Spinal injuries can be life-changing. They often stem from traumatic accidents or medical conditions that need immediate and careful treatment. If you have sustained a spinal injury due to medical negligence or an injury has been made worse by substandard care, you could be entitled to compensation to help you cope with the consequences and get your life back on track.
Adapting to life after a serious injury can feel overwhelming. It is completely normal to feel angry, upset and scared about the future. You may struggle with your mental health, with physical limitations caused by the injury, and with the cost of things like long-term care and home adjustments.
Claiming compensation for medical negligence could be the best way of securing your future and seeking answers about what went wrong during your spinal injury care. Speaking to a medical negligence solicitor might feel daunting. But, with the right legal advice and support, making a compensation claim doesn’t have to be complicated and confusing. We will explain the whole process to you and the exact steps you need to take to claim compensation for a spinal injury. With us on your side, you have the best possible chances of making a successful claim.
Why choose Devonalds for your spinal injury compensation claim?
We are heavily invested in our local community, with our focus always being to support and protect our own. Most of our team grew up in and around the Rhondda Cynon Taff area and we have advised local individuals and families on a broad range of medical negligence matters for more than 30 years.
Our clinical negligence solicitors can provide advice about making a compensation claim for a spinal injury in plain, simple English. Our service will be uniquely tailored to your personal requirements and we can also help you access various support services, such as rehabilitation services and charities.
We aim to make our clients’ experiences with us as comfortable as possible. We approach all matters sensitively, taking care in the way we deliver advice and communicate with you. You will always have access to the dedicated support of your own personal lawyer, who will take primary responsibility for your claim from start to finish. We are more than happy to answer all your questions and address any concerns, so if you need to get in touch, all you need to do is use the direct phone number or email address we will provide.
We are generally able to accept new clients on a no win, no fee basis. This means that you don’t have to worry about solicitor fees preventing you from achieving compensation. We can also offer you a free initial consultation to answer your questions about making a spinal injury claim and to discuss the prospects of success so you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed.
Our medical negligence solicitors can assist with all types of spinal injury claims arising from medical negligence, including:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Delayed treatment
- Surgical errors
- Treatment errors
- Hospital negligence
- GP negligence
Some of the types of spinal cord injury we assist with include:
- Cauda equina syndrome
- Spinal cord tumours
- Damaged nerves, discs or vertebrae
- Missed fractures
- Mishandling after neck and back injuries
We recognise that accessibility may play an important factor in the law firm you choose for your spinal cord injury compensation claim. Our team is dedicated to making our legal services as user-friendly as possible, regardless of personal circumstances. So, if you have any specific requirements to be able to access our services, either at our offices or through communication such as phone calls, letters or emails, please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your needs with a member of our team.
Speak to us about starting a spinal injury compensation claim in South Wales today
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one might be entitled to spinal cord injury compensation, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.
How spinal injury claims work
Starting a claim for spinal injury
It is likely that you will have many questions about how your spinal injury claim will work. We offer a free initial consultation to new medical negligence clients to discuss how the claim will work and your chances of success.
Following this first consultation, there will be no obligation on you to continue your claim with us. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and under no pressure to take any steps that aren’t right for you and your family.
No win, no fee spinal injury compensation claims
Our no win, no fee agreement (also called a ‘conditional fee agreement’) means that you can start your spinal injury claim with no financial risk to yourself.
We recognise that adjusting to life with a spinal injury can be financially challenging, particularly if you are unable to work and/or need to pay for things like care and home adjustments. A no win, no fee claim can give you the opportunity to claim the money you need to put your life back in order without having to pay anything up front for our legal advice.
In fact, you will only need to pay our legal fees if your compensation claim is successful. In many cases, we are able to recover some or all of our fees from the other side, allowing you to keep the maximum amount of compensation possible.
We will discuss the terms of our no win, no fee spinal claims agreement with you at your initial consultation so you can make an informed decision about whether pursuing a claim in this way is right for you.
Proving medical negligence
To successfully prove medical negligence, you need to show that:
- The care you received fell below the standard of care expected from your medical team
- You received a spinal injury, or an injury was worsened as a result of the errors made in your care
- The resulting injury would likely not have happened if it were not for the errors made in your care
Evidence we can use to prove that medical negligence occurred include:
- Medical records such as x-rays (we can obtain these on your behalf with your permission)
- A statement from you
- Independent evidence from medical experts
We may instruct medical experts to provide a report on the standard of care you received, the resulting spinal injury, and their opinion on whether the substandard care caused the injury. They will also provide their expert opinion on the prognosis of your injury, for example, whether full or partial recovery is likely and the support you may need in the future.
As well as providing evidence in your case, expert evidence is often helpful in encouraging individuals to come to terms with their condition and allowing them to access more tailored treatment, therapy and rehabilitation. We enjoy close links with various support services that we can put you in contact with.
Working out how much your spinal injury claim is worth
Working out how much compensation you are entitled to is often called ‘assessing quantum of damages’. The compensation you may be able to recover for your spinal injury can cover things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity if you are unable to work temporarily or permanently
- The cost of medical treatment, equipment and specialist care
- The cost of home adjustments
- Loss of amenity – i.e. not being able to do activities you enjoyed before the injury
- The costs of travelling to and from medical appointments
- Providing for your loved ones’ future financial independence
Time limits for spinal injury claims
You must bring your spinal injury claim within certain time limits to ensure it is able to proceed (this is called ‘limitation’). The time limits vary depending on the circumstances of the case:
- 3 years – this is the standard time limit if you are making a claim for yourself. The 3 year countdown will start from the date the negligence occurred or the date you became aware of it (other than in certain circumstances)
- Children under 18 years old – if you are making a claim on behalf of a child, you can start the claim at any point until they turn 18 years old. Once they turn 18, they have 3 years to start a claim themselves (until their 21st birthday)
- 3 years from the date of death – if your loved one has passed away due to a spinal injury caused by medical negligence you have 3 years from the date of their death to start a claim
- No time limit – if you are making a claim on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity (for example, due to a brain injury or severe learning difficulties), there is no time limit to start the claim unless the individual later regains capacity
Reaching an out-of-court settlement
With our spinal injury solicitors on your side, it is highly unlikely that you will need to go all the way to court to achieve compensation. We are skilled at negotiating substantial compensation on behalf of individuals via an out-of-court settlement.
Settling your claim via an out-of-court settlement is usually much faster, cheaper and less stressful than taking your claim to court. That being said, we will never encourage you to agree to a settlement that is not in your best interests when we could achieve a much more beneficial settlement by proceeding to court.
Taking your spinal injury claim to court
Where court proceedings are unavoidable, we can provide dynamic representation and professional support every step of the way.
We have years of combined experience preparing medical negligence court cases on behalf of individuals. We understand precisely how every stage of the proceedings will go and this can help us work towards your desired outcome. Our goal is to take on as much of the preparation as possible so the process is straightforward and stress-free for you.
Managing compensation for a spinal injury claim
We can provide additional assistance once you have been awarded compensation to ensure it provides the support you need going forward. If you receive means-tested benefits, winning a large sum of money could affect your eligibility. We can help you ringfence your compensation so that it does not interfere with your benefits by setting up a personal injury trust.
Common questions about spinal injury claims
Do you need to go to court to get compensation for a spinal injury claim?
With the help of a specialist spinal injury claims solicitor, it is unlikely that you will need to go to court. Healthcare providers tend to be reluctant to allow negligence claims to reach court because of the cost, negative publicity and potential disruption to their operations.
Many providers are also happy to accept liability where we can clearly prove that their standard of care fell below acceptable levels. For these reasons, we have a good chance of being able to negotiate a strong settlement for you.
How long does it take to get compensation for a spinal injury claim?
We will always aim to achieve the compensation you are entitled to within a reasonable timeframe. However, it is common for medical negligence claims to take a long time – where severe injuries and substantial damages are involved, claims often take several years to resolve.
If we are able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, it is likely that the claim will be resolved faster. It may also be possible to secure interim payments while your case progresses.
How do interim payments work?
We can often secure interim payments where the NHS trust or healthcare provider admits liability but the amount of compensation has yet to be agreed.
Interim payments are funds you can receive to meet your needs while your spinal injury claim is still ongoing. The aim is to ensure that individuals affected by medical negligence are not prevented from accessing the very best care when they need it and to prevent their health from being further compromised.
Interim payments can help you pay for things like treatment, specialist care, equipment and basic living costs.
Can you claim compensation for someone who has died after a spinal injury?
If you are representing a loved one who has passed away after a spinal injury caused by negligent medical treatment, you may be able to make a compensation claim on behalf of their estate and dependants. The time limit for starting the claim will normally be 3 years from the date of death.
The compensation could cover things like:
- The loss of the deceased person’s earnings
- Funeral costs
- Childcare costs
- Household costs
- Loss of benefits (including pension rights)
Will I get an apology?
We cannot guarantee that you will receive an apology, even if we are able to secure compensation on your behalf. However, we appreciate how important it is for the healthcare provider to acknowledge the mistakes in your care so we will strive to get you an apology if this is your wish.
Start a spinal injury compensation claim
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one might be entitled to compensation for a spinal injury, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.