Spinal cord damage is mostly caused by physical trauma and some 37% of such injuries in the UK are the result of a road traffic accident.
Damage to this area of the body in the most severe cases will result in lifechanging injuries including partial or full paralysis. Spinal cord injury patients not only face a long recovery time but often have to adapt to living with a major disability.
Types of Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are generally classified as complete or incomplete and this relates to the type of damage.
- If the cord is completely severed, there is usually loss of all function below the level of the injury.
- If it is not completely damaged, there may be interference with a function such as loss of sensation or movement in certain parts of the body though there will be some form of disability to cope with.
Where on the spine the damage occurs, is also important. Generally, the higher up the injury, the more likely it is to cause complete paralysis.
Cervical and thoracic (the neck and chest) injuries are the most serious and can leave the individual completely unable to move. They may also have no sensation below the level of the damage, have difficulty breathing and problems with natural functions such as going to the toilet.
Someone with a lower back or lumbar spinal injury may well be paralysed below the waist and confined to a wheelchair though they will have full movement of the area above the waist.
Both types of injury mean that the individual will need to not only change their lifestyle and learn to live with their disability, but they may also need ongoing care and medication for the rest of their lives.
Who Can Be Affected?
Anyone in a road traffic accident can suffer a spinal cord injury even with all the safety measures in today’s modern cars. Pedestrians or cyclists who are also involved in an RTA can suffer from spinal injuries.
Who is Responsible?
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a road traffic accident, and it wasn’t your fault, you may be able to claim for compensation through the courts.
A spinal cord injury is lifechanging and even minor damage can have long-term effects. If you are unfortunate to be paralysed or have lost mobility because of the accident, you will need support to get better but also to live a full life.
You may need to spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair, require the assistance of a caregiver, need extensive rehabilitation, adapt your home and make up for your loss of job because you are unable to work.
Even if the driver responsible for the accident is uninsured or fled the scene, you can claim through the Motor Insurance Bureau.
Getting Compensation for a Spinal Injury Caused by a Road Accident
The last thing on your mind if you have suffered from a serious spinal injury is going to be claiming compensation. It is important, however, to seek the advice of a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer, like the team at Accinet, as soon as you can.
They will give you a free consultation and be able to tell you if there is a basis for a compensation claim. On top of that, there is the option of a no win no fee service where the solicitor takes on your claim and only charge fees once it has been successfully settled.