Recent figures from Spinal Research, the UK’s leading spinal injury research charity, have identified falls as the leading cause of spinal injuries in the UK. Slips, trips and falls account for 41.7% of all spinal injuries, followed by road traffic accidents being responsible for 36.8%.
A spinal injury is one of the most serious injuries. In the most severe cases, there may be nerve damage that leads to complete paralysis. There may be extreme pain and a dramatic change to lifestyle, such as the need for full-time professional care. Returning to work may be difficult or completely impossible due to the severity of the injuries.
The Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases give an estimation of how much compensation can be expected for a particular injury. These guidelines are commonly referred to as the JSB guidelines and help to provide consistency in personal injury pay-outs across the UK. The following figures are taken from the most recent JSB guidelines.
Back and spinal injury pay-out guidelines are broken down into severe, moderate and minor categories.
The worst spinal injuries will attract a compensation award of £69,200 – £122,350. These would be cases where there is severe spinal cord and nerve damage. For an injury to fall into this category, there will be extreme pain, disability, and significantly impaired bladder or bowel function.
A pay-out of £56,375 – £67,200 would be likely for nerve root damage with loss of sensation, impaired mobility, impaired bladder, bowel and sexual function and unsightly scarring.
In less severe cases where there is a full recovery without surgery within 2 – 5 years, a pay-out of £6,000 – £9,500 could be expected. £1,860 – £6,000 would be likely for when there is full recovery within 3 months – 2 years and several hundred – £1,860 for when there is full recovery within 3 months.
In general, the more severe the spinal injury, the higher the compensation pay-out will be. The impact that the injury has upon the sufferer’s life is also considered and severity of pain, loss of bowel, bladder or sexual function and mobility issues may have an influence upon the compensation award.
The compensation awards listed above may seem low for such a serious injury. Compensation pay-outs can also factor in the loss of earnings and the impact that the injury has upon your work, family and social life.
If you have been involved in an accident that has caused a spinal or back injury, contact an experienced personal injury solicitor. They will be able to inform you of whether you are able to make a claim and should be able to give you an estimation of the compensation you can expect.
DISCLAIMER: This article should not be regarded as constituting legal advice in relation to particular circumstances. This article is merely a general comment on the relevant topic.