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Spinal Injury Claims
When it comes to spinal injuries you can never be too careful in terms of getting the right advice. Unfortunately, even very minor injuries to the spine can lead to long-term problems so if you’re thinking of making a claim through an accident that wasn’t your fault, then you’ll certainly need the best legal team in your corner.
Spinal injuries can be extremely complex by their very nature and are considered to be any type of damage sustained to the spinal cord, resulting in either temporary or permanent damage. As with any other injury type, symptoms can vary quite massively, ranging from a very mild strain right through to complete paralysis.
The severity of spinal injuries are often referred to by medical experts as “the completeness” and are classified as either being a ‘complete injury’ or an ‘incomplete injury’. In the case of a complete injury, then all sensory feelings and the ability to control movement (known as the motor function) are lost below the spinal cord injury.
For incomplete injuries, there will be at least some motor or sensory function below the affected area although the level of this injury type will vary massively between one injury and another.
A more serious type of spinal injury affects the spinal cord and can even result in paralysis. These kind of conditions are more specifically referred to as either ‘tetraplegia’ (or quadriplegia) which affects the arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs – or ‘paraplegia’ which affects all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs.
If you wish to talk to us about a spinal injury, call our free advice helpline now on 0800 195 95 90 to talk to a member of our expert legal team. Our team are here to advise you of your options with the utmost care and sensitivity and have the experience required to answer any questions and concerns you may have.
- Paralysis (Read more)
- Partial or full loss of movement
- Loss or altered sensation (for example, the ability to feel heat, cold and touch)
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
- Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
- Changes in sexual function
- Loss of fertility
- Generalised pain around the spinal cord
- Breathing problems, infections and muscle atrophy (i.e. a decrease in the mass of muscle which can often confine patients to bed rest and temporary disability).
Thankfully, most spinal injury types aren’t considered to be serious or life-threatening but if you’ve suffered this type of injury due to an incident that wasn’t your fault then it’s quite likely you’ll be thinking about making a legal claim – and that’s exactly how we can step in to help you.
Our legal team specialises in dealing with accident and personal injury claims only. We have been providing legal services in the UK since 1988 and are accredited through the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, as well as The Law Society and, are regulated and authorised by the SRA.
How Are Spinal Injuries Sustained?
Spinal injuries can occur for all sorts of reasons and certainly due to accidents which might not have been your fault, such as:
- Road traffic accidents
- Slips, trips and falls
- Accidents at work
- Clinical negligence
However, it really doesn’t matter how your spinal injury is sustained. The important thing is that you need to get it treated as soon as possible, and then consider a claim for compensation.
How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Spinal Injury?
There are two types of compensation you can claim following an accident or incident, namely:
- General damages and
- Special damages.
General damages are the amount of money you might be entitled to claim for the injury itself. As you might expect, general damages can sometimes be quite difficult to quantify – especially if the condition might be long-term or needs ongoing rehabilitation. For this reason, our team will never recommend a final settlement until such time as we’ve got a very clear picture of the overall prognosis and whether you’ll need any ongoing rehabilitation etc.
Of course, this process can be quite lengthy and we appreciate that you might have certain financial commitments to meet in the meantime, such as mortgage or rent payments. Fortunately, we’re able to assist in these situations by requesting ‘interim payments’ from the other party (or their insurers). These simply enable regular payments to be made to you throughout the claims process and the amount paid will then be deducted from the final amount awarded to you.
As regards the compensation amount itself, there’s certainly no ‘one size fits all’ since no two cases are ever the same. That said, and to ensure a fair outcome for all, we do rely on a publication which is widely recognised and accepted by the Courts in personal injury cases. This is known as the ‘Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases’ (Fourteenth Edition (2017)) and is produced by the Judicial College. You can link to our claims calculation page here: – https://smithjonessolicitors.co.uk/claims-calculator/ where you’ll see some typical examples of the compensation amounts we’ve secured for some of our clients.
In addition to the actual compensation amount, you’ll also be to claim ‘special damages’. Because these are ‘actual’ amounts (or financial losses) they’re much easier to quantify and typically include claims such as:
- Prescription charges
- Medical fees (e.g. physiotherapy and consultation costs)
- Hire or purchase of any mobility aids (e.g. wheelchairs, stair lifts etc.)
- Loss of earnings
- General out-of-pocket expenses (such as parking charges, postage etc.)
- Travel expenses
- Car hire costs (if your vehicle has been damaged as a result of a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault)
When you tell us a little bit more about your claim, our team will guide you through the whole process and you’ll be advised to keep any receipts of the financial losses you incur throughout the claims process. We can then incorporate these into your claim and ensure you’re fully refunded for them.
How Does No Win No Fee Work For Spinal Injury Cases?
Smith Jones solicitors are proud to offer a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement for clients which ultimately means you don’t have to pay any legal fees upfront in order to get your claim started. The other main benefit of this arrangement is that it means we believe in you. After all, if you don’t win your case then we don’t get paid! This puts us at a distinct advantage over other high street lawyers who might charge an hourly rate for their service and yet have no real concern whether your claim is successful or not. So, all we specify is that when your claim is successful you’ll only then be required to pay our agreed costs and of course, you’ll then be in receipt of your compensation monies so you’re not left out of pocket.
You might hear to this arrangement also being referred to as a “conditional fee agreement.” Since April 2013 solicitors and law firms have been permitted to set a percentage of the damages you recover as their “success fee”; but there’s certainly no need to worry. Your legal advisor will explain all the details to you when you contact us but if you lose your case, you won’t have to pay us a single penny. It really is as simple as that.
What Should I Do Next?
If you’ve suffered any type of injury then it’s important to start the claims process as soon as possible. This is because the vast majority of claims have to be made within three years of the accident date and there are only a very few exceptions to this rule (such as industrial disease cases). For this reason, we strongly advise our clients to get in touch as soon as possible and not simply ‘wait and see’ how their condition progresses. In some cases, it might be that we recommend you see a medical expert and he or she might then require a further review at some point in the future with you.
Making a claim for compensation through Smith Jones solicitors is really easy. You can either contact us for an informal chat on our Freephone number, 0800 195 95 90 which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you might choose to speak with one of our online operators via the web chat facility which you can easily access from our website – or fill in our online form.
However you choose to contact Smith Jones solicitor, we’re confident that you won’t be disappointed with our advice or the claims process as a whole.
Once you’ve told us a little bit more about your spinal injury we’ll be able to offer you bespoke advice on what to do next. We can help you through every step of the process, from sending an initial letter of claim to the other party (i.e. the person who may have caused your spinal injury), right through to issuing legal proceedings, obtaining expert evidence (for example, from a medical consultant) and then bringing your claim to a successful conclusion as quickly as possible.
Fortunately, most of our claims are settled without the necessity of our clients having to attend Court and of course, we’ll always deal with any third party insurers as a matter of priority and without you having to worry.
Because we only specialise in personal injury claims, we’re confident that we’re the very best in what we do and that’s why we’re now one of the most reputable law firms when it comes to making a personal injury claim.
However, don’t just take our word for it. Why not put us to the test and let us help you get back on the road to recovery. For an informal chat, why not give one of our team a call on Freephone 0800 195 95 90.