Suffering paralysis in an on-the-job injury in California is life-changing, both physically and emotionally, for the worker and their family.
One day, that worker is contributing to the family’s support. The next day, they are in the hospital, perhaps fighting for their life, then starting on the long road to recovery.
And it is a long road, indeed, adjusting to a new normal and fearing for the future. Those fears include how both the bills for everyday expenses will be paid, as well as the vast medical costs that await.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which provides guidance to those living with paralysis, advises that the first thing that the injured and their families must do is get organized by:
- Discussing disability benefits with their employer
- Getting together legal and financial documents
- Prioritizing bills, especially the continuation of your health insurance premiums
- Optimizing record keeping
- Estimating immediate medical expenses, such as treatment and equipment, after reviewing what your insurance will pay
- Looking at all sources of income, including workers’ compensation and other benefits
Paying for medical bills will be expensive for those who have spinal cord injuries. For those suffering the injury at age 25, lifetime medical bills will range from $1.7 million to $5.1 million, depending on the severity of the injury, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Database. For a 50-year-old, costs will vary from $1.2 million to $2.8 million.
Those workers who are paralyzed on the job deserve, and will need, funds for medical care. An attorney experienced in the field can discuss other potential income sources with the injured and their family.