There are certain expenses associated with motor vehicle collisions that are relatively obvious and therefore easy to predict. People often realize that they can file insurance claims related to medical expenses and lost wages, as well as any property damage losses that they suffer.
However, they may fail to properly quantify secondary expenses, especially when facing catastrophic injuries. A spinal cord injury will often result in a seven-figure lifetime medical price tag. As if that weren’t bad enough, it will also likely lead to significantly diminished earning potential. People spend a lot of time undergoing treatment and may have to transition away from well-compensated jobs because of their physical limitations. The focus on those primary expenses may lead to them ignoring another set of expenses that can add up to many thousands of dollars.
People need accommodations in their daily lives
Employers have an obligation to accommodate workers in wheelchairs or with functional limitations after a spinal cord injury. So do landlords. However, many people with spinal cord injuries own their own homes and therefore need to absorb certain costs related to their injuries without outside help.
Quantifying those expenses will be the only way to include them in a lawsuit brought against the party at fault for the crash that caused the spinal cord injury. Many people will need to make major changes to their homes. Those changes might include the addition of a ramp to make the front and back doors accessible. They may also need to remodel bathrooms so that they can safely use the toilet or shower. They may need to widen hallways and doorways or even change the types of handles installed on doors. All of those adjustments can add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Transportation will also need to be more accessible after a spinal cord injury. Some people purchase specialized wheelchair vans that have lifts installed to allow for ease of entry and exit. Others may need to install systems that allow someone in a wheelchair to control a vehicle without using their feet. Ready-made wheelchair-accessible vehicles often cost multiple times more than a standard vehicle would. Even retrofitting an existing vehicle will often cost tens of thousands of dollars. People will need to cover those costs every time they must obtain a new vehicle for the rest of their lives.
Being comprehensive when determining the financial impact of a spinal cord injury can help people secure the right amount of compensation when taking legal action in the wake of an injurious crash caused by another party or parties.