The majority of injuries to the spine occur in motor accidents known has road traffic accidents (RTA’s) or from falling from height but spinal injuries can be sustained in simple tripping or slipping accidents whilst walking along a pavement.
The spine is made up of over 30 individual bones known as the vertebral column which encase the spinal cord. The intricate structure and nature of the spine is a reason why there is such a range of degree spinal injuries that can occur.
The vertebra could become compacted, dislocated or even herniated. Symptoms could be far-reaching from just a mild back ache to completely debilitating back injury.
Likewise the level of recovery periods from a spine or spinal cord injury can vary greatly.
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
It is not uncommon for people to confuse a spinal injury with a spinal cord injury. This in turn may lead to unnecessary concern and worry over the effects of a spinal injury when in reality damage to the spinal cord could be minor and short-term.
Regrettably spinal cord injuries do happen and in some cases result in long-term disability, pain and paralysis. The location of the SCI will in many cases determine the consequences and level of disability that is suffered.
An injury sustained to the top part of the spinal cord around the neck area can result in paralysis from the neck down. This type of spinal injury would often result in the loss of use of arm and leg movement to varying degrees.
There is also the possibility of a loss of control of the torso making breathing difficult without support and a loss of control of body organs and functions.
Tetraplegia and or Quadriplegia are terms that are used interchangeably to explain this level of paralysis.
The severity and the force of an impact on the spinal cord will ultimately affect the level injury and recovery process.
Normally, if the spinal cord is completely severed then from that point down there will be some level of impairment of movement and function, and in many cases paralysis.
If the spinal cord is not severed but just damaged or bruised then some movement may remain but the recovery process would be assessed on an individual basis.
Furthermore, people with spinal cord injuries are susceptible to suffering from other illness and disease as they will often be vulnerable to respiratory problems.
In addition people suffering from spinal cord damage may also need continued care and help, potentially for the rest of their lives. In these circumstances the financial cost of long-term care, vehicle and home modifications and medical equipment can be astronomical.
If the injury was the result of someone else’s negligence then making a successful compensation claim for the injuries suffered would help with these costs.
Symptoms of a spinal injury
The symptoms for a spinal cord or spinal cord injury vary dramatically as there are so many ways in which someone could suffer an injury and also the severity and nature of the accident will be a factor for both the outcome and recovery process.
The most common symptoms include:
- Acute pain in the back, neck and shoulders
- Difficulties with mobility
- Strength loss
- Respiratory problems
- Temporary or total paralysis of the torso or limbs
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
It is important to remember that due to the complexities of back injuries that further damage can be suffered by an injured party if an untrained person attempts to move them following an accident. Long term damage can be caused not from the accident but from moving an individual without the proper knowledge or equipment necessary.
The negligence of others should be accounted for and financial compensation should be paid to an injured party if it is proved that their injuries are the result of that person or person’s negligence. Typical examples would be:
- Against an employer if they have failed in their duty of care to you and as a result you have sustained an injury at work.
- If you have tripped or slipped on a pavement or in a shop or public place.
- For medical negligence.
- In the event of an assault.
- A claim can be made against manufactures’ for selling faulty goods.
- In some circumstances for a sports injury.
As a result of someone’s carelessness a person may suffer an injury to their spine which could have life changing consequences. It is only right that the injured party should be compensated to help with the financial burden of having time off work or quite possibly never being able to work again.
If claiming against an employer the ‘breach’ of their duty of care owed to you will need to be proven.
At Accident Claims Assistance we can appoint the right solicitor to handle your compensation claim whatever the circumstances as our solicitors have years of experience in handling back injury and spinal claims.
Most claims are subject to time limits to make the claim. In many circumstances it is three years from the date of the accident and in clinical negligence cases it is three years from the date of knowledge. The date of knowledge is when ‘you’ first become aware that negligence has taken place. In some circumstances this can be years after an operation or treatment was undergone.
Our specialist solicitors at Accident Claims Assistance will be able to asses if you have a claim for compensation and if you do they will be able to handle every aspect of your claim from start to finish.
We handle all injury claims on a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement and will be able to recover the maximum compensation that you deserve.