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How Much Is a Spinal Cord Injury Worth?

Posted on August 19, 2021 in

how much is a spinal cord injury worth

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe forms of damage a person can sustain. If you suffer a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by someone else, you may be eligible for legal action.

It is common to wonder how much compensation you can expect to receive at the conclusion of a spinal cord injury case. Settlement amounts vary from plaintiff to plaintiff, and it can be difficult to estimate your award without speaking with an attorney. However, certain factors may influence the value of your case.  

Damages Available to Spinal Cord Injury Victims

Any injury to the spine can result in paralysis, loss of sensation, and other types of serious, often permanent complications. Through a spinal cord injury lawsuit, you can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you sustained. Economic damages refer to financial losses, while non-economic damages involve physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Common damages available in spinal cord injury claims include the following.

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages during treatment or recovery periods
  • Lost earning capacity if you are unable to return to work
  • Disability accommodations, such as mobility equipment and home or vehicle modifications
  • Rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other types of specialized treatment
  • Physical pain and suffering, such as chronic pain and permanent disability
  • Emotional pain and suffering, such as depression, anxiety, and mental anguish
  • Loss of quality and enjoyment of life

Factors That Influence the Value of Your Claim

In personal injury cases, the more severe your injury, the higher your award is likely to be. Since spinal cord damage is often severe and likely to result in permanent disability, these types of injuries typically yield very high settlements. However, the exact value of your claim will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case.

Medical expenses and disability accommodations will likely make up the bulk of your potential award. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury can range from $1.2 million to $5.1 million, depending on your age and the severity of the injury. These yearly expenses include health care and living costs.

Spinal cord injuries are also likely to result in lost wages and, in very severe cases, loss of future earnings. If you need to take long periods away from work to receive treatment or make your initial recovery, your award will likely be higher. If you are unable to work at all due to your injury, your potential settlement will likely increase.

The pain and suffering portion of your award can depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your spinal cord injury, the functions you lost due to the injury, and the time it takes for you to reach maximum medical improvement. A plaintiff who loses all sensation and movement below the neck due to spinal cord damage is more likely to see a higher pain and suffering award than a plaintiff who is able to regain some feeling and function below the injury site.

If you are filing a spinal cord injury claim, you need a lawyer on your side. A Portland spinal cord injury lawyer can help calculate the full extent of your damages so that you can fight for maximum possible compensation. An attorney can also represent your claim and craft a compelling case in your favor As soon as possible following your accident, contact an attorney to initiate your claim and identify your optimal path to recovery.