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Spinal injuries solicitors

Spinal injuries may cause catastrophic lifelong disability.  If you or someone you know has suffered from such an injury you need a team of expert spinal injury solicitors to investigate whether you are entitled to substantial compensation. 

What is a Spinal Injury?

The spinal cord is a delicate part of the body formed of nerves that connects the body with the brain.  If this cord is damaged, it can result in a spinal injury.

What are the Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?

The symptoms of a spinal cord injury are different depending on exactly which part of the spinal cord has been damaged and the severity of this.  Symptoms may include problems with movement (paralysis), sensation (inability to feel hot or cold) and sometimes difficulty with bladder or bowel control. 

As a general rule, paralysis is more likely to occur when the spinal cord is damaged at the top, closer to the brain.   This can result is very serious injury.

Click here for information about Cauda Equina injuries affecting the lower back.

What is Paralysis?

Paralysis is where there is a loss of body function/control.  When the spinal cord is damaged across its entire width, a complete injury, there is likely to be full loss of body function below the level of the spinal cord where the injury occurred.

With a less severe injury to the spinal cord, where it does spread across the entire width, some body functions below this level may still remain intact. This is known as an incomplete injury. 

Typically, people with paralysis because of injury to the spinal cord retain body function control above the point where the injury to the spinal cord occurred; arm control, for example, with paralysis of the legs and lower body generally.     

What causes a Spinal Injury?

Spinal cord injuries occur for different reasons.  Trauma, from a fall or a car accident, for example, or because of naturally arising health problems such as: infection, arthritis, tumours, problems with blood supply to the spinal cord, spinal disc degeneration or scoliosis (curvature of the spine).  Surgery to try and treat these conditions can, on occasions, also lead to further spinal cord injury.

When do Spinal Injury Medical Negligence Claims occur?

Medical negligence compensation claims for spinal cord injuries usually focus on delay in diagnosis and treatment of an underlying health condition; for instance, if a child is suffering from scoliosis of the spine, were the appropriate investigations and treatments, including surgery, performed in a timely fashion and, if not, has this led to the child suffering an avoidable deterioration. 

The other key area often investigated, is the standard of spinal cord surgery; specifically, whether the decision to proceed to surgery was appropriate, the standard of surgery performed and the competency/experience of the surgeon.

Spinal cord injuries caused by road traffic accidents and falls or slips may also result in personal injury compensation claims where it was not the injured person’s fault; like someone speeding and recklessly driving into your vehicle or you injuring yourself at work because of shortcomings in health and safety.  Our team of Spinal Injury lawyers will be able to advise on these compensation claims.  

What is Paraplegia and Tetraplegia?

If someone is diagnosed with a serious spinal cord injury it is likely that it will be classified as either paraplegia or tetraplegia.  Each condition is explained below:

  • Paraplegia is where there is damage to the thoracic and lumbar spine  (lower part of the body) causing problems with sensation and function.  It typically limits someone’s ability to use their legs. 
  • Tetraplegia is the condition where damage is caused to the spinal cord in the neck (the cervical spine).  An injury to the cervical spine can cause problems throughout someone’s body, including the lower and upper half so that arms, chest, stomach muscles and legs may all be affected. 

Click below to watch a video of a courageous man living with tetraplegia.

How are Spinal Cord injuries treated?

The delicate spinal cord cannot repair itself like other parts of the human body.  If an injury occurs, doctors will need to investigate and identify exactly where the injury to the spinal cord has occurred before considering treatment options.

Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy and Physiotherapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Counselling

When a serious spinal injury occurs it is unlikely that it can be fully repaired so the focus of treatment is on rehabilitation and learning to live with the injury, whether this is by utilising technology, like wheelchairs, or with counselling. Psychological support and, often, intensive physical therapy to strengthen other parts of the body,  is usually considered as part of a broad rehabilitation plan.

How are the different sections of the Spinal Cord classified?

Different sections of the spinal cord and the nerves located within it are classified by individual letters and numbers.  Click here to see a diagram of this. 

Cervical

At the top of the spinal cord, closest to the brain, the spinal cord nerves and the rings of bone (vertebrae) that surround it, are grouped between C1 to C8 (C1 is at the top and C8 at the bottom). The “C” stands for cervical.  Injuries at C1 to C8 are very serious and can affect the whole body including chest, arms and legs.

Thoracic

Underneath the Cervical groups of the spinal cord are the thoracic groups.  These are grouped from T1 to T12.  T1, for example, is at the top of someone’s rib cage, T12, is at the lower part of the back, just above the lumbar or lower spine.

Lumbar

Underneath the Thoracic groups of the spinal cord are the Lumbar (lower spine) groups between the diaphragm and the sacrum. These are grouped: L1 to L5.

Injuries to the lumbar spine usually cause problems to the hips and legs.

Sacral

At the bottom end of the spinal cord are the Sacral groups, S1 to S5.  These are located from the pelvis to the end of the spine.  Injuries at S1 to S5 of the spinal cord also typically affect the hips and legs. 

How do you claim for Spinal Injury Compensation?

At the outset, our Spinal Injury solicitor will speak with you and find out exactly what has happened.  If it is felt that an avoidable injury has been sustained because of an accident or poor medical care (including a delay in diagnosis) we will fully investigate a medical negligence compensation claim.  We do this by instructing top independent medical experts to report on what has happened. 

NHS or private hospital litigation can be complex so it is important that you speak to and instruct specialist and experienced clinical negligence solicitors.

Why you need a Specialist Spinal Injury Solicitor?

When someone suffers an accident or medical treatment goes wrong and causes injury and loss it is crucial to speak with a professional, experienced and specialist medical negligence solicitor to help you.

Our Solicitors

The medical negligence team at Minton Morrill has this experience and its team of solicitors specialise solely in this complex area of law. Our team have more accredited panel members (5) on the AvMA and Law Society clinical negligence scheme than any other law firm handling clinical negligence claims in Leeds or surrounding area as well as a national presence acting for clients across the country such as Kent, Hampshire and Cumbria.

Our medical negligence team is top ranked in the Tier 1 category in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners annual reviews in recognition of their medical negligence work.   The department is described as ‘One of the market leaders’ noted for ‘achieving high-value settlements’ in birth injury claims and also for its ‘superb reputation for handling a wide range of clinical negligence claims’. 

The department is led by Simon Minton.  Simon and Julia Morrill are both recognised as the only two Leading Individuals for clinical negligence in the Leeds area.  The other department members: Susan Bartfield, Charles Gillott, Sahida Patel and Guy Pomphrey all have a wealth of experience.  Speak to our team today to work towards succeeding with your claim.

A Complete Service

Minton Morrill also has a leading Court of Protection department (led by Julia Morrill) to assist injured children, adults and their families manage and access compensation money held by the Courts should they require help with this.

Our Values

Being a victim of negligence is extremely distressing for those directly affected and their families.  We offer a bespoke and personal service to all of our clients because we recognise and understand how important it is for your case to be handled in a sensitive manner.  We are not a “claims processing factory” and our team of solicitors only take on a smaller number of total cases in order to be able to meet the high standards we set for ourselves.

How much Compensation for a Spinal injury?

The amount of financial compensation someone will receive for an avoidable Spinal Cord injury will be determined by the location and severity of the injury.

As set out in the sections above, an injury to the cervical section of the spinal cord usually causes the most severe problems and disabilities, which would lead to a potentially very high value claim for compensation in the millions of pounds.

Any negligence claim is, however, also affected by the age of the client, their underlying health, employment and family situation.  This is why Minton Morrill’s team of leading clinical negligence lawyers provide a bespoke service to every client to make sure they receive the maximum compensation for their needs, now and in the future.  We pride ourselves on this standard of service. 

Case Studies of Spinal Injury Medical Negligence.

We have successfully secured large Spinal injury compensation damages for our clients over the years.  Click here to read our Spinal Injury case studies.

Paying for Spinal Cord Damage Rehabilitation treatment?

Rehabilitation programmes are available across the country through the NHS and leading spinal charities.  In our experience the level of services available are not always in line with what the client wants to achieve, particularly, if they are determined to work on certain health aspects within a short timeframe. 

Successful medical negligence claims can provide the financial resources to obtain intensive private rehabilitation treatment in short timeframes.  This is often of particular importance to clients who want to move forward with their lives.  A programme of physiotherapy or counselling may help achieve this.

How will I pay for my Claim?

We offer a range of different funding options to fund a medical negligence compensation claim.  Our team will carefully assess the options available and advise you, clearly, what is the best option for you.  Click here for information about the different funding methods, including No Win No Fee Agreements.

If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal injury and would like to discuss this and speak to our solicitors about a potential negligence claim for compensation, call us today on 0113 245 8549 or complete the Ask Us A Question or Get in Touch Forms. 

 

Some of our Spinal Injury Successful Claims

Delay in Performing Decompressive Surgery

C was diagnosed as having athetoid cerebral palsy from birth. At the age of 27 she was referred following a complaint of numbness in both hands. She underwent a myelogram as well as x-rays which were said to be normal and no further investigations were...

Delay in Diagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome

C had severe back pain radiating to her legs, sensation loss/numbness in the perineum and vaginal area, numbness at the base of her bottom, the inability to pass urine normally with a constant feeling of the need to urinate, a burning sensation on urinating...

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