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Back Injury

Chicago Spinal Cord Injuries: A Multi-Million-Dollar Lifetime Expense

April 25, 2019

In the United States today, approximately 200,000 people are currently living with a spinal cord injury. Of these injuries, 46% are caused by car, truck, or motorcycle accidents. Following a Chicago motor vehicle accident resulting in a spinal cord injury, the long term costs incurred by the victim are substantial. For many victims, these costs will continue to accrue for a number of years.

Without differentiating according to the severity of the spinal cord injury, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the average annual medical cost falls between $15,000 and $30,000 per year. Over the course of a lifetime, the medical costs incurred range from $500,000 to over $3 million.

The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center further breaks down these statistics to account for the severity of the spinal cord injury, as well as the age of the victim at the time of the accident. According to these figures, a Chicago spinal cord injury victim can anticipate the following approximate costs in the first year following the accident, based upon the severity of the injury:

  • C1-C4 injuries (high tetraplegia injuries) – $1 million
  • C5-C8 injuries (low tetraplegia injuries) – $700,000
  • Paraplegia injuries – $500,000
  • Incomplete motor function at any level injuries – $300,000

When factoring in the estimated lifetime cost of the injury for a 25-year-old, the costs are approximately as follows:

  • C1-C4 injuries high tetraplegia injuries – $4.5 million
  • C5-C8 injuries low tetraplegia injuries – $3 million
  • Paraplegia injuries – $2 million
  • Incomplete motor function at any level injuries – $1.5 million

Unfortunately for the victims of Chicago spinal cord injuries, the costs associated with the accident go beyond the expenses of medical care. The overall costs also include time lost from work, lost potential for future earnings, and property loss.

If you were injured in a Cook County car accident, it is important that you contact a Chicago spinal cord injury attorney to ensure that your damages accurately reflect the costs associated with the accident. For more information, fill out our online form or call our office at (847) 651-7191.

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