What is a spinal cord injury?
Spinal cord injuries arise when there is damage to the spinal cord that causes changes in its function. The problems arising from spinal cord injuries can be either temporary or permanent but often result in life changing complications such as:
- loss of bladder and bowel function;
- loss of sensation;
- loss of sexual function;
- reduced control and power in the limbs; and
- neuropathic pain.
In severe cases spinal cord injuries can lead to the total paralysis of one of both limbs.
What causes a spinal cord injury?
In the context of medical treatment the cause of spinal cord injuries is often varied. However injuries can arise from:
- Failure to diagnose Cauda Equina syndrome;
- Infection entering the spinal canal;
- Injury sustained during surgery; and
- Disc prolapse causing compression of the spine.
When can claims be brought for spinal cord injuries?
Whilst damage to the spinal cord during medical treatment is sometimes unavoidable in many circumstances it can be avoided if prompt action is taken.
Whilst spinal cord injuries can occur very quickly there are often warning signs which should be picked up and you will have a claim if you are able to establish that the injury would have been avoided if the correct medical treatment had been given.
What can brining a claim for a spinal cord injury achieve?
At Tozers we are specialists in acting for patients who have suffered spinal injuries as a result of medical negligence.
We recognise that for the individuals involved the consequences can be catastrophic. Whilst money cannot solve all the problems arising from a spinal cord injury it can:
- Pay for adaptations to your home to make it more accessible if your mobility is reduced
- Pay for a car that you can drive or access in a wheelchair
- Compensate you for your loss of earnings if you cannot return to work
- Pay for private medical treatment
- Pay for any expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries
- Pay for aids and equipment which will help maximise your independence
Our success stories
Simon Mansfield has a successful settlement for a 74 year old lady who suffered a spinal injury during the siting of an epidural anaesthesia designed to give post-operative pain relief. While siting the epidural the anaesthetist advanced the epidural needle too far, puncturing the spinal cord leaving his client with reduced bladder and bowel function and limited movement in her right leg. She also suffered from severe neuropathic pain.
Although we were able to achieve an early admission of liability at an early stage the value of this case was strongly contested. In particular, the Defendant had argued that our client’s mobility problems were only accelerated by 10 years because of her age and her pre-existing co-morbidities. On this basis they were attempting to pay for only 4 years’ worth of care.
At the settlement meeting we were able to agree a lump sum payment of £518,500 plus annual index linked payments of £58,850 which will be paid for life.
Through the use of interim payments while the case progressed Simon was able facilitate the purchase for our client of suitable accommodation close to her family.
The further lump sum our client will receive on settlement will enable her to complete the renovation of her new property and the annual payments will mean that, she will have guaranteed funds to pay for care for the remainder of her life.
At Tozers LLP we act for clients as solicitors in Exeter, Devon, the South West and nationally. Should you or a family member wish to discuss a potential claim, please call our specialist team for a free and confidential consultation.