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Aaron House

Spinal cord injury? Home modifications can be costly

On your way home from dropping your child off at school, a semitruck slams into your vehicle. You are alive, but you can’t feel anything below your belly button. The paramedics rush to the scene and put you on a hard board and place a neck brace on you. Once you are at the hospital, you find out that you have a spinal cord injury.

The news you are facing is grim. You are paralyzed, but you are going to live. Now, you have to think about how your life will change because of the trucker’s decision to pay attention to his phone instead of his driving.

If you opt to seek compensation after the accident, you probably realize that you can include medical care costs and loss of earning capacity in the lawsuit. You might not realize it, but you can also include the cost of home modifications in your claim. Think about these points regarding home modification:

Many homes aren’t wheelchair friendly

Many homes, especially those that are older, might have narrow hallways and doors. These aren’t wheelchair friendly, so you would need to have them widened so that you can fit through them comfortably. Without this modification, you are likely going to be limited as to where you can move around your home. As you can imagine, widening doors and hallways isn’t inexpensive.

Personal hygiene can be complicated

Without being able to use your legs, you probably won’t be able to get into a bathtub. This means that you would need a wheelchair-friendly shower. A full bathroom remodel might actually be necessary so that you can have this type of shower installed. You might also need a lower sink that allows you to brush your teeth and wash your face from your wheelchair. A toilet that is easily accessible, such as one that includes a transfer lift, might also be necessary if your bladder and bowels are still fully functioning.

Other modifications might be necessary

Lowering light switches, making the entryway wheelchair-friendly and adding furniture that you can use comfortably might all be necessary. You might also need grab bars and other assistive devices that can help you to have some independence at home. While some of these items might be fairly inexpensive compared to other modifications, the costs can easily add up. You should make sure that you include these in your lawsuit. Doing so might mean that you aren’t left to cover the financial impacts of the semitruck crash.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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