the procedure occurs. In a sample of the 30 biggest cities in the United States, lumbar spinal fusion costs range from $48,169 in San Antonio to $86,182 in Denver. Although it’s not the most costly state for orthopedic surgery, if you need spinal fusion surgery in Missouri, you can expect to pay over $10,000.
- Physical Therapy
Physical therapy aims to restore as much spinal function as possible. Therapists help patients increase their range of motion while building strength and flexibility through massaging, stretching, and special exercises.
Physical therapy sessions cost an average of $50-$350 per session, but prices can vary according to your location and the therapist’s rates.
Spinal cord injury sufferers may have to pay for other equipment and services beyond those necessary for medical treatment.
- Psychological Counseling
Dealing with the aftermath of a spinal cord injury reaches beyond the damage done to your body. Psychological counseling may be necessary to form productive coping strategies during this transitional period of your life. A psychological counselor can also provide support for your family, as your relatives may experience difficulty adjusting to your injury.
Depending on how much counseling you need, expenses can accumulate quickly as each session can cost between $100 to $200 on average.
- Home/Vehicle Modifications
Spinal cord injuries can profoundly affect a person’s ability to live independently. Even basic tasks like bathing, dressing, and using the restroom can become difficult. However, home modifications can help spinal cord injury victims regain independence.
For example, installing a wheelchair ramp or widening doorways can make it much easier to move around the home. Grab bars in the bathroom and nonslip surfaces in the shower can help prevent falls.
Vehicle modifications can include various changes to the car and the addition of adaptive equipment. Some common adaptations include widening doors, adding hand controls and pedal extensions, and installing a wheelchair lift or ramp.
Modifications for your home can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars while adapting your vehicle to your needs can require between $20,000 and $80,000.
If someone else’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. Depending on the case’s specifics, this may include economic damages such as current and future medical expenses and lost wages. Your attorney may also seek non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
A spinal cord injury can threaten more than your physical well-being. Paying for expensive surgeries and therapies can financially drain injury victims who have to pay out-of-pocket for rehabilitation.
If you’re suffering from a spinal cord injury, contact the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Cofman Townsley to learn how much your case is worth. Rushing into a settlement with the insurance adjuster can burden you financially for years. Contact our law office for a free consultation to learn how we can get you maximum compensation.