TV Shows
Published October 16, 2018

Infographic: Daredevil’s Huge Medical Costs

Walt Hickey delivers a breakdown of the price of pain dealt on 'Marvel's Daredevil'!

Nelson and Murdock, Attorneys at Law can handle any of the many legal needs that the residents of Hell’s Kitchen may require. Landlord dispute? Foggy’s got you. Does your employera Hand drug processing warehouserun afoul of building code? You may be entitled to compensation! Punisher has it in for you? Yes, the firm of Nelson and Murdock does handle wills and estates. Personal injury? Let's just say injuring persons happens to be a speciality of one of the partners.

Want to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a nurse at Mercy General? Hit the bricks, bucko; Claire Temple is a dear friend.

With the forthcoming third season of "Marvel’s Daredevil" coming this Friday, October 19, on Netflix, I wanted to take a look at the cost of all the fights Matt Murdock got himself into... From a legal point of view, let’s just say his record is developing, but based on his hobbypatrolling the streets of Hell’s Kitchen and keeping its denizens safe from organized crime, top-to-bottom corruption, and miscellaneous ninjasMatt is a worthy heir to the legacy of boxer Battlin’ Jack Murdock.

I scoured through the first two seasons of the show and pulled every fight, altercation, scuffle, and brawl to find out just how much business Murdock was setting up for his friends over at Mercy General Hospital. I tallied up every knockout, every broken arm or leg, every injury that would send a Kingpin foot soldier to the emergency room, and any injury that would require some serious trauma care. Daredevil’s not a fan of killingmuch to the chagrin of Frank Castle, who is excellent at it and has proven to be more than happy to pick up the slackso I’m mainly interested in a ballpark medical price tag for the people standing in the way of the Daredevil’s crusade.

I pulled approximate medical bills for all sorts of difficult medical maladies that a goon who goes toe-to-toe with Daredevil may sustain. For the sake of simplicity (and figuring that, despite taking place in an America of scientific miracles, cutting edge technology, and medical advances beyond our wildest dreams, their health care system is still financially obscene), I calculated that the checks come to about  $18,454 per knockout and concussion, $3,403 for leg fracture, $7,666 for arm fracture, $1,481 if they’d need to go to the ER, and, if Kingpin decided to make a serious mess of an employee’s face, $2,762 for generic trauma-related disorders.

Daredevil Healthcare Costs

The results were staggering. By my reckoning, enemies of Daredevil sustained something like 178 knockouts or concussions over the course of two seasons, compared to just three times that Murdock himself suffered an unambiguous knockout. Devil of Hell’s Kitchen? More like Angel of Mercy General Accounts Receivable.

Indeed, I’d really hate to be Kingpin checking out just how much he’s ponying up for his employee’s HMO, or the Hand when deciding whether they can afford to offer a premium dental insurance option next enrollment period. Based on those simple estimates of cost-per-injury, I estimate that the villains of Daredevil are on the hook for at minimum $3,452,616 in medical expenses over two seasons, or approximately $132,790 in medical bills per episode. In general, Fisk made a wise financial decision to sequester himself behind bars for the second season, which accounted for nearly $2.5 million of that financial hit.

Overall, the introduction of Frank Castle into a target-rich urban environment was not particularly ideal from a personnel standpoint. What I’m trying to say is yes, Season 2 was way more bloody than Season 1, which is what you’d expect when a psychopathic, heavily-armed, ultra-moral super soldier and a devil-may-care, morally ambiguous, knife-wielding assassin walk into Matt’s life. In general, Season 2 was about three times more fatal and injury-prone than Season 1. Approximately 75 people were killed on screen in Season 2, three times as many as in Season 1, which is literally the exact argument against the Punisher as a concept.

About $2 of every $13 worth of injuries was accumulated during the final confrontation alone, the landmark battle that would go on to be known in legal circles as Murdock et al vs. Approximately 27 Ninjas.

All told, Matt’s wins and losses alone would stand to make his old man proud. Battlin’ Jack finished with a record of 24 wins and 31 losses. Matt’s recordeven when we count “Daredevil fights eleven ninjas” as one single fightis something like 54 wins, 9 losses, 4 draws. Because at the end of the day, Matt Murdock learned something absolutely essential from his father: “Murdocks take a lot of hits, but they always get back up.”

His crusade came with enormous medical costs. The damage that he himself sustained stretches just north of $100,000 worth of injuries over the course of his two seasons, making me a little skeptical of the real motivations behind his dear friendship with Claire Temple. His allies and Frankwho lives in that weird frenemy zone of ambiguity where all of their hangout sessions usually lead to someone dyingalso got their fair share, racking up some $70,000 in medical bills from traumas such as Foggy’s gunshot wound and the sustained damage Elektra incurred taking down a band of highly trained assassins.

In the end, Daredevil hit the gangs and the drug dealers and the arms traffickers and the organized crime where it really hurt: their health insurance premiums. Because while Wilson Fisk's criminal organization and dominance over Hell’s Kitchenwhich, by the time of his release from prison, will have presumably blossomed into a trendy neighborhood with a thriving nightlife scene and promising luxury development opportunitiesmay rise again, those premiums aren’t falling anytime soon.

“Marvel’s Daredevil” Season 3 premieres Friday, October 19th on Netflix!

Written by Walt Hickey

"A.I.M. Intern" Walt Hickey is a data journalist and writes the daily morning newsletter Numlock News. His work has previously appeared on FiveThirtyEight and Business Insider.