Spinal Injury Compensation Claims Explained
By Mel Ryan. Last Updated 31st March 2023. In this guide, we are going to go into detail about the eligibility criteria that must be met in order to make a spinal injury claim. An injury to the back can be caused by numerous types of accidents, from road traffic accidents to incidents that occur in the workplace. In this guide, we will not only set out who owes you a duty of care we are also going to examine what accidents and injuries could be suffered when this duty of care is breached and who could be liable.
This guide will provide you with advice on what evidence will be crucial when it comes to supporting spinal injury compensation claims and also the steps you can take to improve the chances of your claim being successful. Below we have provided a compensation table with figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a document used by legal professionals when valuing claims. And to conclude this guide, we are going to illustrate the benefits of using a No Win No Fee solicitor.
Contact Our Team
If, at any point, while reading this guide, you’d like free advice or would like to pursue a spinal injury compensation claim, we can help. You can reach us in any of the following ways:
- By calling us on 0800 073 8804
- Write to us to claim online about your case
- Or chat with our advisers about making a claim now by using our live chat feature
However, please be wary that spinal injury claims usually have a 3-year time limit within which you must begin legal proceedings if you want to claim compensation. This rule is standard practice for all personal injury claims under the Limitation Act 1980. If you wait too long before you claim, you could risk losing out on the payout you deserve. So, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.
Select a section:
- A guide to spine injury claims
- What to do if you are involved in an accident causing a spinal injury.
- What can be claimed after an accident causing a spinal injury?
- Spinal Cord Injury Compensation – How Is It Calculated?
- A Spinal Injury Case study.
- No Win No Fee spinal injury compensation claims.
- Call for free advice and to start a claim.
- Helpful Links
As we will investigate further into this guide, there are several types of incidents that can cause you to suffer an injury to your spine. These include an accident at work, an injury in a public place or a road traffic accident.
In each scenario, you are owed a duty of care by a third party, such as your employer when you are at work. There is legislation in place that sets the duty of care for each situation. When this isn’t adhered to and you suffer an injury as a result, you might be eligible for compensation for a spinal injury.
You will be expected to submit evidence that not only proves your injury but proves that it was caused by third party breaching their duty of care. Later on, we look at examples of evidence that could be useful in spine injury claims.
In addition, you must start your claim within the limitation period. This is typically three years. However, some circumstances suspend the time limit. You can get in touch with our team to discuss this in further detail.
Additionally, if you have any other questions while reading this guide, please call our advisors for free legal advice. If you are ready to start your claim, they can assess your eligibility and if you are eligible to seek compensation, they could put you in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.
What is a Spinal Injury?
There are 2 different types of spinal injuries; a complete injury and an incomplete injury. Incomplete injuries can result in varying levels of paralysis and disability, whereas complete injuries are uniform in the severe impact that they have. The latter could lead to total loss of movement and sensation in various areas of the body.
The spinal injury you sustain will depend on which part of your spinal cord has been damaged. The spine is made up of vertebrae and nerve tissue, which begins at the base of your head and runs down your back. Therefore, there are various different areas that could become injured.
Regardless of what type of damage you suffered, we could help you make spinal injury claims for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more, please read on or get in touch with our team of specialist advisors today.
If you are involved in an accident that has resulted in a spinal injury, seeking medical care should be your first priority. However, once you have ensured your own safety, you should begin preparing for a potential spinal injury compensation claim. As legal experts, we advise that you start by gathering evidence concerning your accident. So what steps should you follow?
- Firstly, you should gather witness statements from anyone present at the time of the accident. This could include witnesses such as other drivers or pedestrians if your spinal injury occurred as a result of an accident in a vehicle. These statements prevent your version of events from being contested after your claim has been made.
- Secondly, you should find evidence that the accident was a result of negligence on the behalf of another party. Returning to the previous example, this could include an invalid driver’s licence or a disregard for road laws (such as leaving an appropriate amount of space between vehicles on the road) on behalf of another party.
- Thirdly, you should ensure that you have evidence showing the severity of your injury. For example, after your accident, if you were taken into hospital, any test you were given or medical report that was written can act as evidence for the severity of your injury.
The measures you take after your accident, especially gathering information and evidence, can be essential to spinal injury claims. If you want our informed and honest opinion regarding your claim’s chances of success, please get in touch.
It’s possible to factor in various financial losses and expenses in any spinal injury claims. These are known as special damages and serve as an additional head of claim on top of general damages, which compensate you for your physical and psychological pain and suffering.
Many people believe that they are only entitled to spinal injury compensation for medical expenses or direct loss of earnings. However, you could claim for a whole manner of costs related to your spinal injury:
- Care at home – the cost of hiring care in your home can be claimed as compensation if your back injury has left you unable to fully care for yourself.
- Rehabilitation – rehabilitation can be a significant long term cost for a back injury victim. It can include visits to a physiotherapist and so on.
- Adapting or buying a new home – for long term injuries, it might be necessary to make modifications to your home (or even call for you to purchase a new home) in order to provide a suitable living environment. These costs can be claimed in this case.
- Medical bills – treatments could include either visits to private practices or even visits to foreign health specialists in the event that such visits are deemed necessary.
There are many different things that you can include within a spinal injury compensation claim. However, as previously mentioned, the amount of compensation that you can receive for any of these costs does still heavily rely on the severity of your injury and the kind of injury that you have suffered.
Ahead of making a spinal cord injury claim, you may be interested in knowing what the potential value of your claim is. In order to create the table below, we have taken figures from the April 2022 update of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals compare evidence to figures in the JCG to determine the potential value of general damages in a back injury claim.
Don’t take the figures shown as a guarantee of what you could claim, as every case will be assessed on an individual basis.
|Back||(a) Severe - (i) The most serious cases, spinal cord and nerve roots affected||£91,090 to £160,980|
|Back||(a) Severe - (ii) Root damage, loss of sensation||£74,160 to £88,430|
|Back||(a) Severe - (iii) Disc lesions, fractures, chronic soft tissue damage||£38,780 to £69,730|
|Back||(b) Moderate - (i) residual disability from things like a crush fracture||£27,760 to £38,780|
|Back||(b) Moderate - (ii) disturbance of ligaments and muscles etc||£12,510 to £27,760|
|Back||(c) Minor - (i) Full recovery without surgery within 2-5 years, or at least to a nuisance level||£7,890 to £12,510
|Back||(c) Minor - (ii) Completely recovered within 3 months to 2 years without surgery||£4,350 to £7,890
|Back||(c) Minor - (iii) Full recovery between 3 months and 1 year||£2,450 to £4,350|
|Back||(c) Minor - (iv) A full recovery is expected by 3 months||Up to £2,450|
Spinal cord injury compensation could also include any special damages you may have suffered. Our expert personal injury solicitors can discuss spinal injury compensation payouts in the UK with you as well as value your potential spinal injury compensation settlement. Get in touch for more information.
Spinal Injuries Caused by a Car Accident or a Road Traffic Accident?
Unsurprisingly, the major cause of spinal accidents in the UK is car accidents, or other road traffic accidents involving motorcycles, cyclists or pedestrians.
The physical trauma experienced in a high-speed road traffic accident can very easily break the upper spine or neck. Car safety belts, airbags and neck supports can only prevent injury in lower speed car accidents. At higher speeds, serious injury is very likely, with neck and spine damage being common.
These types of injuries are more common than you think. In 2020, the Department for Transport reported that there were an estimated 23,529 people killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions. No doubt some of these serious injuries are related to the spine.
Spinal Injury after an Accident at Work?
Spinal injuries in the workplace are extremely common. However, work-related spinal injuries are usually at the minor to moderate end of the severity spectrum. Lifting or moving heavy objects is the main way that spinal injuries at work are sustained, and this leads to spinal damage such as disc or vertebrae being forced out of place, or supporting muscles being strained, ripped or torn.
Back injuries and spinal injury accidents at work can happen due to many reasons including not receiving the correct training.
Spinal Injuries due to Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence claims are always a very serious matter. This is due to the fact that the medical professional who is to blame for the injury, faces very serious repercussions if they are found to be at fault.
And of all injuries caused by medical negligence, a spinal injury can have the most severe effect on the victim’s quality of life. A spinal injury due to medical negligence could leave the victim paralysed from the neck down in the most severe cases. Typically, a serious injury such as Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) would see compensation of around £500,000 or more being awarded.
An injury to the spine can potentially be very serious. A report by the National Institute For Health And Care Excellence (NICE) found that around 500 to 600 people suffer traumatic injuries to the spinal cord each year in the UK.
For more insight into spinal injuries, we can look at statistics reported under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). These figures, compiled in the table below, detail the number of reported non-fatal injuries to the torso in workplaces over 2020/21.
The graph below has been generated from those statistics. As you can see, back injuries were the most common. However, not all back injuries necessarily relate to the spin. For example, some of these may have been things like strained muscles or bruises. But, the figures do serve well as an illustration of the frequency of back injuries in the workplace.
As we have previously highlighted in this guide, a spinal injury could have a life-altering impact on your and your health. For instance, if you were to suffer an accident within your workplace, it may lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) state that musculoskeletal disorders mainly comprise of the following:
- Work-related (upper limb) disorders because of repetitive tasks.
- Back injuries from awkward lifting or repetitive.
If you feel that your spinal injury was caused by negligence, then please reach out and speak to one of our advisers. Our claims team would be more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Hiring a Claims Service can be expensive. If you have done any research into legal fees, you may well have encountered the high costs of hiring the best personal injury solicitors. In situations where an injury is actively costing you money, from medical expenses to lost wages, this can be a real issue. But there is another option.
Our company can offer you a No Win No Fee policy. Rather than charging upfront costs to clients, we simply take a small cut of the spinal injury compensation amount. If you do not win your claim, then you will not have to pay.
This policy, also called a Conditional Fee Agreement, means that we only charge for our services on the condition that we win your spinal injury claim in court. If your claim fails, you won’t have any legal fees or debt to add to your worries. For those already struggling with an injury, this can make a huge difference.
If you believe that you have a legitimate claim for compensation following a spinal injury caused by an accident, you need to contact us right away. There are two ways to get in touch.
- You can either call us on 0800 073 8804 or;
- Why not fill out the contact form on our website. We’ll get in touch and arrange for a free consultation session at a time that suits you.
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Thank you for reading our guide on how to make spinal injury claims.