A spinal cord injury is catastrophic for the person who experiences it. They will have to completely change their daily life to accommodate motor and sensory limitations.
Although the impact is not quite as profound on immediate family members as on the person with the injury, everyone in the household will experience significant changes when one member of the family has a spinal cord injury.
Recognizing the long-term impact of an injury on your family can help you make better decisions about insurance claims and other possible sources of compensation.
Household responsibilities will change
Especially if the person who suffers the spinal cord injury is a parent in the family, their injuries will mean that other family members now have far more responsibility for maintenance and cleaning around the house.
The division of household responsibilities will inevitably change when one family member has permanence limitations caused by a traumatic injury.
Your house will need to change as well
If your loved one has an incomplete spinal cord injury, they might need a walker or crutches to maintain their balance. If they have a complete spinal cord injury, they likely rely on a wheelchair to get around.
You may need to invest thousands of dollars to retrofit your house and make it accessible for your family member. They likely need a bedroom on the first floor, wider doors and a ramp so that they can get inside. They will also need specialized bathroom facilities.
A significant amount of your home will require adjustments so that they can live there safely. You will likely also need to purchase a wheelchair van or retrofit an existing vehicle for ease of transportation.
The household income will drop
Even if someone can eventually return to work after sufficient rehabilitation, a spinal cord injury will usually mean a lengthy absence from work. Those who have jobs in physically-demanding careers may need to change the work that they perform might experience a drop in income as a result.
The entire family will need to make changes and accommodations for your loved one with a spinal cord injury. Getting compensation through insurance claims and even civil lawsuits can help your family adjust to the demands of a spinal cord injury.