Thursday, 19 March 2015

Thompsons: Spinal and Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs) Fact sheet

Spinal cord injury – the facts

A spinal cord injury occurs when trauma to a person’s spinal cord damages it to the point that it limits or even destroys their motor, sensory and autonomic functions. It is estimated that there are 40,000 people living with spinal injuries in the UK.

What are the causes?

The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are accidents at work including falls (42%), road traffic accidents (37%) and sports accidents (12%). Spinal cord injuries can happen to anyone but the largest group are men aged 15-30.

Can people recover from spinal cord injuries?

Some people will not recover the physical functions they previously had before their spinal cord injury. There can be lifelong implications on people’s health and lifestyles.

In the aftermath of an injury, it is imperative that the injured person receives urgent critical care from experienced healthcare professionals at a dedicated trauma unit to prevent further damage to the person’s spinal cord. Quick diagnosis and specialist critical care from experience professionals can be hugely important in preventing further damage to the injured person’s spinal cord. There are dedicated trauma units that play a vital role in caring for those immediately after they’ve been injured and into the future.

Longer term access to specialist rehabilitation teams becomes an essential part of the recovery process and something that can have a dramatic impact on a person’s overall recovery and long term outcomes. Rehabilitation should be integrated into the recovery process as soon as possible but does require specific expertise and access to resources – and this is where a compensation claim can provide real, practical assistance.

Why do people with spinal cord injuries receive higher than average levels of compensation?

In any compensation claim the award is made up of damages for the individual’s pain and suffering to the date of the payment out but also for pain and suffering in to the future. In addition there is compensation for losses and expenses that the injured person incurs where it can be shown that the loss is connected to the injury. Spinal cord injuries often result in a person suffering a degree of paralysis that cannot be cured. This means that there are additional factors to be compensated such as rehabilitation costs, nursing care, disability aids or specialist equipment. In addition, the compensation should cover transport costs or the cost of having modifications made to the injured person’s home.

Where the injured person is unable to return to their previous (or any) work, damages awarded would also need to take into account any loss of earnings – to the date of the compensation payment.  

Why are there specialist spinal injury solicitors?

Recovering the proper amount of compensation in what are often complex cases requires a high level of skill. People with spinal injuries and spinal cord injuries need a legal representative who has a depth of experience in helping people in these challenging cases so they can recover the full amount due.  Thompsons has a team of experienced specialists who have secured millions of pounds worth of compensation for spinal injury victims.

Why Thompsons?

Some law firms will act for injured people and insurers who pay out for injured. Since 1921, when we were first formed, we have only ever acted for injured people. We refuse to act for insurance companies because we cannot understand how others can work for both sides.

Thompsons have offices across the UK, so wherever an accident or injury occurs, a local Thompsons branch is ready to help. We know how difficult it can be to come to terms with a spinal injury. That’s why we carry out home and hospital visits free of charge to ensure the road to securing compensation is as stress-free as possible. We’ll speak to you in plain English and make sure you are kept informed at every step of the way.

Thompsons also has a team of dedicated client support coordinators, whose job it is work with the injured person to assess their needs of the person with the spinal injury, and the availability of treatments both on the NHS and privately. This information is used by Thompsons’ solicitors to secure the right amount of compensation.

Why now?

There are strict time limits in place to make any injury claim, so it is important that anyone who has suffered a spinal cord injury seeks legal advice as soon as possible.

Thompsons knows the importance of getting compensation to injured people as soon as possible. Spinal injuries and spinal cord injuries can take time to conclude and we will, wherever we can, secure ‘interim payments’ for our clients whilst is ongoing. Interim payments can be often be lifelines for those needing immediate specialist care, which can be very expensive.

How can I get in touch about a claim?

Visit the Thompsons website for more information about making a claim:

Alternatively, call 08000 224 224, where you can be put through to one of our experienced serious injury solicitors. They will be happy to discuss your claim with you and talk you through the claims process.

What our clients say about us

“Today, I’m getting on with moving forward in my life in a variety of ways and I’m grateful for how Thompsons have helped with it all.” Mark

Links to helpful organisations

Spinal InjuriesAssociation – the leading national user-led charity for spinal cord injured (SCI) people.

Brain and Spine Foundation – charity helping people affected by spine and brain conditions

Aspire – offers practical support to people living with a spinal cord injury in the UK

1 comment:

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