Paralysis may occur as a result of a traumatic event. The leading cause of paralysis in a car accident is severe damage sustained to a nerve in the spinal cord. These nerves connect to muscles all over your body.
Depending on the location of the injury, you might lose the sensation of and control over different parts of your body. The upper half of the body is controlled by the cervical spine and the lower part of the body is controlled by nerves from the lumbar spine.
The costs for treating paralysis can add up to staggering amounts. In the first year alone, the treatment cost is usually somewhere between $320,000 and $985,000. The lifetime cost can reach $5 million. But these numbers vary based on the type of paralysis and the specifics of each case.
Paralysis is characterized by the loss of motor function on part or parts of your body. Often it is accompanied by loss of sensation too. The condition can manifest in many different forms, based on severity (partial or complete), localization (localized or generalized), permanence (temporary or permanent).
According to an extensive study, more than 5 million people are living with paralysis. Of these, 72.1% are younger than 65 years, slightly more than half (51.7%) are female, and 41.8% are not able to work. Car accidents have been identified as the leading cause of spinal cord injury, accounting for 46% of the cases.
In many cases, people with paralysis do not have financial access to a health insurance that appropriately covers all their specific needs, or they end up in serious medical debt from an injury. A car accident lawyer from Los Angeles can help you have access to the medical care you deserve. This can have a huge positive impact both on the patient and their close relatives, who are often forced by circumstance to act as primary caregivers.
Types of Paralysis
There are different types of paralysis. It can be localized and affect just one body part, like your face, or it can be generalized, in which case it affects several parts of the body. General paralysis further expands into the following types:
– monoplegia: affects only one leg or arm
– hemiplegia: affects one leg or arm from the same side
– paraplegia: both legs are affected
– quadriplegia/tetraplegia: both your legs and arms are affected
Estimated Yearly Cost
The yearly cost of living with paralysis after a car accident varies based on the degree of severity. Socio-demographic factors like the level of education and the employment history before the accident can also contribute to expenses.
The costs for treatment in the first year (FY) and every subsequent year (ESY), based on the severity of paralysis:
– High Tetraplegia: $1,064,716 (FY), $184,891 (ESY)
– Low Tetraplegia: $769,351 (FY), $113,423 (ESY)
– Paraplegia: $518,904 (FY), $68,739 (ESY)
– Any level of incomplete motor function: $347,484 (FY), $42,206 (ESY)
Estimated Lifetime Cost
The life cost for living with paralysis is highly influenced by life expectancy and the age of the patient. Below is the estimated lifetime cost based on two age categories, 25 years olds and 50 years olds:
– High Tetraplegia: $4,724,181 (25YO), $2,596,329 (50 YO)
– Low Tetraplegia: $3,451,781 (25YO), $2,123,154 (50YO)
– Paraplegia: $2,310,104 (25YO), $1,516,052 (50YO)
– Any level of incomplete motor function: $1,578,274 (25YO), $1,113,990 (50YO)
The above estimated numbers do not include any collateral financial loss suffered by the patient, like changes of the wages.
Living with Paralysis
Living with paralysis after a car accident has a strong impact on the quality of your life. However, technological and medical innovations over the years can help you maintain a better quality of life. Also, by contacting a lawyer you can ensure that you have access to the medical care you need and that you ease your financial burden.