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Spinal cord injury claims

In many cases, the damage caused by a spinal cord injury is irreversible and can have a catastrophic impact on you and your family. Our team of specialist spinal injury compensation solicitors can help with your claim. They will help you to get the best possible care and treatment so that you can go on to regain your independence.

To make a spinal cord injury compensation claim, call us today on 0800 027 2557 for confidential and sensitive advice. You can also request a call back at a time that suits you.

What areas do we cover?

Our Manchester serious injury team covers Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales. We can help you if you live in or around:

  • Greater Manchester
  • Liverpool
  • Blackpool
  • Bolton
  • Chester
  • Crewe
  • Cumbria
  • Preston
  • Warrington
  • Lancaster
  • Wigan

Although we’re based in central Manchester, our solicitors can come to you if that’s more convenient. We would always favour face-to-face meetings which can be at your home but we can also meet you virtually using video calling services, if preferred.

About our spinal cord injury team in Manchester

Our team of spinal cord injury lawyers in Manchester comprises 7 partners and 7 additional lawyers, distinguished for their rigorous approach to litigation and unwavering attention to detail. Renowned as formidable opponents, we are recognised for our strong advocacy skills and uncompromising stance against Defendant delays. With a track record of tackling complex cases that other firms have turned down, we are committed to advocating for our clients with dedication and expertise.


Where is the Manchester office?

Our Manchester office is based in the city centre, a stone’s throw away from Deansgate Square. The office can be accessed easily by public transport or car, with parking available nearby.

Manchester office address
Hugh James
12 Commercial Street
M15 4PZ

Why choose Hugh James for your spinal cord injury claim?

Hugh James brings vast expertise to handling compensation claims for individuals who have sustained spinal cord injuries. Our team of specialised spinal injury solicitors offers expert advice and services, guaranteeing the highest level of compensation and ensuring you receive optimal care, treatment, and rehabilitation.

As members of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), along with being members of the Law Society, our reputation speaks volumes. Consistently ranked in the top tiers by esteemed independent legal guides like Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, we’re recognised leaders in personal injury law, particularly in spinal cord litigation.

Our dedicated team includes welfare benefits advisors and a qualified social worker, bolstering the chances of success in your case. We provide free advice and guidance without obligation and offer no-win, no-fee agreements, prioritising your peace of mind and access to justice.

Our specialist solicitors can advise you on the following:

  • the Hugh James Emergency Fund and how it can assist you and your family;
  • obtaining private rehabilitation;
  • your damages;
  • interim payments;
  • welfare benefits and emergency funding;
  • employment concerns;
  • charities that can assist you;
  • wills, trusts and power of attorney;
  • dealing with your mortgage, credit card and loan providers following a spinal cord injury;
  • investigating any potential insurance cover that may benefit you;
  • social services and local authority funding for care and equipment; and
  • human and disability rights.

Do I have a claim for my spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injuries have a significant impact on the welfare of those who develop them. From partial immobility to complete loss of movement, the effects can be life-changing for victims and their families.

If your situation is similar to the above, you may be seeking financial assistance for medical costs and loss of work, as well as private medical treatment for trauma. A successful claim can offer you the chance to pay for care and rehabilitation, contribute to any necessary equipment required, and also go a long way to helping you adapt or purchase a more accessible home.

If you’d like to see real-life accounts of successful claims, read through our case study where a man suffers cervical spine fracture during corporate sports day, as well as a misdiagnosis that led to a woman’s paralysis.

How much does a spinal cord injury claim cost? Will I be able to afford it?

Most cases are funded on the basis of a “no win, no fee” arrangement, otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. We can investigate your potential claim, and you will not have to pay us a penny if your case is not successful. We will explain how all this works during our very first meeting.

You may already have a legal expense insurance policy; if this is the case, we will always start by investigating whether you can use this policy before we consider whether a conditional fee agreement would be more appropriate.

Alex’s story

Alex was struck by a car while crossing the road on his way home from work. He suffered a spinal fracture at L4 and later experienced a traumatic brain injury, leading to a collapse two days after the accident. The collapse was directly attributed to the injuries sustained in the accident.

The driver initially denied liability, claiming he was driving within the speed limit, indicating his intention to turn, and had not cut any corners. He alleged that Alex had stepped out suddenly and was distracted by his mobile phone. However, liability and causation were ultimately conceded before trial, with judgment entered for 100% of any damages to be assessed by the court.

Contributory negligence was raised on behalf of the driver. Alex was awarded provisional damages, allowing him to seek further compensation if he develops post-traumatic epilepsy.

As a result of his brain injury, Alex experienced personality changes, reduced concentration, memory issues, and decreased processing speed. He also lost the ability to pursue his career goals due to mobility restrictions from his spinal injury.

Read more about Alex’s story here.

Mark Robinson, Partner in our Serious Injury team, acted on behalf of Alex and said:

“I am delighted to have been able to support Alex in his difficult claim and recover substantial compensation when for many years, he thought he would not receive any due to the extensive allegations made against him by the Defendant.”

*The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.

View more stories

Your questions answered

A spinal cord injury occurs when a portion of the spinal cord or the surrounding nerves at the base of the spine have been damaged. Generally, the closer the spinal cord injury is to the brain, the more severe the damage and the more parts of the body will be affected.

Injuries to the spinal cord can severely impact many aspects of a person’s life, with paralysis, incontinence and loss of the upper body and arm use among the potential consequences. The extent of the disability will be determined by the level of the spinal cord injury and whether it is complete or incomplete.

For spinal cord injury claims, you can make a claim within a time limit of three years from the date you received the injury.

For children, a claim can be made up until their 21st birthday. However, after the child reaches 18, they will have to make a claim on their own behalf.

Spinal injury compensation claims often require several years to reach a settlement. This extended timeframe is necessary to fully grasp how you envision your long-term lifestyle. We prefer to wait until your rehabilitation is complete in order to accurately assess the resources you will require for the rest of your life. Taking the time to comprehend the ramifications of your injury is essential, as the compensation is intended to sustain you for a lifetime. Settling prematurely risks undervaluing your claim.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait years for any form of compensation. In numerous instances, we are able to secure early or interim payments while your case is ongoing. Such payments are possible when the entity you’re claiming from acknowledges liability at an early stage. Interim payments can alleviate immediate financial burdens and can also be utilised for items and services that facilitate your daily living and rehabilitation, such as purchasing a wheelchair or covering the cost of physiotherapy sessions.

When pursuing spinal injury compensation claims, it is vital to engage a solicitor who specialises in the field. If you have reservations or are dissatisfied with the service you’re receiving, you have the freedom to seek a second opinion. Our team of expert solicitors specialising in spinal cord injuries have the requisite experience to secure the compensation you are rightfully due for your spinal injury claim. We can also help you access specialist support to not only assist with your legal proceedings, but also facilitate your rehabilitation. We offer an initial consultation at no cost to evaluate the handling of your spinal cord injury claim and the amount of compensation being pursued. Should you decide to entrust us with your case thereafter, the transition is straightforward; we will liaise with your current solicitor on your behalf.

Safeguarding your means-tested entitlements

Receiving compensation alters your financial landscape, potentially putting your means-tested benefits in jeopardy. Nonetheless, you can secure your eligibility for these benefits by establishing a personal injury trust. Our expert solicitors specialising in spinal injuries are on hand to guide you through this, if relevant.

Prompt medical treatment and rehabilitation

In many spinal injury compensation cases, immediate medical intervention – be it surgery, physiotherapy, counselling or care – can positively influence both your current health status and future wellbeing. Rather than awaiting the resolution of your claim, we have established connections with medical and rehabilitation service providers to kickstart your recovery process at the earliest opportunity.

Known as the vertebral column or spinal column, the spine is a fundamental part of the human body that houses and protects the spinal cord. The spine is comprised of protective bones called vertebrae, which start at the skull and make their way down to the lower back.

The vertebral column is divided into five distinct regions:

  • Cervical spine – there are seven vertebrae in this portion of the spine. They are located in the neck and allow for movement of the skull forwards and backwards.
  • Thoracic spine – the area in parallel with the thorax (the area between the neck and the abdomen). The thoracic spine has twelve vertebrae in total.
  • Lumbar spine – this part of the spine is located in the lower back and contains five vertebrae. Some of the largest non-fused spinal discs are located in this section of the vertebral column. It is also worth noting that the spinal cord does not extend past this point of the spinal column.
  • Sacral spine – located in the lower part of the back, these five vertebrae are typically fused together to form a solid structure.
  • Coccyx – at the bottom of the spinal column is the coccyx, a part of the body commonly referred to as the tailbone. It is made up of four vertebrae.

Humans rely on the spinal column for core internal support. It plays a key role when we stand, bend and turn, all the while protecting the spinal cord from serious injury.

Built into the spinal column is the spinal cord, a complex series of nerves that start at the bottom of the brain and run down the vertebral column, all the way to the backbone. The spinal cord, along with the brain, is a significant part of the central nervous system.

The spinal cord works as part of the central nervous system, and has an important role to play in the following areas:

  • Walking – this activity is coordinated by the brain and the spinal cord. Groups of muscles in the legs have to coordinate to extend and contract repeatedly, with neurons called central pattern generators sending signals to the leg muscles to make this happen.
  • Electrical communication – electrical signals are sent up and down the spinal cord, facilitating communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
  • Reflexes – involuntary movements that are governed by external stimuli and the brain. For instance, the instinctive reaction to touching something hot is to withdraw the part of the body affected immediately.

How do spinal cord injuries impact day-to-day living?

Suffering a spinal cord injury is life-changing for everyone concerned, and the prospect of full recovery for the victim is often limited at best. For families, watching a loved one suffer and struggle with the consequences of a serious injury places on them enormous stress and daily challenges.

When planning for life after a spinal cord injury, you may have to think about:

  • Carers to assist with day-to-day tasks
  • Specialist equipment to assist with bodily functions such as breathing, urinating or defecating
  • Rehabilitation to retrain your body to perform tasks such as walking or holding an object
  • Making alterations to your home to improve access and comfort
  • Therapy to come to terms with the nature of the injuries sustained

Spinal cord injuries are categorised by where the injury has been sustained, because the spinal column can be broken down into distinct areas, with each portion housing specific functions.

Sustaining an injury to a higher part of the spine generally results in more serious consequences for the victim.

High-cervical nerves (Upper neck, C1 – C4)

  • Severe paralysis is often the result, with hands, legs and torso all paralysed
  • The victim may not be able to breathe independently
  • Assistance may be required with routine daily activities, such as eating, dressing and getting in and out of bed

Low-cervical nerves (Lower neck C5-C8)

  • Responsible for nerves controlling arms and hands
  • Typically, people with this type of injury will be able to breathe independently and speak uninhibited
  • The victim is likely to be paralysed in the legs and have limited control over their arms
  • Many people with this type of spinal injury will have little or no control of their bowels and bladder
  • A moderate level of personal care is required for people with this type of injury

Thoracic nerves (Higher, T1 – T5)

  • Damage sustained here affects muscles, the upper chest, the mid-back and abdominal muscles
  • Injuries usually affect the legs, resulting in paraplegia – paralysis or loss of feeling in the legs or lower body
  • The victim can use braces or crutches to walk, as arm and hand function is typically unaffected
  • The patient is usually capable of using a wheelchair

Thoracic nerves (Lower, T6 – T12)

  • Damage to this area results in loss of function and feeling in the abdominal and back muscles, depending on the nature of the injury sustained
  • Upper body movement is usually unaffected
  • Many people with this type of spinal injury will have little or no control of their bowels and bladder
  • Injury to this area of the spinal cord can result in lower limb paraplegia

Lumbar nerves (L1 – L5)

  • Usually leads to a loss of function in the hips and legs
  • Injury results in partial or complete loss of control of the bowel and bladder, but the patient can use equipment to manage their condition without care
  • A wheelchair may be needed if there is not enough strength in the legs, otherwise, leg braces may be an option

Sacral nerves (S1 – S5)

  • Results in some loss of function in the hips and legs
  • Many people with this type of spinal injury will have little or no control of their bowels and bladder
  • In comparison to damage sustained in other areas of the spinal cord, people with an injury to this area are more likely to be able to walk

Our team is here for you and ready to help you make a spinal injury compensation claim. Give us a call on 0800 027 2557 to start your enquiry.

To request a call back, visit our dedicated contact page. If there is someone specific at the firm you would like to speak to, visit their profile on our people page.

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