What Is An Average Spinal Cord Injury Settlement?

What Is An Average Spinal Cord Injury Settlement?

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are life-altering events that affect not just the body but also the mind and spirit. The impact of the injury can extend to family members, friends, and other loved ones. The journey to recovery following a spinal cord injury is often arduous, demanding immense patience, courage, and support.

Seeking comprehensive legal representation is critical. Along with recovering the damages you deserve, you can hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence.

At Bachus & Schanker, we understand the challenges faced by victims of catastrophic injuries. Our highly specialized team of attorneys is committed to offering understanding, compassion, and relentless dedication. We comprehend the intricate nuances of spinal cord injury cases in Colorado and will work diligently to ensure that your case is represented to the fullest extent of the law. 

What are the stages of grief after a spinal cord injury?

A spinal cord injury can have life-altering consequences. Especially if the injury was sudden and unexpected, as most often are, the stages of grief after the injury can be especially difficult to navigate. 

The stages of grief following a spinal cord injury mimic the states of death first coined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages are not linear. Some happen simultaneously or recur even after a victim has experienced them. It is critical to have a support system you and your loved ones can turn to. This support system can include family, friends, doctors, and resources in your community. 

If the spinal cord injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, legal representation can also be an invaluable avenue of support. An attorney experienced in catastrophic injuries can help give you a sense of justice. 

What is considered a severe spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injuries can range in severity. Typically, the more severe the accident, the more severe the spinal cord injury may be. 

There are two types of spinal cord injuries — categorized as complete or incomplete. Complete injuries result in total loss of function below the injury site. Incomplete injuries allow for some degree of sensation or movement below the affected area. 

SCIs can be further classified based on the location of the injury: 

  • Cervical spine: Injuries to the cervical spine, or neck, can result in tetraplegia, affecting both arms and legs. This injury can also lead to paralysis below the neck.
  • Thoracic spine: Thoracic spinal injuries impact the chest and abdomen. Paraplegia, paralysis of the lower body, is common and affects both legs.
  • Lumbar spine: Injuries to the lumbar region and lower back can often cause paraplegia, affecting the hips and legs while leaving the upper body unaffected
  • Sacral spine: These injuries occur at the base of the spine and cause variable impairment in the hips, groin, and legs, usually with preserved upper body function

Victims of severe spinal cord injuries will typically experience significant disabilities, including impacted mobility, lack of independence, and other health issues that may diminish the quality of life.

How do spinal cord injuries happen? 

Spinal cord injuries can happen for a variety of reasons. More often than not, these injuries occur when there is forceful trauma involved: 

  • Falls
  • Injuries in the workplace
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Intentional acts of violence
  • Car accident or accident involving a semi-truck. 

Although less common, nontraumatic accidents can also lead to spinal cord injuries. This can include diseases, tumors, infections, or birth defects. 

How long does it take to fully recover from a spinal cord injury?

Recovery from a spinal cord depends on the severity of the injury, where on the spinal column the damage has occurred, and the individual’s overall health. While some individuals may regain partial function and independence through extensive rehabilitation and therapy, others might require lifelong assistance. The concept of a “full recovery” can differ from case to case. Many health professionals recommend focusing efforts on adapting to the new normal and maximizing one’s potential.

Is a spinal cord injury a permanent disability?

SCIs are permanent, leading to long-term or lifelong disabilities. In Colorado, if the spinal cord injury is severe enough, it can be classified as a permanent disability, qualifying victims for disability benefits

While there is no current treatment to reverse a spinal cord injury, advancements in medical research and assistive technologies offer hope to those affected. Rehabilitation programs, adaptive equipment, and assistive devices empower individuals with spinal cord injuries to lead fulfilling lives. 

Global foundations, including The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, have helped victims of spinal cord injuries and their families find renewed hope in understanding how to navigate the path forward following an injury. 

What is the average spinal cord injury settlement? 

Because all cases are unique, the average spinal cord injury settlement varies. Settlement amounts will largely depend on the extent of the injury, medical expenses, loss of income, and overall impact on the individual’s life. The settlement amount can also vary depending on who is responsible for the accident and to what degree. 

Because spinal cord injuries are typically more severe, settlement amounts tend to be higher for spinal cord injury victims when compared to the average personal injury lawsuit. According to a recent Forbes report, spinal cord injury settlements can range anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million or more in damages.

Consulting with a personal injury attorney is crucial to understanding the legal options available. An experienced spinal cord injury attorney will be able to determine who could be held liable for your injuries, help collect critical evidence to prove liability, and help you establish a robust case that results in a comprehensive settlement agreement. 

Working with an attorney is not only the best way to recover financial support following your injury, but is also imperative to holding responsible parties accountable for their actions so that no one else has to suffer a similar injury. 

Work with Bachus & Schanker 

A personal injury lawyer working on a contract at his desk. Next to him is an open book, the scales of justice, and a gavel.

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence, turn to the dedicated attorneys at Bachus & Schanker. Our highly specialized Elite Litigation Group has detailed knowledge of Colorado law and how it applies to catastrophic injury cases like spinal cord injuries. 

You will also find additional support through our Victim Advocates team. This team is composed of professionals who can help connect you to critical resources in your community. Additionally, they will work to collect critical evidence on your case, speak with the parties involved, and fight for your rights to the fullest extent of the law. 

Spinal cord injuries are profound and life-changing events that demand comprehensive understanding, empathy, and support. The Elite Litigation Group at Bachus & Schanker understands this and is committed to helping all victims get the legal representation they deserve. 


Bieber, C. (2023). Choosing The Best Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer In 2023.

5 Stages of Grief. (2023).

HB21-1110. (2023). 

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. (2023).

Understanding Spinal Injuries: Types and Levels. (2023).

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