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A spine injury can be a catastrophic event altering the lives of both victims and their families forever. Most families simply don't have the resources to cover all the expenses and provide for the injury victim over a lifetime. That's where our spine injury solicitors come in to help you to make an accident compensation claim. Our specialist solicitors are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts and claims are dealt with using the no win no fee* scheme. If you would like to talk to a spine injury solicitor without any further obligation just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a specialist personal injury lawyer will speak with you on the phone.

Spinal Cord Injury Overview

Spinal cord injury is caused by damage to the nerves, resulting in loss of feeling or response. Most of these traumatic injuries are caused as a result of motor vehicle, sports or workplace accidents and a very substantial award of compensation may be claimed by a spine injury solicitor against a negligent third party. The disability can be caused by the spinal cord being severed or damaged and either can result in severe loss of physical function. It is also possible to break the vertebrae in the neck without causing any injury to the spinal cord. The injury can be either "complete" where there is no sensation or voluntary movement below the level of the injury or can be "incomplete" where there is some sensation or movement below the level of the injury. Most severe injuries are classified as either 'tetraplegic' ['quadriplegic'] which is where there is paralysis of all four limbs or 'paraplegic' which is paralysis of just two limbs.

Compensation Award

Once liability in a spinal cord claim has been established it is often advisable to research the possibility of reaching a settlement with a structured payment plan. Instead of the negligent party or their insurers paying a lump sum, an appropriate "annuity" insurance plan from another insurance company is purchased. The injured victim will then receive guaranteed payments on a monthly or annual basis. The plan may provide for a combination of lump sum payments periodically together with monthly or annual payments usually for the life time of the victim. The main reason for structured settlements is that they are advantageous for tax purposes. If the injured victim was to receive a lump sum settlement and invested that money, the interest income on the investment is taxable. In a structured settlement, the insurance company in effect invests the money for the benefit of the victim and the annuity payments are considered part of the personal injury settlement which is not taxable.

The amount of the financial award in spine injury compensation claim may include :-

    General Damages

    This represents compensation for items that cannot be calculated mathematically and involves a degree of assessment after consideration of all of the circumstances by a judge. The main item of payment in this category is usually for pain and suffering for the injury itself followed by compensation for lifestyle changes and damages for financial losses caused by future disadvantage on the job market.

    Special Damages

    This represents compensation for items of loss than can be calculated precisely with a high degree of mathematical accuracy and includes loss of earnings, travelling expenses, medical treatment and medicines, personal effects and property, insurance excess and the value of any free help provided by friends and relatives.

    Future Losses

    The calculation of these potentially substantial losses in a spinal cord injury compensation claim can be complex with the main items usually being personal care and income loss for which a special formula is applied, usually by a forensic accountant, after consideration of reports from employment experts to estimate the overall future losses payable either in a lump sum or by annual payments. It is not simply a matter of working out the forward losses as other items must be taken into account such as life expectancy and the benefit of receiving a lump sum in advance. It is at this point that a tax efficient "structured settlement" may be considered to be in the claimants best interests.


    May be payable at variable rates on some parts of accident compensation.

Law of Negligence

Spinal cord injury (SCI) can lead to lack of function, feeling and/or physical movement. The most common cause of SCI is mechanical trauma including vehicle collisions, falls from height and gunshot wounds. In each of these cases it may be that a 3rd party is liable in negligence and you should not delay in taking advice from a spinal injury compensation claims solicitor.

There are three fundamental elements which must be proved in a solicitors spine injury compensation claim. It must be shown that someone negligently caused or contributed to the accident that caused the injury. The injured party must then prove that the accident actually caused the injury complained of and thereafter demonstrate the full nature and extent of the harm. Management of a spinal cord injury compensation claim requires a keen understanding by a solicitor of how to present a catastrophic injury case. An important part of the role of a solicitor in a spine injury compensation claim is to assemble a dynamic and highly qualified team of expert witnesses to assist in proving the case including safety experts, neurologists, neuro-psychologists, orthopaedic and neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, forensic accountants, employment specialists and accident reconstruction experts. It is these experts that actually prove the case. They demonstrate to a judge the extent and nature of the damage in order to direct the judge to deal with matters in a manner favourable to the claimant. The word "prove" is a misnomer and in cases where a judge sits alone to decide the outcome and amount of the award, the word "persuade" would be a more appropriate description of the spine injury solicitors function.


Many victims of SCI require regular and ongoing medical care to help them lead the most independent life possible. A specialist spine injury solicitor will be able to give you advice about personal injury compensation claims in a court of law. If a claim is to be pursued, it is vital that an experienced spinal injury solicitor be involved in the early stages. Evidence in support of a compensation claim needs to be collected as soon as possible.

Spine Injury Solicitors

Our spine injury solicitors operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. We can help you assert your rights and get the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered spinal cord injury and you would like to know if it is possible to claim compensation, just use the helpline or complete the contact form and a solicitor who is a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts will speak with you on the telephone with advice at no cost without further obligation.



*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here