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Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes life-long disability which can affect the individual’s ability to breathe, walk or work, to live independently, look after their own needs, or to communicate with others and control their environment.

Where medical or surgical mistakes or delays cause permanent disability or significantly worsen an existing injury, the patient may be entitled to claim substantial spinal cord injury compensation.

For spinal injury claims caused by other types of accidents, such as road traffic accidents or accidents at work please contact our serious personal injury claims specialists

What is spinal cord injury (SCI)?

The spinal cord is a long, fragile, bundle of nerves that run from the brain stem to the bottom of the spine, allowing communication between the brain and the muscles, organs and functions of the body. When the spinal cord is injured, this affects the flow of information from the brain to the other areas of the body.

Severe SCI, in which the spinal cord is broken, severed (cut) or damaged, causes a permanent loss of communication between the brain and the parts of the body beneath the break.

When the spinal cord is injured, it is always serious. It leads to permanent sensory impairment, loss of function and disability. The higher the level of injury on the spine, the worse the injured person’s disability and overall outcome.

From the first signs of injury to the neck, back or spine, or the first symptoms of pain, numbness or altered bladder control, the patient’s future ability to function depends on prompt diagnosis and swift action to protect the spinal cord.

Given the complex nature of negligent medical causes of spinal cord injury and the lifelong needs that arise from life-changing disability, spinal cord injury claims must be handled by solicitors who are specialists in recovering medical negligence compensation for severe, catastrophic disability.

Starting your spinal cord injury compensation claim

If medical or surgical mistakes or delays lead to permanent disability or worsening of an existing spinal cord injury, you will be entitled to compensation.

To start your spinal cord injury compensation claim please contact our specialist solicitors for a free, no obligation, confidential discussion.

We will obtain your medical records, any investigation documentation and treatment protocols. We will take a detailed witness statement from you and others as necessary, and instruct independent medical experts to consider the care you received and the consequences for you of the failings in your care.

We will then discuss the issues with you, the experts and a specialist barrister and agree the best way forward to succeed in your compensation claim.


Why choose Boyes Turner?

Our clinical negligence team has helped injured clients and their families secure the support, advice, and compensation that they need to rebuild their lives after medical negligence, for more than 30 years.

  • We are nationally acclaimed medical negligence lawyers. We are recognised as leading clinical negligence experts by Chambers Directory and Legal 500.
  • Our award-winning solicitors are accredited for our expertise by the Law Society, AvMA and APIL. We secure maximum compensation settlements for our clients which make the best provision for their current and future needs.
  • We have an extensive and highly experienced medical negligence team with proven skills to succeed in high value, complex claims involving catastrophic injury, severe disability and fatality.


Client Story Client Story | Mr Rosser


Spinal cord injury (SCI) compensation claims frequently asked questions

What kind of medical mistakes lead to a spinal injury compensation claim?

Medical negligence compensation claims can arise from mistakes at every stage of a patient’s treatment.  The mistake may cause the injury, fail to recognise and treat it in time to prevent further injury, or make an existing injury significantly worse. In some cases, it is the failure to obtain informed consent for a procedure by advising the patient of a risk which later gives rise to a claim.

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What kind of disability from spinal cord injury (SCI) can lead to a medical negligence compensation claim?

After medical mistakes cause spinal cord injury, the injured person’s lasting disability usually depends on a number of several factors, including:

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What spinal cord injury compensation can be claimed as a result of medical negligence?

Each client’s compensation is carefully calculated to compensate for their losses and meet their needs, now and in the future. The amount of compensation depends on the client’s injury and disability, the impact it has had on their life, ability to work and live independently, and their individual circumstances.

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Previous spinal cord injury cases

  • £1.5 million lump sum plus life-long, annual payments of £225,000pa for a client who suffered tetraplegia after falling from the hospital chair where he was left to sleep after unnecessary spinal surgery. Earlier in the case a £300,000 interim payment paid for more suitable accommodation, case management, therapies and specialist equipment.
  • £1.33 million compensation for a client whose GP failed to recognise and refer him to hospital with red flag signs of cauda equina, resulting in a delay in decompression surgery. 
  • £800,000 compensation for a 40-year-old man whose GP failed to examine him and diagnose that he was displaying red flag warning signs of cauda equina syndrome (CES). The failure to diagnose cauda equina led to delays in carrying out surgery, including lumbar discectomy and decompression. He has been left with permanent damage to his bowel and bladder, impaired mobility and sexual dysfunction. We also secured an admission of liability and letter of apology for our client from the GP.
  • £400,000 compensation settlement for a client whose red flag warning signs of cauda equina syndrome (CES) were not recognised by her GP or medical staff at A&E. A physiotherapist eventually recognised her condition after our client paid for a private MRI scan, and referred her to a consultant spinal surgeon. By the time surgery took place it was too late to avoid her permanent disability, including bowel and bladder incontinence, loss of sexual sensation, altered sensation around her left perianal region, buttock and left thigh. She had also suffered a psychological injury.
  • £275,000 compensation settlement for a client with a past medical history of back pain after his GP failed to diagnose red flag signs of cauda equina syndrome (CES) and refer him to hospital as a medical emergency. Three days later, when our client attended A&E, an MRI scan revealed cauda equina from a lumbar disc prolapse. He had emergency decompression surgery but was left with permanent disability, including fatigue, leg pain and weakness, and impaired urinary, bowel and sexual function.
  • £250,000 compensation for a client with a past medical history of back pain and surgery, who suffered permanent disability after hospital delays in diagnosing her signs of cauda equina. She was finally referred for emergency spinal surgery after she used her health insurance to arrange a private appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon. The delay in diagnosis and surgical treatment resulting in permanent disability from severe pain and numbness in her leg and foot, lack of sensation in the ‘saddle’ area, impaired bowel and bladder control. She also suffered a psychological injury.
  • £220,000 compensation for a client who suffered damage to her spinal nerves following negligent management of her spinal surgery. Delays in recognising post-operative bleeding (haematoma) and a clot, caused paralysis of her legs and damage to her spinal nerves leading to bowel and bladder incontinence. She made a partial recovery of the function in her legs, but has been left with ongoing disability including impaired mobility. Our client’s settlement reflected ‘litigation risks’ relating to both negligence and causation.
  • £50,000 compensation for the bereaved family of a child who was left paralysed and incontinent in the short time leading up to his death, after a delayed diagnosis and treatment of a Ewing’s sarcoma spinal tumour (cancer). 
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Meet your specialist team

Our specialist Spinal cord injury (SCI) compensation claims team are considered leaders in the field and have a significant amount of expertise.
Susan Brown photo

Susan Brown


Julie Marsh headshot

Julie Marsh


Richard Money-Kyrle headshot

Richard Money-Kyrle


Sita Soni headshot

Sita Soni

Senior Associate - solicitor

Vanessa Wand photo

Vanessa Wand

Senior associate - solicitor

Rachel Makore headshot

Rachel Makore

Associate - solicitor

Tara Pileggi-Byrne photo

Tara Pileggi-Byrne

Associate - Solicitor

Alpa Rana headshot

Alpa Rana

Associate - solicitor

Fran Rothwell

Fran Rothwell

Associate solicitor

Ben Ireland headshot

Ben Ireland


Alice Carley headshot

Alice Carley


Nicky Melville headshot

Nicky Melville


Audrey Elmore headshot

Audrey Elmore

Medical records coordinator

Susan Brown photo
Julie Marsh headshot
Richard Money-Kyrle headshot
Sita Soni headshot
Vanessa Wand photo
Rachel Makore headshot
Tara Pileggi-Byrne photo
Alpa Rana headshot
Fran Rothwell
Ben Ireland headshot
Alice Carley headshot
Nicky Melville headshot
Audrey Elmore headshot

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Spinal cord injury claims cases

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Awards & accreditations

Our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been nationally recognised for over 20 years because of their expertise, empathy and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients.

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What our clients say

"Amazing support"

Fran has been an amazing support through a very difficult time for me and my family. Always available to speak and kept me in the loop with anything happening, she has been so kind, and I thank her so much for helping and getting my mum the justice she deserved.

Ms Alison

"Honest, approachable and truly empathetic"

What has to be some of the most testing horrible times was dealt with in a dignified, honest, approachable and truly empathetic manner. I could not begin to do Susan justice for her handling of our case.

Boyes Turner Client

"they kept us fully informed "

I approached Boyes Turner after my claim was turned down by one of the Medical Negligence Claim company. My wife was a victim of medical negligence.

Boyes Turner have acted so efficiently on our behalf and was able to win our case. Anytime we contact them, their customer service was very good as they kept us fully informed of every level our case has developed. They are very friendly and approachable and great in their professional advise. I would strongly recommend anyone approach them for their legal and medical negligence services.

Boyes Turner Client

"Thoroughly professional, knowledgable and approachable"

Thoroughly professional, knowledgable and approachable with communication and updates as and when needed, in what can be a drawn out process, I was always comfortable asking questions and always received answers which were clear and understandable. Highly recommend

Boyes Turner Client

"Amazing professional firm"

I came to Boyes Turner desperate after searching the web for a firm to use for my sons case. He was only a few months so my mind was all over the place, but from the very first point of contact I felt a sense of relieve and belonging. I was welcomed and looked after by amazing staff who always communicated everything so well and went the extra mile to explain things and ensure I understood what was happening every step of the way (THANK YOU SUSAN BROWN). Susan was amazing I felt like I not only had a solicitor but someone who understood my emotions as a mother and always handled me with so much compassion and that was all I needed to keep me going for the 6 years of the case. Years went by in a breeze because of how professional Boyes Turner was. I am so greatful I went through it all with them and mananged to get my son a good compensation. We look forward our new life where my sons needs are priority after struggling for so long. Thank you Boyes Turner and thank you Susan Brown. My family and I are ever indebted.

Boyes Turner Client
Rated Excellent 4.8/5