About 250,000 individuals across the US suffer from severe spinal cord injuries. In Florida, car accidents, violence, and falls are the leading causes of such injuries. Many Florida residents do not realize the high costs of spinal cord injuries until they are faced with the high medical costs after an accident. According to research done by The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the costs for an initial hospitalization after a spinal cord injury can be $140,000. For a High Tetraplegia (C1-C4) injury, the costs for the first year alone can be $626,588 Thereafter, the first year of recovery costs an average of $198,000, although it can be much higher, depending on the type of injury sustained. The average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury for paraplegics who are injured at the age of 25 is $428,000. For quadriplegics patients injured at the same age, the total is $1.35 million. According to The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 47% of spinal cord injury patients are quadriplegic.
These costs do not even take into consideration the incidental, non-medical costs to spinal cord injury patients. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 87.9% of spinal cord injury patients are released back home after initial hospitalization and 5.6% are released into nursing homes. This can create a host of additional costs.
For example, Florida spinal cord injury patients released back home will generally need to pay for transportation to and from the hospital for treatment and may need home renovations to make their homes accessible. If the injury was sustained in a car accident, they may need to replace their car with a more accessible car and potentially pay for nursing care as well. The costs of a Florida spinal cord injury patient in a nursing home can also be very high, since these patients typically require around-the-clock care and assistance.
The financial news for spinal cord injury patients is even worse. According to The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, only 52% of spinal cord injury patients have private health insurance when they are injured and a full 63% of such patients still are unemployed eight years after their injury. High medical costs, combined with limited access to insurance and employment can create financial devastation for a lifetime.
Florida and the US also suffer financially due to spinal cord injuries. According to Proneuron Biotechnologies, spinal cord injuries cost America $14.5 billion each year in disability assistance and medical costs. These injuries also cost an additional $5.5 billion a year to the US in lost productivity.
If you have sustained a Florida spinal cord injury, you may not have to face the financial realities alone. Call the compassionate and experienced legal team at the Flaxman Law Group to set up a free appointment to discuss your rights and legal options. Find out if you have a case under Florida law before you make any decisions about your care or insurance options. With law offices in Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead, the Flaxman Law Group has been able to help thousands of personal injury patients across Southern Florida.