Serious accidents that result in a spinal injury can have a devastating impact on an individual’s life. To help them regain a decent quality of life it’s important that support as well as specialist rehabilitation can be put in place as quickly as possible. A spinal injury compensation claim can help in these circumstances, securing the funds necessary to put in place all of the necessary support.
What is a spinal injury and what type of spinal injuries can you claim for?
What is a spinal injury?
The spinal cord connects to the brain and is protected by the vertebrae column. This cord is protected by a cerebral spinal fluid which protects nerve tissues and provides cushioning.
Generally speaking, there are two types of spinal injury. One is a complete injury where the effects of that injury when experienced at the same level will be similar across the board. With an incomplete injury two individuals may suffer quite different levels of incapacity and paralysis as a consequence.
What are the most common types of spinal injury?
The most common type of partial spinal injury is anterior cord syndrome. This type of injury involves damage done to the sensory pathways within the spinal cord. As a result, coordination and movement difficulties can arise.
The most common type of complete spinal injury that you could suffer from is quadriplegia. This serious condition will result in varying degrees of paralysis of your body from the neck down. It will typically affect your bowels and legs, and as one of the most severe spinal injuries you could suffer it will typically result in the maximum compensation should a spinal injury cord claim be made.
What are the effects of a spinal injury?
Damage to the spinal cord means that it’s unable to act as a communication channel between the body and the brain. Messages cannot get sent nor received from the body which can result in a loss of sensation and movement.
In the early weeks following a spinal cord injury, the individual will likely experience bruising and swelling around the spinal cord. This is known as ‘spinal shock’ and in itself can cause further damage to the spinal cord. Once this swelling has subsided then the full extent of any injury can be assessed.
What causes a spinal injury?
Every year in the UK there are an estimated 10,000 victims of some form of spinal injury. They have many causes but the most common are:
- Work accidents
- Road traffic accidents
- Cycle accidents
- Physical assault
- Medical negligence.
All of these can result in spinal injuries of varying degrees of severity that may require support and rehabilitation.
Assessing a spinal injury claim
When you make a compensation claim for a spinal injury the most keenly considered aspect of that claim will be the overall severity of your injury. This will determine the amount of compensation that you’re likely to receive for your accident. As such, it needs to be judged carefully by a medical professional.
Minor spinal injuries will usually be judged to only cause minor trauma. These may well be recoverable with time and non-invasive medical treatments, but injuries can differ widely. Minor spinal injuries are likely to receive the lowest amount of compensation even if they are successful.
Moderate spinal injuries will cause significant trauma, but this trauma may well be treatable through long-term rehabilitative therapy or invasive surgery. These types of injury will often receive significant sums of compensation if they are successful in court.
Severe spinal injuries will be life-changing and perhaps permanent. They will typically be untreatable except through a tailored and extensive programme of long-term therapy and pain management to alleviate their worst symptoms. As a result of the profound and extensive impact they can have on your life they will typically receive the highest levels of compensation.
What can you claim for after a spinal injury?
There are various factors that will be taken into consideration when the amount of compensation you receive is determined.
You may be able to claim compensation for medical expenses and direct loss of earnings. You may also be able to claim for care at home costs, rehabilitation, adapting or buying a new home, and access to treatment not currently available on the NHS.
An experienced personal injury claim specialist will be able to advise what you might be able to claim for.
How much compensation could I receive?
Each case is unique with a number of different factors that can impact on the amount of compensation you might receive. It can range from around £2500 for a minor back injury to as high as £5 million if you experience serious spinal injuries that result in long-term care and complete loss of earnings.
Professional help and advice
The experienced and professional team of personal injury solicitors at Mark Reynolds Solicitors can provide confidential advice and support should you suffer a spinal injury. We can advise about the strength of your claim, what evidence you need to provide and the amount you may be able to claim. We have a strong record of securing the funds people need to rebuild their lives following a spinal injury.