Spinal Injury Claims *
Spinal Injuries * most commonly happen due to a blow to the spine which fractures one or more vertebrae, causing disruption to the cords normal functions. The spinal cord transports any communication that is sent from the brain to the rest of the human body. Depending on what nerve roots affected and the exact location of trauma, the results can range from serious and chronic pain to paralysis and untreatable injuries. If you or a family member have suffered a spinal injury * you may be eligible to pursue a claim.
Types of spinal injuries *
The majority of spinal injuries * will almost always result in the restriction of mobility or some form of paralysis. The exact location and severity of the damage are the two key factors that determine how severe the injury is. Different types of injuries include:
Cervical spinal injury * is the area directly below the base of the skull where the spinal cord is attached to the brain. This injury is usually the result of a violent collision, such as a road traffic accident.
Thoracic spinal injury * is the area between the head and abdomen. Injuries that occur in this region of the spine usually result in paraplegia. Paraplegia is the impairment of motor or sensory function of the lower limbs, such as the loss of motor control of the legs.
The Lumbosacral injury is the area covered by the lower back, abdomen and pelvic region. Spinal injuries * that occur in this region reduce the control of the hips, urinary system and legs.
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equine syndrome is a condition where the nerves located at the base of the spinal cord become compressed, resulting in damage to the nerves controlling the bladder and bowel.
What are the causes of spinal injuries *?
The result of a spinal injury * can range from something like a slip/trip/or fall to a major road accident. The most common causes of spinal injuries * include:
- Road traffic accidents
- Slips and falls/accident in public place
- Violent assaults
- Sport accidents
- Failure to identify Cauda Equina Syndrome
- Negligence during spinal surgery
- Negligence administrating epidural injections
On what grounds can spinal injury claims be made? *
The spinal injury * may have been the fault of negligence by another person. An instance of this would be if a person suffered a spinal injury * due to the reckless driving of another person. It is important to note that proof is needed to show that the defendant was negligent.
A medical practitioner may cause an injury in cases where they have administrated substandard medical treatment, leaving the person with an injury. It is important to show that the injury was a result of medical malpractice and therefore an independent medical assessment may be required.
This is a personal injury * caused due to a faulty product. The most common examples of defective products include defective pharmaceutical products, defective medical products and products that don’t work as demonstrated, such as airbags.
Making a Claim
1. Seek medical attention
The most important priority is your own health and safety. No matter how minor in the injury may feel it is important to be examined by a medical practitioner. A medical report will also be required as part of your claims process
2. Report the accident
Report the incident to the relevant authority – this will vary depending on the cause of the injury. Keep a record of the report as part of the claims process.
If there were any witnesses to the accident speak to them and ask for their contact details.
4. Document the incident
It is important that you have all information available to give to your solicitor when you start the claims process. Any information that you cannot get access to, your solicitor will be able to source it for you. The information you can record is details of the accident, a photograph of the scene, photograph of your injuries, witness details, medical bills, transport to and from hospital/treatments, CCTV footage of the accident if there were any cameras around and any other important information about the accident.
5. Speak with a solicitor
Having a solicitor involved early in the process can help to ensure that the claims process runs as smoothly as possible for you. Your solicitor will help you in gathering document, submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment and work with you to bring your case to a close.
The settlement of a case will vary as each case will be different. Generally, the settlement procedure would work as follows (of course, this is subject to change and your solicitor will keep you informed at each stage of the process):
- Your solicitor will submit your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment
- The Injuries Board assess your case and revert with a suggested compensation amount
- You then decide whether to accept the amount suggested or to reject and move the next stage of the process
- If both parties accept the compensation suggest, then your case will be settled at this point.
- If one of both parties decline the suggested settlement amount then you move to the next stage of the settlement process
- In cases where the Injuries Board assessment is not agreed to, then legal proceedings are issued and your case moves forward to a court hearing.
- Before the court hearing, settlement talks do take place. In most cases, a case is resolved, settled and compensation agreed at the settlement talks before having to step foot into a courtroom.
- If your case is not settled at the settlement talks stage then your case moves to a court hearing where a Judge will make a decision on your case.
Settlement talks are a good opportunity for your legal team to talk to the other side’s legal team to settle any disagreements on what costs are to be awarded. Costs awarded usually consist of an amount for the injury itself and added expenses you may have incurred, these claims are called damages:
- General Damages: Non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following the incident and impact of the injury on your quality of life.
- Special Damages: Out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident * for example, loss of earnings (if you were out of work), future loss of earnings for extended time out of work, medical bills, future medical bills, and any added travel costs as a result of the injury, for example, travel to and from the hospital.
Legal time limits *
The legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim vary depending on the situation. The general rule for all personal injury cases * is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the spinal injury * to make a claim. The only exception to the statute of limitations is when a child has suffered a spinal injury *. The date of knowledge for the child commences on their eighteenth birthday, meaning from this day they have two years to file a claim.
Contact a spinal injury solicitor *
If you have suffered a spinal injury *, our team of local personal injury solicitors * in Dublin are available to answer any queries you may have. For a confidential discussion, please call Tracey Solicitors on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and to tell us about your case.
With 30 years’ experience as specialist personal injury solicitors *, Tracey Solicitors, ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.