The Cost of Living With a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries are one of the most devastating and life-altering types of personal injuries. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the cost of living with a spinal cord injury can be financially burdensome as well. This includes hospitalization costs, medical treatment costs, and other expenses. In addition to these expenses, spinal cord injuries require long-term care and other continuing costs. Generally speaking, the severity of the injury is directly related to the continuing costs associated with it.

Injuries that leave the patient dealing with incomplete motor function of any kind can cost $334,170 within the first year of the initial trauma. The first year following an injury is usually more expensive than subsequent years, though. In the years following the initial accident, incomplete motor function injuries can easily cost over $40,000 per year. Paraplegia (paralysis of the lower extremities) costs approximately $499,023 in the first year and about $66,106 in the following years.

The term “tetraplegia” refers to the most severe type of paralysis injury. There are two forms of tetraplegia: low and high. Low tetraplegia injuries cost approximately $739,874 within the year following the initial accident, while subsequent years usually cost around $109,077 per year. High tetraplegia injuries are the most serious type of spinal cord trauma and the most costly. Treatment can easily cost $1,023,924 within the first year of the accident while following years can easily cost $171,808.


According to the UAB School of Medicine, there is no proven way to completely restore function and feeling after a spinal cord injury. However, this doesn’t mean that treatment options aren’t available or that these treatments might be able to recover some function after an injury. Treatment is determined by the type of spinal injury (complete or incomplete). People with extremely serious injuries are less likely to recover a significant amount of function than those who suffered an incomplete injury.

After the initial accident, spinal cord injury patients may be released into rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is a type of ongoing care that allows the patient to begin recovering immediately after the accident. During this time, the patient will probably receive physical therapy to maintain and build existing muscle function. This is done by exercising the muscles on a day-to-day basis. During this time the patient will be educate don’t he long-term effects of his/her injury and can begin to learn new skills to cope with the lasting effects of the injury.

As on-going treatment continues, therapists will encourage the patient to resume his/her favorite hobbies and activities and participate in a fitness regimen. Adjusting a spinal cord injury isn’t easy, but rehabilitation and ongoing treatment can help patients learn the skills they need to adjust to their new lifestyle. As the patient continues to recover, his/her doctor will eventually be able to predict an estimated level of recovery. However, doctors can only give an estimate after observing the patient for some time.


If you or loved one suffered a spinal cord injury that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to money through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. At The Loewy Law Firm, Attorney Adam Loewy offers compassionate yet aggressive representation to clients who were hurt because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence. Spinal cord injuries can be the result of car accidents, work-related accidents, or other incidents. To learn more about spinal cord injuries, visit our website. To talk to our Austin personal Injury lawyer about your options as a spinal cord injury victim, contact The Loewy Law Firm today.