Paralysis and Paraplegia Spinal Claims
Spinal injury claims of varying degrees of seriousness can be life changing for the victim.
According to data provided by three of the UK’s leading charities who provide support to people who have suffered from a spinal cord injury here in the UK, spinal cord injury paralyses someone every four hours. These statistics, as well as data from the NHS, estimates that 2,500 people are diagnosed with a life-changing spinal cord injury every year here in the UK, whilst the number of people living with a spinal cord injury in the UK is approximately 50,000.
Paralysis can be localised or generalised. Localised paralysis is where a specific section of the body is paralysed such as the face or a hand, whereas generalised paralysis is where a large area of the body is affected, these include:
- Monoplegia – is where one limb is paralysed
- Hemiplegia – is where the arm and leg on one side of the body are paralysed
- Paraplegia – is where both legs are paralysed, or sometimes the pelvis and some of the lower body
- Tetraplegia – also known as quadriplegia, where both arms and both legs are paralysed
The impact of a spinal cord injury is life-changing and can alter people’s lives in an instant, not only for the person who has sustained the injury, but their families and those who support them.
Not every spinal injury will result in a devastating outcome, but some do. Even a minor spinal injury can lead to a debilitating period of pain and suffering, requiring the need for rehabilitation. A member of our expert team will be able to advise you on starting your legal claim:-
- Mei Li
- Director & Head of Catastrophic Injury
- Kirsty Meech
- Director - Catastrophic Injury
- Ian Rees
- Director & Head of Personal Injury
- Keith Thomas
- Director & Head of Injury Services
- Alison Deere
- Legal Assistant - Clinical Negligence
- Sarah Mathias
- Legal Secretary - Injury Services
- Lesley Kerr
- Legal Secretary - Injury Services
- Cheryl Smith
- Legal Secretary - Personal Injury
- Sam Bateman
- Trainee Solicitor - Personal Injury
- Abigail Culpan
- Trainee Administrative Assistant - Injury Services
Such a serious injury can affect every aspect of the injured person’s life, such as:
- Their living arrangements, whether their current home is suitable, if not, where they will live, how they will live and whether they will need any additional support
- Their financial situation, such as matters concerning employment
- Injuries involving paralysis can also impact an individual’s sexuality, causes changes in physical functioning, sensation and response
- These types of injuries can also give rise to a number of other health issues
If you have suffered a spinal or spinal cord injury as a result of an accident, an assault or as a result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
This compensation will not just compensate you for the injury itself but also:
- The cost of any medical treatment and/or rehabilitation
- Cost of any counselling or support to help you and your family adapt
- Loss of Earnings (past and/or future)
- The cost of any support you may need to have put in place (e.g. carers, aids & equipment, adaptations to your home etc.)
- Travel Expenses
So, as you can see, if you are successful in making a claim for compensation, following a spinal injury, it can provide you with the vital support, care and foundations you need to start moving on with your life following such an injury.
We have experience of dealing with spinal injury claims resulting from:
- Road Traffic Accidents
- Accidents at work
- Public Liability claims
- Motorbike Accidents
- Medical Negligence
Some common concerns clients have before deciding whether to pursue a claim for compensation following a life altering-injury, is the issue of cost and the level of support they will receive from their solicitor, as pursuing a claim for damages can be a daunting prospect.
We here at JCP specialise in dealing with claims on a “No Win, No Fee”, so you don’t have to worry about a hefty bill in pursuing such a claim. Since a change in the law in 2013 solicitors are able to charge a success fee of up to 25% of any compensation received but this is limited to the award for your injuries and past losses – the success fee is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Our dedicated Spinal Injury team has years of experience within this sector and will ensure that you get the best advice and support in pursuing a claim and achieving the best possible outcome on your behalf. The team are also friendly, approachable, easy to talk to and understanding. We can also help you with arranging the private rehabilitation (occupational therapists, physiotherapists, case workers etc.) you need before your claim has concluded, so you get a head start in your recovery and adapting to life following your injury.
We appreciate the difficulties facing victims of spinal injuries and their loved ones in pursuing a claim and the strain and anxiety that the litigation process can bring. Our aim at JCP is to reduce the stress on you and your family and to deal with your Spinal Injury claim quickly and effectively.
How Spinal Injury claims work
Injuries to the spine or spinal cord can occur in a number of different ways.
In order to be eligible for compensation as a result of an accident, the third party who has caused the accident must have owed you a duty of care. A duty of care is owed to you by:
- Other road users in RTAs
- Your Employer
- The person or company/organisation responsible for public property– so if your accident occurred as a result of a defect or hazard on public property e.g. shop/retail park, pavement etc. you are owed duty of care.
- Medical Professionals
You would be eligible to make a Personal Injury claim if your injury was caused by a breach of duty of care by one of the above third parties. Such a breach of duty constitutes negligence by a third party; that is, you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own.
Should you wish to make such a claim, you have 3 years from the date of the accident to bring legal action otherwise the claim will become statute barred. However, if the claim should relate to a child, then the time limit to bring an action is 3 years after they have reached their 18th birthday.
Starting a Spinal Injury claim with JCP Solicitors
If you’ve been involved in an accident in which you have suffered a spinal or spinal cord injury and you wish to pursue a claim for personal injury with JCP Solicitors, we offer a free consultation in which you will put in contact with one of our dedicated team members from the Injury Services team.
During the consultation we will take your contact details, the details of the person who caused your accident and/or their insurers' details and circumstances of the accident you have been involved in.
Once we have this information it will be passed onto one of the senior members of the team to consider whether you have you have a valid claim, and whether that claim has sufficient prospects of success.
If we consider that you have a valid claim which has sufficient prospects of success, then we will have a file opened for you and send you our initial documentation, which will also include a draft letter of claim for your consideration. Once this has been approved, we will then submit it to the person who caused the accident, (the Defendant), or their insurers to start the claim.
Our ethos is to intervene quickly and effectively to put in place the appropriate specialist rehabilitation packages to ensure that clients suffering a spinal injury are provided with the assistance they and their families require.
Some common concerns clients have before deciding whether to pursue a Personal Injury claim, is the issue of cost and the level of support they will receive from their solicitor. We here at JCP specialise in dealing with claims on a “No Win, No Fee”, so you don’t have to worry about a hefty bill in pursuing such a claim.
Since a change in the law in 2013 solicitors are able to charge a success fee of up to 25% of any compensation received but this is limited to the award for your injuries and past losses – the success fee is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If your claim is unsuccessful then you face no charges.
Building your Spinal Injury Claim
If you should decide to proceed with your claim, as noted above we will send the letter of claim to the Defendant’s insurers. They will then carry out necessary investigations to determine whether their insured party is liable (responsible) for your injury or not. Once this decision has been obtained, we will then proceed to obtain the necessary evidence in support of your claim.
This evidence could include the following, depending on the severity of the injury:
- Medical Evidence: This takes form of medical reports prepared by appropriate independent medical experts following a review of your medical records and examination of you in order to prepare their reports. This will not be limited to just a review of your physical symptoms, but your psychological symptoms as well
- Care Expert Evidence
- Rehabilitation Expert
- Evidence from a Specialist Injury Management Equipment provider
- Evidence from an Architect: should home adaptations be required as a result of your injuries.
- Evidence of your out-of-pocket expenses: This will include both past and future losses, so will not just cover past loss of earnings, but also your future loss of earnings if your injury has limited your capacity for work. This will also include the cost for any future treatment you should need as well as the cost of any adaptations to your home which will be considered by an appropriate expert, the cost of care you require which will also be considered in detail by an appropriate care expert.
- Engineering Evidence: This independent expert evidence will be required in cases in which the mechanism or cause of the accident needs to be proved, such as in some road traffic accidents where perhaps the cause of the accident is uncertain.
Once the evidence is finalised and approved by you, it will be disclosed to the Defendant’s insurers for their consideration. In claims where liability is admitted, we will then proceed to value your claim by reference to the medical evidence which details the injuries you have suffered, known as ‘General Damages’.
We also value your claim for your out-of-pocket expenses, known as ‘Special Damages’ using the evidence that you provide and advise you as to the level of compensation you could expect to receive.
Securing Compensation for you
There are two ways of securing compensation, either through an out of Court settlement or, before a Judge at a Court hearing. The majority of claims are settled out of Court. This is advantageous to both parties involved as it is less costly than proceeding to Court, is also less stressful, and there is no pressure of appearing before a Judge at Court and giving evidence.
More importantly, it also allows us, as your legal representatives to negotiate the best settlement for you, consulting you throughout the process, rather than placing all your faith in an independent Judge at Court, where it is extremely difficult in predicting the outcome.
On occasions, commencing Court proceedings will be necessary, for example claims where:
- Defendant denies liability
- The Defendant is unresponsive
- The claim is complex in nature such as accidents of a serious nature, such as head or spinal injuries, accidents involving children or fatal accident
- To obtain an interim payment on your behalf
If it is necessary for a claim to proceed to Court, we will prepare the necessary paperwork to issue Court Proceedings on your behalf and talk you through each stage of the Court timetable.
Why use JCP Solicitors for pursuing your Spinal Injury Claim
Whatever the circumstances of your claim are, we here at JCP Solicitors will ensure that you as our client, have the practical and emotional support you need during the process of pursuing your claim.
The Personal Injury team has many years of experience within this field and have accreditation from Law Society Personal Injury accreditation as well as tier 2 Personal Injury ranking in Law Society Personal Injury accreditation and Band 1 Personal Injury ranking in Chambers & Partners.
We also have close ties with charitable organisations such as our membership with:
- Spinal Injuries Association who specialise in helping and supporting people who are affected by spinal cord injuries.
- Headway who specialise in helping and supporting people who have suffered with head and brain injuries
We have helped a large number of clients who have suffered spinal and spinal cord injuries in securing the compensation they deserve arising out of accidents which they were not at fault for.
We understand that such injuries can have a wide-ranging impact on an individual’s life, a compensation award can provide some form of justice and financial security and independence for the future.
We are based throughout South Wales with offices in the following locations:
Speak to our paralysis and paraplegia claims experts in South Wales
If you have been involved in an accident resulting in a spinal or spinal cord injury, then please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange your free consultation to discuss your potential claim.