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Serious injury compensation lawyers

Home > Personal Injury > Serious injuries > Spinal injury and spinal cord injury

Spinal injury and spinal cord injury (SCI)

Specialists in spinal injury compensation claims

Clear Answers’ solicitors have a proven track record of winning personal injury compensation claims for people injured as a result of negligence or breach of a statutory duty. Sadly, some of these accidents will result in serious injuries such as spinal injury or spinal cord injury (SCI).

To read more about how Clear Answers’ specialist lawyers can help you, and your family, receive your rightful compensation, please select one of the links below:

Seeking specialist spinal injury compensation claim advice

Our experience has been gained over decades of dealing with these devastating conditions, and we have many satisfied clients.

If you or a member of your family has suffered a spinal or spinal cord injury, contact Clear Answers now on 0800 783 9019 for expert legal advice on whether you have a valid accident claim for SCI compensation. Alternatively you might prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.

Strict time limits apply for making a personal injury compensation claim, so please seek expert legal advice as soon as you think you may have a claim for compensation.

Please visit our section on information and advice for more details on making a personal injury compensation claim, or our gathering information and evidence section for details on what to do if you are involved in an accident.

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Claiming spinal injury or spinal cord injury (SCI) compensation

It is not sufficient that you have suffered a spinal injury or spinal cord injury (SCI), through no fault of your own. In order to bring a successful claim for compensation, you must be able to prove that what happened was the result of negligence or breach of statutory duty on the part of someone else. This may be your employer if you were injured as a result of an accident at work, or an individual if your injuries were sustained in, say, a road traffic accident. If your accident occurred as the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.

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Clear Answers' experience in compensation claims

In many circumstances, you may not be able to deal with the investigation of your claim. In many cases you will be dealing with the painful recovery and treatment for your injuries, which may include other injuries as well as the spinal injury. You will also be trying to come to terms with the devastating effects that the injury will have upon you and your family, and will be facing the prospect of rebuilding your lives with a disability.

Clear Answers’ specialist lawyers have real experience in dealing with families in these situations. We understand the importance of securing compensation as quickly as possible, and where necessary, obtaining interim payments in order that you can begin the road to recovery and as independent a life as you can achieve.

Clear Answers' lawyers, Thompsons, helped Mark Cook to rebuild his life following a devastating road accident. You can view Mark's DVD of his serious injury and recovery which is at the top of this page.

Interim payments may also help with dealing with the immediate financial hardship you may face in meeting bills and commitments if there is a loss of income as a result of your spinal injury. Interim payments are also a tangible recognition by the party causing your injury that responsibility is accepted, and this can be of huge psychological benefit and relief to you and your family.

Since 1994, when we achieved a £3.4 million compensation award for a road traffic accident victim (the highest award ever at that time), we have settled many serious injury cases, achieving awards from one hundred thousand pounds to multi-million pound settlements.

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Managing serious injury claims

Clear Answers’ lawyers will always put your wellbeing and interests at the centre of their actions. To ensure these are always at the forefront of our dealings with you or your family, a senior partner is assigned to oversee catastrophic injury claims such as spinal injuries or spinal cord injuries (SCI).

The senior partner will assume the responsibility for all important decisions relating to your case but will work with a specialist team, who will ensure your case is dealt with speedily and efficiently at all times. This also ensures that if one of the team is not available for any reason, another member will be fully aware of your current case details.

Because we understand the difficulties that you may experience during your treatment and rehabilitation, our lawyers are happy to carry out hospital or home visits as required, making access to our expert legal advice as easy as possible.

It is essential that in pursuing claims of this nature, the investigation covers every aspect of the case. There can be risks of later and further medical complications that will have to be taken into account. The damages will have to include not only costs of compensation for the injuries themselves, and the actual losses suffered, but perhaps also rehabilitation, nursing care, housing requirements, aids and equipment, specialised transport, etc. so it is vital that the calculation of compensation is thorough.

These injuries can result in the loss employment or perhaps re-employment into another field. This in turn can lead to the complete loss or drop in earnings which then in turn leads to a later, but inevitable, loss of future pension entitlement. The loss of pension may adversely affect not only you but also your spouse and other dependants.

There can also be the disappointment of not being able to follow a vocational career, a loss of promotion prospects or the ability to diversify your career, as well as increased difficulty in finding other alternative employment if you were forced, or chose, to do so. There can be a loss of overtime, allowances, company car entitlement, healthcare benefits, telephone usage and a whole range of other benefits and perks that may be attached to your employment.

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Experts in spinal injury and spinal cord injury (SCI) accidents

We have access to a network of experts, from those who will assess the circumstances of your accident, through to medical experts who will be able to assess not only your immediate requirements, but your future and long-term needs. Experts may also be vital in helping to assess and justify the complex long-term losses that can inevitably arise from this type of injury.

In addition, experts may be necessary to advise on the best way to approach the settlement of any damages claim so as to steer you towards the most tax efficient and income / investment yield possible. This involves relying on expert independent financial advice leading up to and after the settlement itself.

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Spinal injuries

The spine, or backbone, known in human anatomy as the vertebral column, is a column of 33 vertebrae, the sacrum, intervertabral discs, and the coccyx. It is separated by spinal discs and is situated in the dorsal aspect of the torso. In its spinal canal, it houses the spinal cord.

It is possible to suffer a broken back or neck without damaging the spinal cord. Although a devastating injury in itself, this may not result in paralysis. These types of injuries might typically occur when the injured person has suffered a fracture or dislocation of the vertebrae.

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Spinal cord injuries (SCI's)

It is estimated that over 1,000 people in the UK will suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year, with perhaps 40,000 people living with a spinal cord injury.

An extension of the central nervous system, the spinal cord is enclosed in and protected by the vertebrae that make up the spinal column, and acts as the connection between the brain and the rest of the body.

A spinal cord injury may result from similar accidents or injuries as a spinal injury, but may also be the result of disease. When the injury results in the spinal cord itself being damaged, this can often lead to permanent paralysis of some kind.

It is important to know that the spinal cord does not have to be completely severed in order for the victim to become paralysed to some degree. In most cases, the cord will not be severed but the damage caused by swelling within the confines of the narrow space within the vertebrae may result in scar tissue, inhibiting the formation of new nerve pathways, causing permanent paralysis.

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Personal injury news stories

Clear Answers’ solicitors deal with thousands of all types of personal injury and accident compensation claims each year, many resulting in serious injuries. Details of some of these successful compensation claims can be found in our Personal Injury News Section, which is updated regularly.

Below is just one example of a recent spinal cord injury compensation claim where we have successfuly secured compensation for our client.

Substantial road accident compensation for spinal injury

Our client in this serious road accident compensation claim had been a minor (under eighteen years of age) at the time of her accident. Although court proceedings were issued, our specialist road accident lawyers were able to negotiate this substantial sum in compensation (over £2 million), which will be needed to provide suitable accommodation for our client, as well as the care she will need for the rest of her life.
More about Substantial road accident compensation for spinal injury

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Useful definitions related to spinal injuries


The spine is referred to as the vertebral column, spinal column, or backbone and is the flexible bone column extending from the base of the skull to the tailbone. 24 vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs and are bound together by ligaments and muscles. Five further vertebrae are fused together to form the sacrum and 4 more are fused together to form the coccyx. 33 vertebrae in all. It provides support for the abdomen and thorax.

Spinal Cord

Part of the central nervous system, the cylindrical bundle of nerve fibres is enclosed in the spinal canal. It is connected to the brain and provides the pathway for nervous impulses to and from the brain, acting as a centre for carrying out many reflex actions independently of the brain.


Containing the first seven vertebrae, this is the neck region of the spine.


Between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae, this chest level region of the spine consists of 12 vertebrae that serve as attachment points for ribs.


Between the thoracic region and the sacrum, this lower part of the spine, the lumbar spine, consists of five vertebrae.


Between the two hip bones of the pelvis, this part of the spine is also part of the pelvis. It consists of a triangular bone in the lower back formed from 5 fused vertebrae and has no intervertebral discs.


“Plegia” is a Greek word meaning paralysis; “Para” is derived from the Greek word for “two”, giving us the term paraplegia which is used to describe the extent of the condition when the site of the injury (known as a lesion) is in the thoracic, lumbar or sacral region, resulting in paralysis of the legs.

A paraplegic will usually retain the use of their head, hands and arms, and breathing would not be affected.

Quadraplegia or Tetraplegia

Again, “Tetra” is derived from the Greek word meaning “four”, giving us tetraplegia if the injury occurs higher up the spine in the neck (cervical) region, when the whole body (or all four limbs) will be affected.

Quadra” is also derived from a word meaning “four” but comes from the Latin rather than the Greek. In Europe, they prefer to use tetraplegia to avoid combining two different language sources. America has also adopted the term tetraplegia.

A quadriplegic or tetraplegic will lose the use of all limbs and may have other complications such as breathing difficulties.

Complete or Incomplete Injury

The point of the lesion along the spinal cord will determine the extent of the paralysis, but the injury will also be classified as either complete or incomplete, and will determine whether the injured person will experience feeling in some or all of the affected limbs.

A complete injury will result in complete paralysis from below the point of the injury.

An incomplete injury may leave the injured person with some sensation below their injury, but no movement, or in some cases movement but no sensation. The symptoms of incomplete injuries will be many and varied.

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Spinal injury or spinal cord injury (SCI) compensation

If you or a member of your family has suffered a serious spinal or spinal cord injury (SCI), it is important to obtain prompt specialist advice to ensure that you and your family receive the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible.

Clear Answers’ specialist lawyers will be able to advise you whether a claim for accident compensation is possible and can give immediate and urgent guidance and assistance on how a claim can be pursued.

Telephone us now on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms. One of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.

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