Living with a spinal cord injury can be a devastating experience for many individuals. The spinal cord is an essential part of the central nervous system, and any injury to it can result in a wide range of physical and emotional challenges.
The severity of a spinal cord injury varies greatly depending on the location and extent of the damage. A complete spinal cord injury can result in complete paralysis below the level of the injury, while an incomplete injury may result in partial paralysis or sensory loss.
In addition to physical challenges such as difficulty with mobility, bowel and bladder control, and respiratory function, individuals with spinal cord injuries may also experience psychological and emotional challenges such as depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
However, it is important to note that with the right support, resources, and rehabilitation, individuals with spinal cord injuries can lead fulfilling and meaningful lives. There are, of course, a variety of assistive technologies, therapies, and adaptive strategies that can help individuals with spinal cord injuries regain independence and participate in activities they enjoy – many of which come at a serious cost – sometimes in the millions, which could easily post serious financial burden to any family.
Recently, the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation reported that “average” expenses for spinal cord injury patients are as follows:
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury caused by the negligence of another person or party, it’s important that you call our spinal cord injury lawyers today to determine if you are entitled to compensation to help offset the serious costs of care required by spinal cord injury victims. Matt Lalande is a Hamilton Spinal Cord Injury lawyer who has been representing spinal cord injury victims since 2003 and has recovered tens of millions for spinal cord injury victims and their families who have suffered traumatic spinal cord injuries in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents all across Ontario.
Living with a spinal cord injury can be very expensive due to the many costs associated with ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and adaptive equipment. In addition, many people with spinal cord injuries may experience long-term disability, which can lead to a loss of income and a need for ongoing financial support.
The costs associated with living with a spinal cord injury can also vary depending on the severity of the injury, the level of disability, and the individual’s specific needs. Some of the potential costs associated with a spinal cord injury may include:
The medical bills associated with a spinal cord injury can be astronomical. These can include hospitalization, surgery, medications, diagnostic tests, and ongoing medical care. The cost of these expenses can vary widely depending on the severity of the injury, the length of hospitalization, and the type of treatment required. Despite health insurance coverage or what may be covered by OHIP, out-of-pocket expenses may still be incurred for medications or treatments not covered by the policy. Moreover, extended care or special apparatus may also be necessary to handle the aftermath of the harm more proficiently.
Psychological Care: a large part of the medical costs are not covered by OHIP relate to therapy – such as psychological therapy which is very often required for spinal cord injury victims. After a spinal cord injury, managing stress and unease due to abrupt life alternations can be devastating psychologically. Living with a spinal cord injury can cause feelings of isolation, loss of independence, mobility, and control over one’s life, which can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. This loss of control over one’s physical abilities and daily life can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, particularly in the early stages of injury. A SCI can also cause changes in brain chemistry due to the physical trauma and resulting inflammation in the spinal cord. This can disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are important for regulating mood and emotions. Chronic pain is a common symptom following SCI, and it can be difficult to manage, which can lead to a decrease in quality of life and an increased risk of depression. Psychological care will often be necessary for life.
Rehabilitation Therapy: spinal cord injury rehabilitation therapy is an integral part of recovery for many victims. Different rehabilitation programs and types of care may be required, depending on the circumstances and severity of each individual’s injury. Overall, rehabilitation typically includes physical, occupational, recreational, and psychosocial therapies in an effort to restore the victim’s ability to function with their disability. Careful consideration must be made when forming a rehabilitation plan, as the cost of rehabilitation can vary greatly – long-term remission or even functioning post-injury requires extensive rehabilitation therapy which can drive up the cost of future care. For this reason, rehabilitation must be tailored specifically toward restoring patient quality of life rather than cure them outright.
In terms of occupational therapy, this type of rehabilitation therapy typically focuses on upper-extremity function for the performance of activities of daily living (ADLs). Strategies such address strengthening, active-assisted range of-motion, and fine motor control, as well as accessibility of the environment both at home and in the community are often learned . Assistive devices and splints can also be incorporated into the occupational treatment plan to facilitate and promote functional independence.
In terms of physical therapy, this type of therapy for spinal cord injury victims traditionally focuses on aspects of mobility, such as ambulation, wheel chair mobility, and the performance of transfers. Physiotherapy help a spinal cord injury victims maximize mobility and often requires one to address strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. Bracing and other orthotics are often incorporated into physiotherapy.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) victims may need assistive devices to compensate for the loss of motor or sensory function that occurs as a result of damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord plays a crucial role in transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body, so when it is damaged, it can result in a range of physical impairments.
Assistive devices can help SCI victims to perform daily activities, maintain mobility, and achieve independence. Some examples of assistive devices include wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and canes. These devices can provide support and stability while walking, help with balance and coordination, and enable individuals with SCI to move around safely and efficiently.
Other types of assistive devices can help with specific tasks or activities, such as eating, dressing, grooming, and using the bathroom. For example, adaptive utensils can make it easier to eat with limited hand function, and dressing aids can help individuals with SCI to put on clothes independently.
Overall, assistive devices can play a crucial role in improving the quality of life for SCI victims by providing greater independence, mobility, and help victims of spinal cord injuries successfully reintegrate into society. Some of the more common assistive devices that we see funded by no-fault insurance carriers are:
Home modification is the remodeling of an existing or new home to make it accessible to a specific physically impaired individual people such as spinal cord injury victims. Home modifications may include modifications to the individual’s home or vehicle to make them more accessible, such as ramps, lifts, and grab bars. Other home modifications that our spinal cord injury lawyers have seen are modifications to:
Spinal cord injury (SCI) victims may require medication to manage various symptoms and complications that can arise as a result of their injury. Some common medications that may be prescribed to SCI patients include:
Pain medications: SCI victims may experience chronic pain due to nerve damage or other issues related to their injury. Medications such as opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and anticonvulsants may be prescribed to manage this pain.
Muscle relaxants: spasticity is a common complication of SCI, which involves involuntary muscle contractions that can be painful and interfere with movement. Muscle relaxants such as baclofen or tizanidine may be prescribed to reduce spasticity.
Blood pressure medication: SCI victims may experience low blood pressure, especially when moving from lying down to sitting or standing. Medications such as midodrine or fludrocortisone may be prescribed to help manage this.
Bowel and bladder medications: SCI victims may experience bowel and bladder dysfunction due to nerve damage. Medications such as stool softeners, laxatives, or antispasmodics may be prescribed to manage these issues.
Antibiotics: SCI victims are at increased risk of urinary tract infections and other infections, which may require antibiotics.
The specific medications prescribed will depend on the individual’s symptoms and complications, as well as other factors such as age, overall health, and other medications they may be taking. It is important for SCI victims to work closely with their healthcare team to manage their medication regimen and ensure they are receiving appropriate care.
There are several financial assistance programs available for spinal cord injury victims in Ontario, Canada. These include:
Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS): are no-fault benefits provided by one’s own insurer or by the insurance company of up to $1,000,000 for medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits for catastrophic injuries (available for life). If you purchased optional benefits then you may be entitled to increase limit to $2,000,000 (available for life).
Lawsuit Compensation: if you have been injured by another person you may be entitled to claim compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of amenities, lost wages, lack of housekeeping capacity and future cost of care outside of what is provided by way of no-fault benefits. The recovery is based on the degree of liability and the insurance limits of the at-fault party.
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): ODSP is a program provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities who have limited income and resources. Spinal cord injury victims who meet the eligibility requirements can receive financial assistance to help cover the costs of basic needs such as food, housing, and healthcare.
Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D): The CPP Disabiity program provides financial assistance to individuals who have contributed to the Canada Pension Plan and are unable to work due to a disability. Spinal cord injury victims who meet the eligibility requirements can receive monthly payments to help cover living expenses.
Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits: EI Sick Benefits program provides temporary financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to illness or injury, including spinal cord injuries. The benefits can help cover a portion of lost income while the individual is unable to work.
Assistive Devices Program (ADP): The ADP program helps cover the costs of mobility aids, communication devices, and other assistive devices for individuals with disabilities, including spinal cord injury victims. The program provides funding for up to 75% of the cost of approved devices.
OHIP: This ministry does provide financial assistance for some medical expenses related to spinal cord injuries, such as rehabilitation, medications, and specialized equipment.
It is recommended that individuals with spinal cord injuries in Ontario speak to a spinal cord injury lawyer and a healthcare professional or a financial advisor to explore all available options and determine the best course of action based on their individual circumstances.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Our team of spinal cord injury lawyers can help guide you through the complex process of obtaining the compensation you deserve. Since 2003, Hamilton spinal cord injury Lawyer Matt Lalande has recovered tens of millions in compensation for accident victims who are were going throughworst times of their lives.
We represent spinal cord injury victims in Hamilton and all over Ontario. Our consultations are 100% free – and if you decide to work with our Hamilton lawyers, the fee is free. We do not charge our clients anything unless we win their case. We are happy to provide you the legal advice you need in order for you to make an informed decision about your own particular situation. Call us no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Southern Ontario region at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can send us a confidential email through our website – and we would be happy to explain your legal rights and options to you, at no cost.
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The expense of a spinal injury is contingent on the nature and intensity of it, varying widely. Generally, medical expenses associated with treating a spinal cord injury include hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, medications, assistive devices such as wheelchairs or braces, home modifications for accessibility needs and ongoing care. The costs of treating a spinal cord injury can be immense, ranging from tens of thousands to millions over the course of an individual’s lifetime. Additionally non-medical expenses such as lost wages due to disability or reduced earning capacity may also be incurred.
Recently, the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation reported that “average” expenses for spinal cord injury patients are as follows:
-For the first year, people with high tetraplegia can expect to pay about a million dollars for care.-
Low tetraplegia produces about $769,000 in medical expenses in the first year while paraplegia costs about $518,000.
-Injuries that produce incomplete motor function at any level cost an average of $347,000.
-After the first year, costs tend to go down. Spinal cord injury patients with high tetraplegia incur costs of about $184,000 annually, compared to $113,000 for people with low tetraplegia.
-Paraplegia costs about $69,000 each year, while incomplete motor function produces the lowest costs, of about $42,000.
If you have sustained a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, navigating the legal system can be complex and overwhelming. It’s best that you speak to a spinal cord injury lawyer in order to find our your legal options.
A Hoyer lift is a mechanical device used to lift and transfer people with spinal cord injuries. It consists of a metal frame with hydraulic or electric-powered lifting mechanisms, which can be used to raise and lower a sling or harness that supports the person being lifted. The Hoyer lift is commonly used in hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities, as well as in private homes for people with spinal cord injuries or other mobility issues. The lift is named after the inventor, Ted Hoyer, who developed the device in the 1950s.
The answer is that it depends. It depends on whether the person that you want to sue is actually responsible for your spinal cord injury. It depends on whether or not the person was negligent and caused your damages. It’s best you sspeak to a spinal cord injury lawyer to determine your best course of legal action.