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Spinal cord injury can be one of the most disabling physical injuries that is suffered in an accident. Damage to the spinal cord can leave the injured person unable to breathe, communicate, walk, manage their own personal care, or control their environment. They may be unable, or need additional support, to live independently, study, socialise or work.

Traumatic injury to the spine and the spinal cord are most commonly caused by workplace accidents involving falls from heights, road accident collisions, and other high impact injuries, such as violent assault or sporting accidents. Where the accident was someone else’s fault, and led to permanent disability, the injured person may be entitled to claim substantial compensation.

Spinal cord injuries give rise to urgent needs for rehabilitation and adjustment to a dramatic change in lifestyle for the injured person and their family. Spinal injury claims are complex and require an understanding of the immediate and long-term needs that arise from life-changing disability. The injured person’s prospects of achieving early rehabilitation and full compensation to meet their lifelong needs arising from their disability are greatly increased when their claim is handled by lawyers who specialise in recovering compensation for severe, catastrophic disability.

For more than 30 years, our personal injury team have helped severely injured clients and their families secure the advice, practical support and financial compensation that they need to rebuild their lives after life-changing accidents.   We are top-rated as experts in serious injury claims by Chambers Directory, the Legal 500 and accredited by the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel, APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers), and SIA (Spinal Injuries Association) Panel. Each client’s case is handled by an experienced serious injury solicitor with understanding, compassion and care. 

For spinal injury claims caused by medical negligence, you can contact our medical negliegence claims specialists here


Spinal injury compensation claims frequently asked questions

What is spinal cord injury (SCI) and disability?

The spinal cord is a long, fragile bundle of nerves that run down the back of the body from the brain stem to the bottom of the spine. The spinal cord is the means by which the brain communicates with the rest of the body, such as muscles and organs, and allows us to feel sensations and control our movements.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is always serious. An SCI injury which breaks, cuts or damages the spinal cord causes a permanent loss of communication between the brain and the parts of the body which are below the break. The higher the level of the injury to the spine, the greater the permanent disability, loss of function and sensory impairment.

What type of disability can lead to a spinal cord injury (SCI) accident compensation claim?

Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes lasting disability. Where that disability has been caused by somebody else’s negligence, such as another driver or an employer, the person who has suffered the SCI may be entitled to claim compensation.

The severity of the disability, and the way it affects the injured person’s ability to function, depends on: 

  • how high up the spine the SCI occurred - cervical(neck), thoracic (upper back) or lumbar (lower back); spine:
  • the severity of the injury to the spinal cord, - whether it was compressed (squeezed) or severed (cut);
  • how quickly the spinal cord injury (SCI) was diagnosed and treated;
  • how long it took before surgery to decompress (take pressure off) the spinal cord or stabilise the spine;
  • the way the patient was handled, positioned, immobilised and transported to hospital;
  • the timing and quality of the patient’s rehabilitation.

In some cases, the injured person may suffer fractures to the vertebrae (bones) of the back or neck without immediate injury to the spinal cord. When this happens they will avoid the paralysis and serious disability of a spinal cord injury but may need surgery or treatment to immobilise, stabilise and support the spine whilst the bones heal. They may also need rehabilitation, such as exercise under the supervision of a physiotherapist. Whilst less devastating than an SCI, spinal fractures may have longer term effects, such as restricting the injured person’s ability to return to work in their former job.

We can recover compensation for clients who suffered spinal injury or SCI as a result of someone else’s negligence, which left them with one or more of the following disabilities:

  •        paralysis:
    • paraplegia – paralysis of the lower half of the body; 
    • tetraplegia or quadriplegia – paralysis (loss of control and sensation) in all four limbs and torso;
  • difficulty with breathing;
  • impaired mobility (ability to walk, run etc) and motor control (movement of muscles);
  • loss of sensation (feeling), altered sensation, tingling or numbness;
  • weakness in arms and legs;
  • peroneal nerve injury (also known as foot drop);
  • chronic pain and muscle spasms;
  • bowel dysfunction (incontinence);  
  • problems with bladder and urinary function (incontinence);
  • sexual and reproductive difficulties;
  • cauda equina syndrome (CES);
  • spinal fractures (broken back or neck bones or vertebrae);
  • psychological injury, such as PTSD, caused by the accident and spinal injury.

What kind of accidents lead to spinal cord injury accident compensation claims?

We can provide advice, practical support, secure rehabilitation and recover compensation for clients with disability arising from spinal cord injury caused by:

  • road traffic accidents (RTAs), as drivers, cyclists, passengers or pedestrians;
  •  hit and run – claims from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB);
  • workplace accidents, such as falls whilst working at heights, construction site accidents or crushing accidents;
  •  unsafe buildings;
  • defective products
  • sporting accidents (such as diving, swimming, rugby, skiing);
  • violent crime, such as assaults or gunshot or knife wounds – claims from the CICA.

How much compensation can I claim in a spinal injury accident compensation claim?

Each person’s spinal cord injury affects them differently, physically, psychologically and financially. This means that no two clients’ injuries or claims are ever exactly the same. Our experienced solicitors investigate the circumstances of each client’s accident, their injury and disability and the way it affects their life. Our client’s claim is then carefully calculated to ensure that their compensation will cover their losses and meet their needs, now and in the future.

In addition to compensation, where rehabilitation is needed to optimise our client’s recovery, we can often secure funding from the defendant’s insurers under the Rehabilitation Code. This allows our client to undergo rehabilitation when they need it most, giving them the best chance of their fullest recovery. Once liability for the accident and injury is established against the defendant, we can also secure substantial interim (advance) payments to help ease financial hardship and pay for necessary specialist equipment, therapies, and adapted accommodation straight away. 

Depending on our client’s injury, disability, and the cost of meeting their needs, their final settlement may include compensation for:

  • pain, suffering and disability;
  • rehabilitation costs;
  • costs of care;
  • costs of case management;
  • costs of therapies, such as:
  • physiotherapy;
  • occupational therapy (OT);
  • speech and language therapy;
  • hydrotherapy;
  • psychological counselling.
  • surgical or medical treatment costs;
  • loss of earnings and pension;
  • cost of home adaptations or the increased costs of accommodation that is suitable for their disability;
  • wheelchairs, adapted vehicles, mobility aids and additional transport costs;
  • specialist equipment and disability aids;
  • assistive technology (IT);
  • special educational support (SEN) (if a child).

Previous Cases

  • Settlement of £1.5 million plus life-long, index-linked, annual payments for care and case management of £225,000 per year for a man who suffered tetraplegia after falling from a chair where he was left to sleep in hospital.
  • £160,000 compensation for a client who suffered multiple injuries, including fractures in her cervical and thoracic spine, when her partner’s car, in which she was passenger, overturned and collided with a gate, some pillars and a tree. 
  • £100,000 compensation for a client who came to us after her previous solicitors in her road accident claim failed to secure supportive medical evidence for her injuries, which included a wedge fracture of her thoracic vertebrae, whiplash and psychological injury. We took over the claim and carried out a full investigation of our client’s injuries. We secured an admission of liability and interim payment which paid for a residential treatment programme. The case settled for just under £100,000.
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Meet your specialist team

Our specialist Spinal injury compensation claims team are considered leaders in the field and have a significant amount of expertise.
Kim Milan

Kim Milan

Senior Partner

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Claire Roantree


Martin Anderson

Martin Anderson

Associate Solicitor

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Oliver Dugdale


Beth Hatton headshoot

Beth Hatton


Kim Milan
Claire Roantree headshots
Martin Anderson
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Beth Hatton headshoot

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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.

              Lifetime Lawyers Logo Brake | The Road Safety Charity

What our clients say


Kim at Boyes Turner was recommended to me after I had received ineffective service from another company. From the outset, Kim has been professional, reassuring and supportive. I have always had faith in her ability to get the best outcome, not only financially, but also in helping my rehabilitation from a traumatic brain injury. She is friendly and empathetic, with unquestionable professional integrity. She was quick to grasp the important issues in my case, was meticulous in her investigating the details and analysing them, realistic in what the outcomes were likely to be and achieved a successful outcome.

I would not hesitate in recommending her and Boyes Turner.

Boyes Turner Client

"Amazing people"

Almost 5 years ago my sons suffered a life changing brain injury accident. A new life for everyone, so many unknowns so many difficult decisions. I met Claire and the team shortly after the accident. So many questions answered but more than that, amazing lovely people. Claire has been guiding me and the family throughout this ordeal with such compassion, there every time I needed her we couldn’t of asked for a nicer person. I have met many others with in Boyes Turner and all have been genuine lovely people, I’m now working with Ruth and Lindsay from the court of protection. Again, I can't say enough about them amazing lovely people. They truly do won't the best for my son and they did and continue to do so.

Barry Williams

"Personal Injury Claim"

Claire is exceptionally knowledgeable in the personal injury legal domain, especially in the specific area of my injury. From our very first conversation, she was clear in explaining the potential different routes that the process could take and provided me with expectations of what I could expect along the journey.

She ensured that all bases were covered, organising meetings, discussions and necessary specialist appointments, in order to bring together the case and take it forward. Claire was then able to use her extensive pool of contacts, to appoint an "area leading" barrister, to represent me.

Overall, I was very pleased with appointing Claire and Boyes Turner to act as my solicitor for the legal claim that I pursued. Thank you for all of your support.

Boyes Turner Client

"Boyes turner workplace injury claim"

I approached Claire Roantree of Boyes Turner in regards to making a claim about a workplace burns injury. It was something that had scarred me physically and mentally and taken a huge toll on the lives of me and my family. Claire wasted no time in finding out what happened and made sure I was treated by known experts and quickly finding an answer to my burns scarring and how I could be treated to help manage my pain. Claire also helped me by appointing a psychiatrist to understand my situation and help me cope with post traumatic stress disorder. As well as taking as much stress of the claim away, she was thorough in every situation, making sure I had the best possible claim, and handled it all expertly, I am so very grateful to her and her team. They have helped guide my life back into a positive direction and I can't thank her enough!

Boyes Turner Client

"Personal Injury claim"

Excellent service from Claire and her team at all times. We were kept up to date at each stage of our claim. The outcome was much better than we expected and we would not hesitate to recommend Boyes Turner to family and friends.

Boyes Turner Client
Rated Excellent 4.8/5