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A Serious Spinal Injury, particularly if it affects your spinal cord, can have a significant and immediate impact on your life. Any injury to the spine can cause great pain and discomfort. If the injury damages the spinal cord itself then it may result in some degree of paralysis, with potentially life-changing implications. Spinal injuries not only affect the injured person, but can also affect their families, both financially and in terms of the amount of care someone with a spinal injury might need to allow them to have an acceptable quality of life.
Here at Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors, our Serious Injury specialists will work with you if you have suffered a Serious Spinal Injury or an injury to your spinal cord through no fault of your own. We will investigate the circumstances of the accident in which you were injured to find out who was responsible for your injuries, so that you can claim Serious Injury Compensation from them.
In situations where an injured person doesn’t have the capacity to make a Serious Injury Claim themselves, we will work with their family to make sure that the outcome of their claim properly reflects the impact of the spinal injury on their life.
Most Serious Spinal Injuries occur when too much strain is placed on the bones in the spine, or on the muscles in the back. There are 24 small bones (vertebrae) in the back, with seven of these located in the neck (the cervical vertebrae), 12 in your chest (the thoracic vertebrae) and five in your lower back (the lumbar vertebrae).
A Serious Spinal Injury can occur if there is a sudden, violent movement, such as might happen in a Road Traffic Accident or during a fall from height. This will put the bones in the spine under extreme pressure and may cause a fracture, damage to the spinal cord, or both. As well as road traffic accidents and falls from height, Serious Spinal Injuries can also happen in some contact sports, such as rugby and also accidents at work, for example if you are lifting heavy objects.
The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerve fibres and threads through the upper part of the spine, ending between the 1st and 2nd lumbar vertebrae. The location of the spinal cord within the spine means that in an accident, there is a chance that any injury to the spine could compress or sever the spinal cord, resulting in a Serious Spinal Cord Injury.
If the spinal cord is damaged in an accident, then it is likely that you will suffer from some degree of paralysis or loss of control over part of your body. How severe and to what degree you are affected by the paralysis will depend on where the damage to your spinal cord occurs. Damage higher up the spinal cord, closer to the brain stem, will affect more areas of the body than damage further towards the base of the spine.
For example, an injury that affects the lower end of your spinal cord (which runs through the thoracic vertebrae) may result in partial paralysis of your legs and loss of bowel or bladder function, but it is unlikely to affect your arms or the organs in your upper chest. An injury higher up the spinal cord, in the region of the cervical vertebrae (the bones in the neck) would affect the victim’s ability to control almost all of their major organs. People who have suffered a Serious Spinal Cord Injury of this type will usually need a mechanical ventilator to help them to breathe.
At Canter Levin & Berg, when we take on a claim made by someone who has suffered a Serious Spinal Injury or a Spinal Cord Injury or made on behalf of an injured person by their family we make sure that the very best legal representation is made available throughout the claim. Our Serious Injury Solicitors have extensive experience acting successfully for people who have suffered life-changing injuries, such as an injury to the spine or spinal cord.
Remember that if you’ve suffered a spinal injury and it wasn’t your fault, in most cases you have the right to claim compensation from the person or organisation responsible.
As with any compensation claim, a claim made by the victim of a Serious Spinal Injury or the family of someone who has suffered a Spinal Cord Injury will involve establishing the impact of the injury on the victim’s quality of life. Compensation will be awarded in successful claims based on the pain and suffering caused by the injury as well as the long term impact such as reduce life expectancy, a reduction in the victim’s quality of life and their ability to live independently.
If a member of your family has been affected by a Serious Spinal Injury, our team of expert Serious Injury Lawyers are available to help you with any compensation claim you might choose to make against those responsible. To find out more, you can contact us through this website, or by calling 0151 239 1180.