What are the Lifetime Costs of Living with Paralysis After a Car Accident?

Most car accident victims can expect a large amount of time to heal from their wounds. Some accident victims will have catastrophic injuries, including partial or complete paralysis due to nerve damage. In fact, car crashes are responsible for nearly half of all annual paralysis cases.

Living with any type of paralysis can require years of unexpected expenses. In the first year, average costs usually end up in the $300,000 to $400,000 range, depending on paralysis type and severity. A car accident lawyer can carefully weigh the long-term costs of dealing with paralysis and determine what constitutes a fair settlement offer.

Why is Living with Paralysis Expensive?

Paralysis can present in various ways. For instance, a person may experience paralysis in a limb, causing monoplegia, or on one side of the body, which can fall under the category of hemiplegia. Alternatively, a person may be paralyzed below a specific point, such as from the waist down. Having limited mobility makes life more challenging and requires more expenses. Below are some of the expenses commonly associated with paralysis.

Medical Care

Many car accident victims require immediate emergency attention, such as surgery. Emergency health care costs can add up quickly. Victims may receive bills from hospitals and doctors. After emergency treatment, people who have suffered paralysis after a car accident will need long-term treatment.

Although someone with paralysis may not have feeling in some parts of the body, the victim may still require pain management for other parts and injuries. Plenty of prescriptions come with high prices.


Victims of paralysis may find it difficult to safely navigate their home without major updates and renovations. Some home alterations include wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, floor replacement, and lowering the height of countertops and switches.


Someone with paralysis may need help breathing, digesting, and eliminating foods. These regular body functions can be performed with the assistance of special equipment. A paralyzed person typically requires some form of assistive device as well, like a cane, walker, or wheelchair. Prices for assistive devices can be high.

Often, medical caregivers are brought into the household to help with the paralysis victim, and their rates will range. Even if a relative takes on this role, time should be compensated appropriately with any settlement offer.

Lost Wages

Even if someone with partial or total paralysis can still work, the person may have to change jobs or be unable to work fulltime. Consequently, the individual’s earning capacity may drop considerably, particularly when evaluated over decades.

Will Insurers Adjust Settlement Offers to Consider Lifetime Costs?

Insurance companies realize that paralyzed car accident victims will need extensive care for life. However, insurance companies may not present settlement offers that adequately reflect the anticipated financial needs of victims. This is where a car accident lawyer can help. A lawyer understands how to figure out and present economic and non-economic damages. A lawyer can also help a victim obtain evidence to support the figure.

Before accepting any settlement offer, a paralysis victim should explore their options with a legal professional. This should take place as soon after the accident as possible. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after an accident is three years in Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Paralyzed Crash Victims Recover Adequate Damages

Paralysis can lead to medical expenses after a serious car accident. If you need help with compensation for a catastrophic injury, a Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can help. Complete our online form or call us at 202-331-1963 for a free consultation. We have an office in Washington, D.C., and we serve clients throughout Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.