By Megan Stanley. Last Updated 16th November 2022. Within this page, we offer some information on how a broken back and spinal cord injury caused by a road accident could lead to £2m in compensation payouts. This fictional case study provides an illustration on how such claims could be calculated, as well as providing information on spinal cord injuries caused by a broken back, the symptoms you might suffer, and the restrictions they could put on your life. Whether you have suffered a broken back and paralysis in an accident that wasn’t your fault at work, on the road or somewhere else, and someone else could be held liable, you might be able to claim compensation for a spinal injury or other back injury symptoms you’ve experienced, along with costs and losses that are caused by the accident you’ve been injured in. If at any point, you wish to get advice on your specific situation, the Legal Helpline team are here to help on 0161 696 9685. However, you might wish to take a look at the example below before you call, to get some idea of the compensation amounts that might be appropriate for your own spinal cord injuries.
Jump To A Section
- Road Traffic Accidents Causing Broken Backs Or Paralysis
- Anatomy Of The Back And Spine
- Types Of Road Traffic Accidents
- 10 Ways Car And Road Traffic Accidents Happen
- Case Study: £2m Payout For A Broken Back And Paralysis
- Back Injury Compensation Amounts – Example Settlements
- No Win No Fee Compensation For A Broken Back In A Traffic Accident
- How Do I Start A Personal Injury Claim?
- Talking To Legal Helpline
- References And Resources
If you’re wondering can a car accident cause spinal injury, then the answer would be that it depends on the type of accident and the forces at play. Vehicles are considerable weighty, and if they are travelling at speed, then the forces involved in a collision with a pedestrian, motorcyclist, or another driver could certainly cause a significant amount of harm, including broken bones.
If you have suffered a broken back in a car accident, and it has led to you suffering a spinal cord injury, then you may experience some symptoms of paralysis. While some temporary paralysis may occur after a broken back or spinal cord injury, in severe cases, you could be left with paralysis that could not be reversed.
However severe your spinal cord injury or broken back injuries are, if an accident that has caused them was someone else’s fault, you may be wondering about whether you could claim compensation. Below, we take a look at an example of compensation for a spinal injury, discuss compensation amounts for similar injuries, and talk you through what you may need to consider when making a claim for compensation.
The spine, or backbone, is a vital component of the human body. It contains vertebrae, which are bony discs, which are separated by fibrous tissues, which are referred to as intervertebral discs. These together form the spinal column, which protects the spinal cord, a vital part of the central nervous system. The spinal column runs from the pelvis to the head and helps offer support and symmetry to the human body.
There are 4 parts to the human spine, which are:
Cervical – This part contains the first seven vertebrae of the vertebral column, which make up the neck
Thoracic – This part extends from the base of the neck to the base of the rib cage. It has 12 vertebrae
Lumbar – This part extends from the bottom of the rib cage to the pelvic bones
Sacral – This part forms the base of the spine.
Whatever part of the back is broken, it could cause a risk of a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury symptoms could include:
- Loss of bowel/bladder control
- An inability to walk
- An inability to use the legs or the arms
- Pain, pressure or stiffness
- And more…
While some spinal cord injuries could be fixed, in some cases, spinal cord injury complications could include permanent disabilities and paralysis, even after surgery.
There are a huge variety of different traffic accidents that could cause a broken back, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and more. These could include:
- Taxi accidents
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Public transport accidents
- Passenger accidents
- Motorcyclist accidents
- Ice or snow accidents
- HGV accidents and more…
Whatever type of road user you are, if you were injured because of someone else’s actions on the road, and they could be held liable for your injury, you could consider making a claim for compensation.
Here, we take a look at how a road traffic accident that causes a broken back or spinal cord injury could occur. We have only listed 10 ways in which this could happen, but if your fracture or spinal cord injuries have been sustained in a different type of road traffic accident, if someone else was at fault, you could still make a claim for compensation.
- Driver/Rider failed to look properly – If a driver wasn’t paying attention and drove into you, they could be held at fault for your spinal cord injury.
- Driver/Rider failed to judge another person’s path or speed – Part of good driving is good judgement. If a driver failed to judge a clear path or speed, they could be found at fault for an accident that caused a fracture to your back.
- Driver/Rider careless, reckless or in a hurry – If a driver was driving recklessly or carelessly, or exceeding the speed limit, then you could make a claim for compensation for injuries caused by their reckless or careless behaviour.
- Loss of control – A driver needs to be in control of their vehicle. If they have lost control and their vehicle has collided with you, you could look into your eligibility to make a claim for paralysis, a broken back, spinal cord injuries or other injuries received in the collision.
- Poor turn or manoeuvre – Drivers should be able to safely manoeuvre their vehicles, in car parks and on the roads. If a driver has made a poor turn or manoeuvre that has caused you to be injured in an accident, then you may be able to claim compensation for a spinal injury.
- Travelling too fast for conditions – If the roads were dark, wet or icy, a driver should adjust their driving technique to suit the conditions. If they do not and you are injured in an accident that they cause, you may be able to claim compensation.
- Exceeding the speed limit – Exceeding the speed limit could cause an accident on the roads. If another driver was speeding and failed to stop in time to avoid hitting you, then you may be able to claim for spinal injuries sustained as a result.
- Pedestrian failed to look properly – If a pedestrian fails to look before they cross the road and they are hit by a vehicle, this could cause injuries, but it might not lead to a successful personal injury claim unless the driver was seen as also being at fault for the accident.
- Pedestrian failed to judge a vehicle’s path or speed – Again, this may not lead to a claim in some circumstances, but it could in others. If you have received a spinal injury or broken back as a result of this type of situation, we could help ascertain whether you would be able to claim.
The fictitious case study covers an example of how a spinal injury car accident settlement of £2m could be reached if someone suffers a break to their back in a car accident. We will refer to the claimant at Mr G.
Mr G was driving to work on a busy residential road and was turning left at a T-junction when a car, driving erratically and at speed hit his car on the driver’s side. Mr G, who was working as a scaffolder at the time of the accident, had to be cut out of his vehicle, and was taken to hospital where it was found that he had suffered a broken back and an injury to the spine, which would require him to undergo surgery.
The spinal cord injuries the claimant suffered caused him severe paralysis initially, however, as the swelling went down and surgery was successful, the paralysis from his broken back lessened somewhat. However, he was left with some issues with sensation in his left leg. Mr G was left dependent on care with some daily tasks, unable to walk and with pain and stiffness in the area. Because of this, the claimant was unable to return to his job as a scaffolder. Mr G retained the services of a personal injury lawyer who launched a broken back injury claim. As part of his claim, future loss of earnings were considered as it was unlikely that Mr G would be able to return to work in any capacity because of his injuries. It was this argument that led to the claimant receiving a settlement of £2m. This payout covered the injury itself, Mr G’s care needs, and the future loss of earnings he was predicted to suffer.
If you can successfully claim spinal injury compensation payouts in the UK, your settlement could include special and general damages.
Special damages aim to compensate you for any of the financial losses you have suffered due to your injury. Such as:
- A loss of earnings
- Paying for medical treatment
- Travel expenses to medical appointments
You will need to provide financial evidence of these losses to support you in your personal injury claim. Evidence could include bank statements or invoices.
General damages aim to compensate you for your physical and mental injuries, including how they have impacted your quality of life.
To help you understand how much you could receive in general damages for a back injury, compensation amounts have been listed in the following table. These amounts have been taken from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that many legal professionals will use when valuing claims, as it provides compensation brackets for different injuries.
It is important to note that for a back injury claim, the amount you receive will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Therefore, you should only use the following table as a guide.
|Injuries Involving Paralysis - Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia||The higher end of the bracket is applicable to people who experience physical pain, and have suffered a serious effect on communication and the senses.||£324,600 to £403,990|
|Injuries Involving Paralysis - Paraplegia||How much is awarded will depend on factors such as the presence of pain, degree of independence, as well as life expectancy and the age of the person.||£219,070 to £284,260|
|Back Injuries - Severe (i)||These injuries involve spinal cord damage and nerve root damage. Severe levels of pain/disability could fall into this bracket. There may be incomplete paralysis, as well as impairment to sexual function, bladder and/or bowel function||£91,090 to £160,980|
|Back Injuries - Severe (ii)||Injuries could include nerve root damage, that could result in an impaired bladder, loss of sensation and unsightly scarring.||£74,160 to £88,430|
|Back Injuries - Severe (iii)||Disc fractures or vertebral body fractures or soft tissue injuries that leave the claimant with a disability despite receiving medical treatment (usually surgery)||£38,780 to £69,730|
|Back Injuries - Moderate (i)||Compression or crush fractures of the lumbar vertebrae, leaving the claimant with the risk of osteoarthritis. Or, prolapsed discs requiring surgery.||£27,760 to £38,780|
|Back Injuries - Moderate (ii)||Disturbance of the ligaments and muscles that could cause backache. Also includes soft tissue injuries that accelerate a pre-existing condition by 5+ years.||£12,510 to £27,760|
|Back Injuries - Minor (i)||Soft tissue injuries, sprains, strains and disc prolapses that either fully recover, or do to a nuisance level within 2-5 years without surgery.||£7,890 to £12,510|
|Back Injuries - Minor (ii)||A full recovery from a minor back injury takes place within 1-2 years without surgery.||£4,350 to £7,890|
|Back Injuries - Minor (iii)||Within 3 months to a year a full recovery has taken place without the need for surgery.||£2,450 to £4,350|
Contact our advisors today if you would like further guidance about starting a claim for a back injury.
Making a claim for spinal injury compensation could be overwhelming for some people, and if you have no experience in personal injury claims, then you may be wondering where to start. A solicitor could help you begin a personal injury claim, but how could you retain their services without having to pay for them upfront? You may have heard the term ‘no win no fee’ before. Here at Legal Helpline, we could connect you with a solicitor from our panel that works on this basis. In order for you to use their services, you would need to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement, promising to pay them a percentage of your compensation payouts as a success fee. This would be payable in the event that they successfully gained you a payout and could not be more than 25% because there is a government cap in place to prevent them being paid more. If the personal injury solicitor couldn’t get you a broken back compensation payout, but you had a claim that was valid, then you would not have to pay the success fee.
As we have mentioned, we could provide you with a no win no fee solicitor from our panel to help begin a claim for being paralysed in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. However, we could also provide you advice and support on making a broken back injury claim, even if you weren’t sure whether you’d be eligible or you’re not sure whether you’d like to use our services. All the advice we offer to potential claimants comes with absolutely no obligation to use our services, and we do not charge you for advice, either. When you call us, a fully trained member of the Legal Helpline team will take some details of what’s happened to you and offer advice tailored to your situation. We have helped many people make personal injury claims before and we have the knowledge and experience to offer guidance you could count on.
We pride ourselves here at Legal Helpline on always putting the claimant first, and our previous clients could attest to how customer-centric our service is. We know this could be a stressful time for you, and we aim to take the pain out of beginning a spinal cord injury claim. Why not let us help with yours?
Are you ready to get started with your own spinal cord injury claim, or would you like to know more about what personal injury claims time limit could apply to your case? Or, have you suffered a broken back in another kind of accident and you’d like to know whether compensation payouts would be similar to this example? If you need advice and support, or you’d like us to connect you with a solicitor who could help you, simply call 0161 696 9685, or fill the contact form in, and we’ll get back to you. We look forward to helping you.
Broken Back At Work Compensation – Here you can take a look at our guide on workplace injuries. This could help you if you have landed on this page while looking for information on potential compensation for a broken back at work case.
Paralysis Injury Claims – Here, we offer guidance on making paralysis injury claims.
Car Accident Claims – Our guide on car accident claims might also be of interest to you.
Trusted External Resources
NHS – Paralysis – Here you can read what the NHS has to say about paralysis, it’s symptoms and potential treatments.
Road Accident Statistics – You can read more about accidents on the road and how often they occur here.
Spinal Research – This page discusses spinal cord injury, allowing you to find out more about how it is caused and what can be done about it.
Article by Jo