By Jo Jeffries. Last Updated 17th April 2022. Welcome to our guide on spinal cord injury payouts. In it, we answer questions such as ‘How are spinal injury compensation payouts calculated?’ ‘How much can you get for a spinal cord injury?’ and ‘What is the mental impact of a spinal cord injury?’ We also explain how a spinal cord injury solicitor could assist with your claim.
We understand the personal injury claim process may seem complex. For that reason, you may be considering seeking legal representation, whether for yourself or on behalf of someone else. Either way, our guide could help. We’ll explore how a spinal cord injury solicitor could help you put forward your claim.
Claiming for the mental impact of a spinal cord injury and the physical impact
Spinal cord injuries can often have a debilitating and permanent impact on a person’s life. It might be especially frustrating if someone else’s failings caused the accident. For instance, someone driving under the influence of alcohol may have caused a road traffic accident that led to you sustaining your injury.
However, if someone else’s negligence caused the accident in which you sustained an injury, you may be entitled to seek compensation. No matter whether your accident happened at work, on the road or in public.
How Will A Spinal Cord Injury Solicitor Help Me?
Our guide will look at how a solicitor could represent your case and help you get the compensation you deserve. However, if you have any questions or require further clarification on anything whilst reading, our advisors are happy to help.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on the details below:
- Call us on 0800 073 8801
- Use the contact form to request a callback
- Speak to an advisor using the live chat feature at the bottom of this page
Select A Section
- A Guide On How To Claim With A Spinal Cord Injury Solicitor
- What Are Spinal Cord Injuries?
- How Common Are Spinal Cord Injuries In The UK?
- What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?
- Levels And Types Of Spinal Cord Injury
- What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Spinal Cord Injuries?
- Treating Spinal Cord Injuries
- Can You Recover From A Spinal Cord Injury?
- Spinal Cord Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
- Damages For Long-Term Costs And Effects
- Claim With A No Win No Fee Spinal Cord Injury Solicitor
- Why Choose A Specialist Spinal Cord Injury Solicitor?
- Get In Touch To Start Your Claim For Spinal Injury Compensation Payouts
- Read More About Spinal Injury Compensation Payouts
- FAQs On Living With A Spinal Cord Injury And Spinal Injury Compensation Payouts
Our guide will explore different aspects of a spinal injury claim. For instance, we’ll look at the types of spinal injuries you could have sustained. In addition, we’ll look at how someone could have been liable for the accident that caused your injury.
Additionally, when looking at whether someone was liable, it can be important to provide evidence to prove that they acted negligently. This guide will look at the various types of evidence you can obtain to build a strong case.
Furthermore, evidence is often used, alongside other factors, to help value claims. Our guide will provide further details on this. Additionally, we’ll look at the overall compensation settlement amount you may receive and what it may include.
Most importantly, we’ll look at the role a solicitor may play in helping you through each stage of your claim.
We understand that although you may want to seek legal representation, the costs often associated can cause apprehension. However, we’ll look at the option of a No Win No Fee agreement and how it could help.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions whilst reading this guide, you can contact our advisors on the number above.
Can I claim on behalf of someone else?
In certain circumstances, it may be possible to put forward a claim on someone else’s behalf by acting as a litigation friend. For instance, if they lack the mental capacity to claim for themselves.
However, for more information on whether this may apply to your situation, speak to a member of our advisors using the number above.
A spinal cord injury involves damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves down that back that sends and receives signals from the brain to and from the rest of the body.
Any damage can cut off the communication between the brain and the spinal cord below the point of injury. In turn, this can cause temporary or permanent damage to various bodily functions depending on which part of the spinal cord is affected.
Although there are various ways this type of injury could occur, high impact contact to the spine is a common factor of spinal cord damage. For instance:
- High impact road traffic accidents
- Slips, trips, or falls from height
When someone damages their spinal cord, it can cause paralyses such as tetraplegia, paraplegia or triplegia. However, the severity of the symptoms may depend on whether you’ve suffered a complete spinal cord injury or incomplete spinal cord injury. We discuss these later in the guide.
According to the spinal cord injury charity Back Up, someone in the UK is permanently paralysed every 4 hours. Additionally, around 2,500 people sustain or are diagnosed with a spinal cord injury each year.
The graph below looks at two specific causes of spinal injuries using figures from the Spinal Injuries Association Annual Report 2018/2019.
As you can see, the figures suggest that more injuries are caused by an illness or medical condition.
According to the report, 60% of the spinal cord injuries caused by an accident were caused by falls. However, it’s important to note that the graph only focuses on two causes, so the figures may vary when considering other factors.
Visit the Spinal Injuries Association for advice and support if you’re living with a spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries affect around 50,000 people in the UK every year. They aren’t always caused by someone else’s failings and are often an unfortunate accident. For instance, they can be a result of an extreme sports incident such as skydiving or skiing.
However, in some cases, they result from someone else failing to fulfil the duty of care they owed someone. If this is the case for you, you could be entitled to seek compensation.
However, you must be able to demonstrate negligence. In order to do this, it’s important to look at whether you were owed a duty of care.
Often, employers and people in control of a public place have a duty of care to their employees or the public. They must do everything reasonably possible to keep them safe.
Failing to take reasonable steps to keep someone safe could lead to accidents resulting in a spinal cord injury. For instance:
- Staff in a supermarket failing to clean up a spillage in an aisle, causing a customer to slip and suffer minor damage to their spine and spinal cord.
- An employer failing to carry out a risk assessment on equipment in the workplace, resulting in an employee falling from a ladder and sustaining a severe spinal cord injury.
- The local council failing to maintain the pavement, leading someone to trip over and injure their spinal cord.
- A driver continuing to drive an unsafe vehicle on the road, causing a car accident with a cyclist who becomes paralysed from the waist down.
For more information on negligence, call our advisors on the number above. They can assess whether someone was liable for the accident that caused your injury.
The spinal cord is a column of nerves that runs from the base of the skull and down the back and is protected by the bones in the spine. The bones are categorised into different sections, known as the:
- Cervical vertebrae, the upper section of the spine
- Thoracic vertebrae, the upper and middle section of the spine
- Lumbar vertebrae, the middle and lower section of the spine
- Sacral vertebrae, the lower section of the spine
Spinal cord injuries can vary greatly depending on where the damage is. Damage can cause impairment of different bodily functions such as sexual function, motor function and muscle movement.
Additionally, it can cause permanent conditions such as:
- Paraplegia: Paralysis of both legs.
- Tetraplegia: Paralysis of both arms and legs.
- Triplegia: Paralysis of three limbs.
However, the impact of these conditions can vary depending on whether the injury is complete or incomplete.
For complete spinal injuries, the spinal cord is completely severed or compressed. This means there is no ability for the brain and spinal cord to communicate below the point of injury.
For instance, if someone’s spinal cord was severed in the lower section, they won’t be able to use their legs. However, they could still use the upper half of their body.
In an incomplete spinal injury, the person may still retain some ability and function to the damaged part of their spinal cord.
A spinal cord injury can cause several symptoms, including:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss or impairment of bladder and bowel function
- Loss of feeling or sensation in the chest, arms or legs
- Problems with breathing
- Loss or impairment of sexual function
Furthermore, according to the NHS, if you experience paralysis, you may encounter the following symptoms to the affected body part:
- Stiffness with muscle spasms
If you experience any of these symptoms after an accident, you should seek medical advice from a doctor or other trained medical professional. Alternatively, visit the NHS website for further information.
Before treating your injury, a diagnosis will be determined through different tests. For instance, an X-ray, CT scan or MRI scan could be used. Additionally, a doctor may carry out tests on your sensory function and movement.
The initial treatment you receive after your accident may focus on preventing further damage. For instance, you may have difficulty breathing, be in shock, and need any complications preventing such as blood clots.
Unfortunately, there isn’t currently any treatment that can reinstate spinal cord function. Instead, there may be options available to help you manage any symptoms.
Although treatment depends on the severity of your spinal cord injury, it might include any of the following to help you regain some strength in the months following a spinal cord injury:
- Spinal surgery to take any pressure off the spinal cord after neck or back injury
- Rehabilitation programmes that deal with physical and mental impacts of the injury
Recovery times can depend greatly on how severe the spinal cord injury is. In some cases, the person may recover some functions up to 2 years after the injury.
However, this may not be possible in other cases as any damage that was done can’t be reversed.
Instead, there may be aids that need putting in place to help you adjust. For instance, home adjustments like ramps leading up to your home, stairlifts and bathroom rails could all help.
Furthermore, you may require physical aids such as wheelchairs and vehicles with disabled access.
However, as part of the personal injury claims process, you may be entitled to seek compensation for these costs. See below for more information.
Compensation settlement amounts include general damages. This covers the pain and suffering caused by your injury, as well as how the injury has impacted your quality of life.
When valuing your injury, consideration will be given to different factors. For instance, the severity of your injury and whether it’s had a long term impact will be noted. As the value of your claim can depend on the severity of your injury, each compensation figure is unique.
For that reason, there isn’t an average compensation settlement figure that could be of use. However, we have created a compensation table below to provide an example of how different spinal cord injuries may be valued.
|Type of Injury||Further details||Compensation Figure|
|Back||Severe: (i) A damaged spinal cord and nerve roots that cause severe pain, incomplete paralysis and impairment of bladder, bowel and sexual function.||£85,470 to £151,070|
|Back||Moderate: (i) A compression fracture to the lumbar vertebrae that results in ongoing pain and discomfort.||£26,050 to £36,390|
|Neck||Severe: (i) Neck injuries leading to incomplete paraplegia.||In the region of £139,210|
|Quadriplegia||The person won't be in any physical pain but will have full awareness of their condition and will need help with bodily functions.||£304,630 to £379,100|
|Paraplegia||Different factors will be considered when determining the award someone will be given, such as the severity of pain, age and life expectancy.||£205,580 to £266,740|
The figures in the compensation table above are provided by the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document often used to help value claims. However, the figures in the table don’t take into account other evidence that’s often used alongside the JCG to value claims.
For a free estimate of how your injury could be valued, please speak to our advisors.
What evidence will I need?
Medical evidence is often used alongside the JCG to assess the value of a claim. For instance, a doctor’s or hospital report can provide details of your injuries, including the diagnosis you received.
Additionally, as part of the claims process, you would be invited to attend an assessment that can outline the current state of your condition. An independent medical professional would assess your injuries to:
- Determine the severity of them.
- Assess whether they were caused, worsened or not linked to the accident that wasn’t your fault. (If the professional finds that your injuries aren’t linked to the accident, you might find it difficult to claim.)
Furthermore, evidence may also be required to prove that someone acted negligently, such as:
- Video footage (CCTV or a dashcam, for example)
- Photographs of the injury and accident
- Witness contact details (for statements at a later stage)
Contact our advisors for more information on the evidence you could obtain to build a strong case.
As a spinal cord injury can have life-changing effects, it can be financially challenging. However, you can seek compensation for any past and future financial losses you’ve incurred because of the injury under special damages. This could include:
- Loss of pension
- Loss of earnings
- Home adjustments
- Ongoing care costs for you or someone else dependent on you
- Travel expenses
- Medical expenses
However, you will need to provide evidence in support of your claim. For instance, receipts, invoices and payslips could act as proof of financial losses caused by injuries.
An agreement with a No Win No Fee solicitor can help you avoid upfront solicitor fees and any ongoing solicitor fees that may occur during your claim. Furthermore, you won’t be asked to pay any solicitor fees if your claim is unsuccessful.
It’s important to note that you will be required to pay a small success fee if your claim is successful. However, as part of the agreement, the fee is legally capped. Furthermore, your solicitor will make you aware of the fee before you start your claim.
For more information on how a personal injury solicitor could benefit you, see below.
There are various options you could consider with regards to putting forward your claim. For instance, you could seek compensation without the help of a solicitor. However, whilst this option bears no initial costs, other costs may incur while your claim is ongoing. Plus, you could benefit from the legal knowledge of a professional if you use the services of a solicitor.
Claiming under a No Win No Fee agreement can help you avoid upfront and ongoing solicitor costs. Additionally, a solicitor could help you through each stage of your claim to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Here at Accident Claims, our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. For more information on how to connect with one of our solicitors, call our advisors. They can assess whether your claim is valid.
Furthermore, if they feel your case has a good chance of succeeding, they can appoint a solicitor to work with you. See below for how you can get in touch with us.
We understand you may still have questions after reading our guide. However, our advisors can help provide further clarification on anything you’re unsure of, such as:
- No Win No Fee agreements
- Claiming on behalf of someone else
- Evidence to support your claim
So, whether you’re ready to start your claim or you just have a few questions, get in touch using the details below:
- Call us on 0800 073 8801
- Use our contact form to request a callback
- Speak to an advisor using the live chat feature at the bottom of this page
For more information on claims for slips, trips and falls, see our guide.
If your injury was caused by tripping on the pavement, our guide could help.
See our case study exploring the compensation you could receive for a spinal injury sustained in an accident at work.
For more information on living with a spinal cord injury, see this NHS guide.
See the Government’s guide on compensation after an accident or injury.
Visit Aspire for support after a spinal cord injury.
The following section will explore further information on spinal cord injury claims and spinal injury compensation payouts.
What treatment options may I have?
The treatment options can vary depending on the type of spinal cord injury you have. Always speak to a medical professional about your own treatment options.
How serious could the injury be?
Spinal cord injuries can be serious and have a life-changing impact on your daily life.
Why claim with a specialist solicitor?
An expert solicitor can help you through each stage of your claim. For instance, they can advise on the evidence you need to obtain to support your claim.
How do I start a claim?
If you’re considering starting your claim, you should start to build up a bank of evidence such as CCTV footage and witness contact details.
How are spinal injury compensation payouts calculated?
Spinal injury compensation payouts are calculated by looking at the impact of the injuries. In successful cases, you could receive damages for:
- Out of pocket expenses such as travel costs, care costs or loss of earnings
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life (loss of amenity)
- Mental trauma
To find out what could be compensated for in your specific case, please call our team. We could offer you a free eligibility check, and tell you if you could have a strong case for compensation.
How much can you get for a spinal cord injury?
Each claim is different, so how much you can get for a spinal cord injury would depend on the specifics of your case. Factors that could be assessed could include how severe the injury is, how it affects you mentally, physically and financially now, as well as how it is likely to affect you in the future.
What is the mental impact of a spinal cord injury?
The mental impact of a spinal cord injury could be significant. If you are forced to stop doing what you used to enjoy because of the injury, you could suffer depression. Psychological conditions including depression and PTSD could be compensated for as part of a successful injury claim. You would need to provide evidence that they were caused by the accident and injuries you suffered.
How common are back and spinal injuries at work?
The HSE’s statistics for 2020-21 show that the back is the second most affected area when it comes to musculoskeletal disorders caused by work.
Thank you for reading our guide on how a spinal cord injury solicitor could help you achieve spinal injury compensation payouts for an accident that wasn’t your fault.