Suffering a spinal injury is a devastating life-changing event that can result in being confined to a wheelchair, loss of bowel and bladder function and may affect your senses. This makes it essential that you access specialist medical and rehabilitative treatment as soon as possible.
Spinal cord injuries can be caused by car accidents, accidents during sports, falls and medical negligence. The latter could be through missed fractures of the neck of back, errors handling patients with neck or back injuries or mistakes from facet joint injections.
What happens when you sustain a spinal injury?
Usually you will be admitted to a spinal injury treatment centre where you will be assessed and given the appropriate treatment. You will also be taught how to manage your condition, including how to use a wheelchair safely. You will also most likely be offered counselling support and remain under the care of a spinal injury treatment centre on an outpatient basis.
What should I do next?
It’s a good idea to speak to specialist organisations such as the Spinal Injuries Association or the Back Up Trust. Their expertise covers the financial implications of suffering a spinal injury as well as the physical and psychological impact it may have on you. Although a spinal injury is life-changing, it may not mean you cannot work or participate in leisure pursuits.
What if my spinal injury happened because of medical negligence?
If you sustained your injury because of medical negligence then you may be entitled to compensation. How much depends on the severity of your injury and the impact that the injury has had on your life. If your claim is successful you will also be able to claim for loss of earnings, any long-term care, rehabilitation and any necessary house adaptations to maximise the chance of your recovery and independent living.
Can I get some compensation before the case has ended?
If you are successful in your claim you may be able to get interim payments to help you. Suffering a spinal injury will often mean you losing your living while having to pay for treatment, rehabilitation and medication. These payments are only available when the other side has admitted they were to blame for the incident.
How much time do I have to make a claim?
If you think you have a claim you need to seek the assistance of a specialist medical lawyer as soon as possible. There are time limits on how long you have to bring a claim, which is generally three years from the date the negligence occurred or the date when you were first aware that you suffered as a result of negligence.