Suffering damage to your spinal cord can have an enormous effect on your world. And if it happened through mistakes made by someone else, it can feel incredibly unjust that your life has been affected so drastically by their carelessness.

It is important to be aware that you may be able to take legal action to counteract this injustice, and to claim compensation to help you move on with your life. We explore some of the things to think about when doing so in this blog.

Spinal cord damage

The spinal cord is a critical part of the human body. Any injury to the spine might involve damage to the spinal cord itself and the tissues and bone around it. This can disrupt nerve impulses from the limbs or lower body and prevent them from reaching the brain.

Spinal cord damage can occur in one or more areas of the spine:

  • Neck (cervical)
  • Upper back (thoracic)
  • Lower back (lumbar)
  • Base of the back (sacral)
  • Nerves at the end of the spinal cord (cauda equina)

Wherever the damage has occurred, however, it represents a serious injury with severe consequences, such as:

  • Paralysis in the legs or all four limbs
  • Persistent pain
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of control over bodily functions

Generally speaking, the more your spinal cord injury has affected you (in terms of the pain and suffering it has caused, and the effect it has had on your enjoyment of life) the more personal injury compensation you should be paid for it.

Can you claim compensation?

To claim compensation for a mistake which has caused you a spinal injury, there are a few things which have to be established for a legal case:

  1. The person who made the mistake must have owed you a duty of care. There are many situations where a person owes a duty of care to others. For example, an employer owes a duty of care to their workers, road-users owe a duty of care to other road-users, and healthcare professionals owe a duty of care to their patients.
  2. The mistake meant that they fell below the standard of care their duty required them to exercise. This can be a complicated issue, and will depend on the circumstances of your accident. But, for example, someone driving a car has to meet the standard of a reasonably competent driver. So a mistake which fell below that standard, such as pulling out of a side road when it was unsafe to do so, would mean that they had breached their duty of care.
  3. That mistake must have caused your spinal injury. An example of this would be an employer unknowingly providing you with a defective or inadequate safety harness, which then broke and caused you to fall and damage your spine.

Some accidents in which spinal cord injuries may occur include:

It is also possible to suffer spinal cord injuries through mistakes made in medical procedures. If so, it may be that you would be able to make a clinical negligence claim against your healthcare provider.

Other compensation

Because of the life-changing effects of spinal cord damage, it is likely to cause you extensive losses and expenses alongside your injury. Many kinds of other losses can be included in a compensation claim. In particular, you might have incurred:

  • Expenses adapting your home to make it accessible
  • Costs for mobility aids
  • Vehicle adaptation costs
  • Treatment and therapy expenses
  • Lost earnings if you are no longer able to work

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all of the possible losses you may have suffered. So, when making your claim, it is always best to discuss your circumstances fully with your solicitors.

Seeking legal assistance

Instructing solicitors who are right for you can make a huge difference to your claim experience. It is important to do your research, and find a firm of personal injury specialists that you can trust and be comfortable with.

If you would like to speak to us at Truth Legal for some advice on your rights, and whether you can make a compensation claim, you can contact our team of friendly, experienced lawyers. We offer free initial consultations, and there is never any obligation placed on you to take things further.

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Catherine Reynolds
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