As you adjust your life to limitations created by a recent injury, you need to think about both physical concerns, like an inability to drive a motor vehicle until you recover, as well as financial concerns. A major injury could mean that you have to take weeks or months away from your job as you seek treatment and undergo rehabilitative services. You may have to change careers or quit working altogether.
You will also have hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, in medical expenses. You can hurt yourself in countless ways during a car crash, but some injuries are far worse than others. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord injuries are arguably among the worst possible medical consequences of a car crash.
Once you understand how much those injuries may cost you, you will be in a better position to hold someone accountable for causing the crash.
Trauma care is only the beginning, but it often exceeds insurance
When you have a spinal cord injury, the costs for immediate care in the first year after you get hurt range from nearly $380,000 for an incomplete injury that affects your motor function to roughly $1,160,000 for a high injury that results in tetraplegia. The lifetime costs for the injury could easily be millions of dollars, especially if you are young when you first get hurt.
Traumatic brain injuries, like spinal cord injuries, come in many degrees of severity. Medical researchers estimate the cost of treating a moderate to severe brain injury to fall somewhere between $85,000 and $3 million, depending on the individual’s age, the severity of their injury and the part of the brain affected. Individual insurance often isn’t enough.
Commercial transportation companies often have seven-figure insurance policies, especially if they haul hazardous materials. The average driver may have far less insurance than that. Your lifetime medical costs could dwarf the maximum limit for the policy available to you after the crash.
Seeking justice after a catastrophic injury often leads to court
Unless there is a business to blame for your crash or the driver at fault has exceptionally high coverage, you may realize that insurance has left you with no way to pay your costs, let alone recoup your lost wages.
If the person at fault for your wreck doesn’t have enough insurance, then you may need to hold them accountable for the failure to carry enough coverage. You can potentially take an individual or a business that caused your crash to civil court to seek compensation for any expenses that insurance will not fully cover.
Determining the likely financial impact of catastrophic car crash injuries will make the pursuit of justice a bit easier for you and your family.