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Spinal injuries can occur in a variety of ways and are all too often life-changing. Where an injury results from the negligence or actions of another you may be able to bring a compensation claim. At Lester Aldridge, we offer real expertise in this area. We have particular experience of dealing with cases involving spinal injury and in obtaining high levels of compensation.

Acts of Violence

One of the most common causes of spinal injury after motor accidents or falls is an act of violence. Spinal injuries often result from stabbings or even gunshot wounds.

Where the spinal cord is crushed or severed there can be a complete loss of function below the level of injury.

Injuries to the spinal cord can be complete, which means that there is no sensation or movement below the level of injury; or they can be incomplete, which means there is partial sensation or movement below the injury. Either way, spinal injuries can be catastrophic and are life-changing.

If you were the victim of a violent crime, you may be able to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). At Lester Aldridge, we have considerable experience in dealing with CICA claims and can help you pursue your claim and ensure you receive the maximum level of compensation for your injuries.

Cauda Equina

The cauda equina is a bundle of spinal nerves and spinal nerve roots. Cauda equina syndrome (CES) occurs when the nerve roots of the cauda equina are compressed and disrupt motor and sensory function to the lower extremities and bladder. Patients with this syndrome need to be admitted to the hospital as a medical emergency. CES can lead to incontinence and even permanent paralysis.

Common causes of cauda equina syndrome include:

  • Trauma
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disks
  • Spinal tumors
  • Cancerous tumors
  • Inflammatory and infectious conditions
  • Accidental medical intervention

Common symptoms include

  • Low back pain
  • Pain in one leg or both legs that starts in the buttocks and travels down the back of the thighs and legs (sciatica)
  • Numbness in the groin or area of contact if sitting on a saddle (perineal or saddle paresthesia)

When CES occurs, it is imperative that there is prompt diagnosis and treatment. A delay in diagnosis and treatment can result in a far worse outcome with life-changing injuries to include permanent paralysis. We are well aware of the issues and the need for a forensic approach to the investigation and management of any claim. We have access to a panel of medical experts with particular expertise in this area. At Lester Aldridge, we have handled many successful claims relating to delayed diagnosis recovering high levels of compensation.

Cycle Accidents

According to RoSPA, around 80% of cycling accidents occur in daylight which is when most cycling takes place. The most dangerous hours for cyclists are 3.00 to 6.00 p.m. and 8.00 to 9.00 a.m. on weekdays.

When a cycling accident is caused by another person you will be able to claim compensation for your injuries if you can show that they were responsible for the collision. A road accident can occur because of a number of reasons. Most accidents occur mainly because of someone’s negligence (drivers using a mobile phone, eating or drinking at the wheel, changing music in the car or to them being under the influence of alcohol or drug consumption while driving). Weather conditions can also play a part along with driver recklessness or even poor road maintenance.

Our personal injury solicitors (many of whom are cycle enthusiasts) are highly experienced in investigating and taking forward spinal injury compensation claims resulting from a cycle accident.

Motorcycle Accidents

According to The Police Foundation, In Great Britain in 2016, over 19,297 motorcyclists were injured in reported road accidents. From this, 319 bikers were killed and 5,553 were seriously injured.

The single most dangerous situation for motorcyclists occurs when cars are making turns. These collisions account for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car. Usually, the turning car strikes the motorcycle when the motorcycle is going straight through a junction.

An analysis by Brake’s the Road Safety charity suggests that those on two wheels are significantly more vulnerable than car drivers. They are 34 times more likely to be killed and 63 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured, per mile travelled, on British roads.

With access to first class accident reconstruction experts and extensive knowledge and experience in this area, we are well placed to take forward a successful spinal injury compensation claim.

Nerve Damage

Spinal nerve injury or damage can result in severe, sharp, electric shock-like, shooting pains, or stabbing pain. At times it can result in a burning sensation or cold. It can result in persistent numbness, tingling, or weakness. The pain can travel along the nerve path into the arms, hands, legs, or feet.

Symptoms will inevitably depend on which nerve is damaged, and whether the damage affects one nerve, several nerves, or the whole body.

Nerve conduction studies can be used to detect abnormal nerve conditions.

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and other tissue that the vertebrae of the spine contains and protects. The spine contains many nerves, and extends from the brain’s base down the back, ending close to the buttocks.

Sadly, when a spinal injury occurs it is nerve damage that can be the most debilitating.

There are any number of situations where a spinal injury with nerve damage may occur to include:

  • A violent attack such as a stabbing or a gunshot
  • Diving into water that’s too shallow and hitting the bottom
  • A road traffic accident trauma
  • Falling from a significant height perhaps at work
  • Head or spinal injuries during sporting events

In the context of medical negligence nerve damage and spinal injury can result from not only errors made in spinal surgery but can include cases where mistakes are made in handling and moving patients with neck and back injuries. Other circumstances include cases where there are simply delays in diagnosis of fractures or cauda equina syndrome.

When the spinal cord is damaged, the message from the brain cannot get through. The spinal nerves below the level of injury get signals, but they are simply not able to go up the spinal tracts to the brain.

Whilst medicine continues to advance unlike tissue in the peripheral nervous system, that in the central nervous system (the spinal cord and brain) unfortunately does not repair itself effectively.

At Lester Aldridge, we understand how debilitating and life-changing a spinal injury can be. Where the injury has resulted from an accident that is the fault of a third party or in circumstances where there has been negligence there may well be a compensation claim. We have many years’ experience of successfully conducting and pursuing spinal injury compensation claim and securing high levels of compensation.

Road Traffic Accidents

Road traffic accidents are known to be a common cause of spinal injuries. Injuries are commonplace both for occupants and driver. A spinal injury is sadly life-changing and where the injury has resulted from the negligence of another person, a compensation claim may arise.

With access to first class accident reconstruction experts and extensive knowledge and experience in this area, we are well placed to take forward a successful compensation claim and to maximise the level of damages awarded.

Sports Injuries

Athletic competition has long been a known source of spinal injuries. It is well documented that the sports activities that have the highest risk of catastrophic spinal injuries are football, horse riding, ice hockey, wrestling, diving, skiing, snowboarding and rugby.

There can be occasions where a spinal injury occurs as a result of the negligent actions of another person, or a deliberate act. In such circumstances, a compensation claim may arise.

We are well placed to investigate and take forward your compensation claim where it has arisen as a result of the actions of a third party or from defective equipment.

Surgical Complications

With any surgery, there is the risk of complications. When surgery is done near the spine and spinal cord, these complications (if they occur) can be very serious.

Any time you operate on the spine, there is some risk of injuring the spinal cord. This can lead to serious injuries to the nerves or the covering of the spinal cord – the dura. Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis in certain areas, depending on which spinal nerves are affected.

Whilst the outcome of spinal surgery in many cases is extremely positive, sadly, errors can sometimes be made resulting in a significant and life changing injury.

Common procedures where errors may occur include:

  • Discectomies
  • Disc replacement surgery
  • Laminectomies
  • Spinal Fusion.

There are a many number of surgical or other errors that can be made which result in an adverse outcome to include an operation performed at the wrong level of the spine, surgical technique errors resulting in nerve injury, delays in undertaking surgery.

At Lester Aldridge, we can offer real expertise in this area. We have particular experience of dealing with cases involving spinal surgery that has gone wrong as a result of poor surgical technique. Whilst no amount of compensation can repair the damage that has been done it can help rebuild lives.


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