The right solicitor is essential in a spinal cord injury claimJuly 1, 2011
A 53 year old man was cleaning windows at a shopping centre. His ladder was not supported and he fell 30 feet. This resulted in a fractured vertebrae at the bottom of his spine, a serious head injury and a broken wrist. A fracture to the spine often causes paralysis because the fracture damages the spinal cord.
Following the accident, he contacted a national personal injury company. However they failed to obtain medical evidence or witness statements and failed to pursue an interim payment. Because of this, he may have had to settle for a much lower compensation payment if he hadn’t changed to a different solicitor.
Because of the serious nature of a spinal cord injury claim, it is important that the solicitor who takes on the case is experienced and knowledgeable. The level of compensation awarded depends on the extent of the injuries and the level of negligence. Therefore, it is extremely important to obtain detailed medical evidence and establish an accurate description of events. This will help to ensure that the compensation payment is proportionate to the injury.
A spinal cord injury can be devastating and may impact the rest of your life. The spinal cord carries signals from the brain to the rest of the body and back again. If it is damaged, this can disrupt those signals and affect movement and sensory functions.
Other symptoms of spinal injury can include difficulty regulating temperature, difficulty managing bladder and bowel function (because signals from the bladder and bowel to the brain travel up the spinal cord), muscle reflex spasms, high blood pressure in the area below the injury (known as automatic dysreflexia) and respiratory complications for injuries near the top of the spine.
Spinal injuries that are severe enough to cause paralysis and some of the symptoms discussed above are usually caused by trauma to the spine. This can occur as a result of a vehicle accident, particularly if the driver or a passenger is not wearing a seatbelt.
A man who was hit by a car whilst riding a motorbike suffered a serious spinal injury which made him quadriplegic (paralysed in all four limbs). The driver’s liability was established early on which helped to obtain interim payments which paid for adaptations to the victim’s house. If the solicitor had not pursued these interim payments, the victim would have had to wait much longer before he would have been able to make these adaptations to his home.
What both these case studies show that is that having the right solicitor can make a big difference to a case. If you have been injured and feel that the solicitor you have been working with is not acting in your best interests, it is possible to change solicitors. An inexperienced solicitor or one who is more focused on making money than one your welfare could jeopardize your spinal cord injury claim, resulting in a lower payment than you deserve.