How Expensive is a Medical Treatment for Accidental Injuries in The U.S.?

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

How Expensive is a Medical Treatment for Accidental Injuries in The U.S.?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

If someone is injured in an accident, the medical bills begin to add up quickly. In fact, in the U.S., two-thirds of all Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings are because of medical bills. Roughly 50% of people who filed for medical bankruptcy said that hospitalizations were their biggest source of debt. Even without an injury from a catastrophic accident, the average American spends around $5,000 annually on healthcare that is not covered by insurance.

How the Value of Medical Care is Determined

Trying to estimate what an injury may end up costing in the future is tricky. In order for an accurate estimate to be reached, consider the following:

  • Obtain a thorough diagnosis. The injured party needs to fully understand the scope of the injuries they have. This can only be done with a thorough diagnosis from a medical expert. The medical team should check the patient, review charts, conduct necessary tests, and consider all of the healing factors a patient may be facing (living far away from the nearest medical facility, also having diabetes, advanced age, etc.).
  • Speak with expert witnesses. To prepare for an impending court case against the insurance company or other party, reach out to professional expert witnesses for their analysis of the case. There are medical experts and other professionals who focus on appearing in court to provide testimony. Speak to a few of them to get their input and start planning a strong legal offense as well.
  • Hire an experienced injury lawyer. Accident attorneys deal with medical costs and claim amounts day in and day out. They have a solid understanding of what a court will award a head injury or a burn case. They know which factors can be leveraged for a bigger settlement (the patient being a child, the patient being pregnant, etc.).

General Medical Costs

Looking at some typical medical expenses faced by accident survivors, one gets a strong idea of how medical bills can add up so quickly and force so many Americans into bankruptcy.

  • Emergency room visit: $3,300
  • Seeing a specialist: $250-$500
  • Ambulance ride: $500-$2,000
  • Surgery: $20,000-$150,000+
  • Typical post-accident hospitalization: $57,000
  • Medication: $500/month
  • Being airlifted to the hospital: $50,000
  • X-ray or CT scan: $150-$3,000

Taking a deeper look at one of the most costly types of accidents, let’s examine the cost of a spinal cord injury that leads to paralysis. According to, the cost of a spinal cord injury hospitalization right after the accident occurs is:

  • High neck injury – $1,064,716
  • Upper spine – $769,351
  • Lower spine – $347,484

Often people with spinal cord injuries require anywhere from six to 12 months of hospitalization before they can go home or to a nursing home. After leaving the hospital, ongoing medical treatments, care, medical devices, and related costs (driving to and from medical appointments, loss of wages) add up quickly:

  • High neck injury – $184,891
  • Upper spine – $113,423
  • Lower spine – $68,739

Contact Our Team of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers

Malman Law is here to help accident survivors get a fair settlement that covers all current and future medical bills. Contact us now to find out how much any particular injury might be worth.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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