The Lifelong Costs of a Serious Spinal Cord Injury
A severe spinal cord injury will permanently alter the lives of both victims and their loved ones. The costs associated with lifelong treatment and care can quickly run into the millions of dollars. Because of this, it is especially important for victims of severe spinal cord injuries to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in San Hose about their legal rights.
At Deldar Legal, our San Jose spinal cord injury lawyers know how to handle complex injury cases and how to prove the many costs and intangible losses associated with a serious spinal cord injury. We regularly work medical professionals, financial professionals, and other expert witnesses to make a compelling case to an insurance company or jury. Call (844) 335-3271 today to schedule your free consultation. Our attorneys fight hard for victims of serious injuries.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has published some jarring statistics about the costs of spinal cord injuries. For quadriplegics with high spinal cord injuries (at the first through fourth cervical vertebrae), costs were estimated to be $1,064,716 the first year after injury and $184,891 for every subsequent year. Lower spinal cord injuries (at the fifth cervical vertebrae and below) cost $769,351 the first year and $113,423 for each subsequent year of care. Paraplegic injuries cost an estimated $518,904 in the first year and $68,739 in subsequent years, while incomplete motor function (at any spinal level) resulted in average costs of $347,484 and $42,206 in subsequent years.
These estimates only accounted for healthcare costs and living expenses. They did not cover indirect costs such as pain and suffering, lost wages and employment benefits, lost productivity to employers, and other indirect expenses.
Compensable Losses in a Spinal Injury Claim
Both the direct and indirect losses and expenses associated with spinal cord injuries are often compensable. With complex, serious, and long-term injuries (such as serious spinal cord injuries), these numbers can quickly become staggering.
You are entitled to compensation for all the medical bills you have incurred as a result of an accident. You are also entitled to compensation for all the medical bills you are likely to incur in the future as a result of the accident. In the case of a serious spinal cord injury, victims are often left with medical expenses for the rest of their lives. It can be difficult to estimate these future medical expenses. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to find the right expert witnesses to clarify these issues and present their testimony persuasively to the insurance company or jury.
Ongoing Living and Medical Care Expenses
When a spinal cord injury victim has limited mobility, he or she will incur significant living expenses. Many home modifications will be required. Wheelchairs and other mobility equipment will be necessary, and likely have to be replaced every few years for the rest of the injury victim’s life. In the most serious cases, the victim may require full-time in-home care or may need to live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, both of which can be extremely expensive. A defendant whose negligence caused your injuries is legally obligated to pay for these costs. According to Seniorly, assisted living for seniors in Los Angeles averages about $4500 per month. Assisted living services for spinal cord victims can be much, much more expensive. Victims who need help to bathe, eat, and perform other simple tasks will require intensive, around-the-clock care, which can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars every year.
In simple cases, lost wages are found by simply multiplying the employee’s hourly wage by the number of hours he or she missed due to the accident. But in the cases of a permanent injury or disability, lost wages are far more complex. An injury victim who is unable to return to work at all is entitled to compensation for all wages he or she would have earned between the time of the accident and retirement. The victim is also entitled to the value of benefits paid by an employer, such as health insurance or retirement contributions.
If your injuries have forced you to work fewer hours, or in a position that is less physically demanding, you will likely be paid less. A negligent defendant must pay you the difference between your new (lower) income and what you would have been earning without your injuries. As you can imagine, this loss of future income can quickly add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. You have a significant financial interest in the legal right to be compensated for these lost wages.
Loss of enjoyment of life
Permanent injuries drastically affect both large and small aspects of a victim’s life. Big events – such as a graduation, wedding, career and travel plans, and retirement – can be lost forever. Daily activities can also suffer. Victims who have limited mobility will be unable to participate in many of the hobbies and activities they enjoyed before the accident. They will be unable to run and play with their children like other parents do. These and many other moments will be lost. These heartbreaking losses are compelling and persuasive to a jury determining the value of your case. Claims adjusters must take these losses into account when making a settlement offer.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Personal Injury Attorney in San Jose
Don’t trust an insurance company to protect your legal right to compensation for your accident-related losses. Insurance companies have armies of lawyers and claims adjusters who are trained to offer as little as possible on as few claims as possible. They rarely conduct a thorough analysis of complex injuries and will do everything they can to justify the lowest settlement offer possible. Victims need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to prove the costs of a complex injury.
Call Deldar Legal at (844) 335-3271 or contact us online today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced San Jose spinal cord accident attorney. Don’t delay – the sooner you have the advice of an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer, the better protected your legal rights will be.
Posted in: Personal Injury