Spinal cord injuries can be very different depending where they occur, how severe they are and how quickly the person gets treatment. Therefore, costs do vary significantly from case to case. Below are a few examples of just how expensive they can be.
For a High Tetraplegia (C1-C4) ASIS ABC:
For the first year, this injury can cost $1,064,716. For every year after that, it will cost another $184,891. The estimated lifetime cost at 25 years old is $4,724,181. At 50 years old, the estimated cost is $2,596,329.
For a Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8):
In the first year, the cost can be $769,351. All subsequent years can then end up costing an additional $113,423. The lifetime cost at 25 years old comes in at $3,451,781, though it then drops to $2,123,154 at 50 years old.
For incomplete motor function of any amount:
The cost the first year is $347,484, and then every year after that will rack up another $42,206. At 25 years old, the estimated lifetime cost is $1,578,274, and it moves to $1,113,990 at 50 years old.
The first-year cost comes in at $518,904. The cost per year after that first year is $68,739. At 25, the estimated lifetime cost is $2,310,104. At 50 years old, the estimated lifetime cost is $1,516,052.
Again, injuries can be very different from one case to the next, and much of this information just gives you estimated costs and rough figures. However, it is based on observable statistics, and it does show just how startlingly expensive these injuries may be. This underscores why it's so important for those who have been seriously hurt to know if they can seek financial compensation.
Source: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, "Costs of living with SCI," accessed Dec. 22, 2016