Injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents can run the spectrum of severity. Many Hawaiians are lucky enough to escape their wreck unharmed. Others are fortunate to suffer only minor bumps, bruises and scrapes. Yet, those on the extreme end of the spectrum can suffer life-changing or life-ending injuries. For these individuals, and their families, their newfound injuries can dictate how they live their lives and threaten their emotional and financial well-being.
This is certainly the case for those who suffer spinal cord injuries. As if suffering from decreased motor functioning and, perhaps, paralysis is not enough, these victims also, typically, have to face enormous and oftentimes, ruinous financial consequences.
In fact, those with any type of incomplete motor function can see nearly $350,000 in medical expenses in their first year of care alone. Each subsequent year of care may cost more than $40,000. Those with more severe spinal cord injuries, like high tetraplegia, may see even higher expenses. For these individuals, the first year of medical care can cost more than $1 million with upwards of $185,000 for each subsequent year of treatment.
Over the course of a lifetime, these medical expenses can become debilitating, even for those with insurance. Those with any type of incomplete motor function can be confronted with more than $1 million in lifetime medical costs, and those with high tetraplegia can see nearly $5 million in medical expenses. These financial losses do not even take into account other damages, such as lost wages and pain and suffering.