Spinal Injuries

Experienced spinal injuries solicitors

A spinal injury can have a devastating effect on the person who has been injured and their families. At Gibson & Associates LLP, our experienced team of spinal injury solicitors is dedicated to providing expert legal guidance to those affected. You can trust our team to provide tailored advice about your legal options that help you achieve an outcome that supports you now and in the future.

Experienced spinal injuries solicitors

A spinal injury refers to any damage to the spinal cord, which runs from the base of the brain down through the spine. The spinal cord is a vital part of the central nervous system and responsible for sending sensory information from the body to the brain, and transmitting motor commands from the brain to the muscles and organs.

It acts as a highway for nerve impulses, facilitating movement, sensation, and a variety of bodily functions. The spinal cord is also responsible for coordinating reflex actions, allowing the body to make rapid responses to stimuli without needing information from the brain.

The severity of spinal injuries can range from mild to severe and can affect mobility, sensation, and even organ and respiratory function. If the injury causes paralysis, the injured person may experience quadriplegia (which paralyses the arms and hands, chest, legs and pelvic organs) or paraplegia (which affects a part of the chest, legs and pelvic organs).

What causes a spinal injury?

Spinal injuries can be caused by a variety of different factors, ranging from traumatic incidents to illnesses and medical conditions. They can cause profound and life-altering consequences for both people who have suffered an injury and their loved ones.

Causes of spinal injuries include:

  • Traumatic events such as car accidents, a fall from a height, sporting injuries, and acts of violence can result in spinal cord trauma.
  • Medical conditions like spinal tumours, infections (such as meningitis or a spinal abscess), and degenerative diseases (such as spinal stenosis or osteoporosis) can also lead to spinal cord damage.
  • Surgical complications during procedures involving the spine or nearby structures can cause an unintended spinal cord injury.
  • Certain lifestyle factors, such as using the wrong lifting techniques, excessive alcohol consumption that leads to an accident, or diving into shallow water, can also contribute to spinal trauma.
  • Occupational hazards, such as construction site accidents or repetitive stress injuries, can cause a spinal injury.

Types of spinal injuries

  1. Complete Spinal Cord Injury: In a complete spinal cord injury, there is total loss of sensory and motor function below the level of the injury. This means the injured person has no sensation or voluntary movement in the area that has been affected. Complete injuries typically result in permanent paralysis and loss of bodily functions below the site of the injury.
  2. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: In contrast, an incomplete spinal cord injury involves partial damage to the spinal cord, which can cause varying degrees of sensory and motor function loss. With incomplete spinal cord injuries, individuals can still have some sensation or motor control below the level of their injury. The extent of the damage to the spinal cord depends on the severity and location of the injury.
  3. Open Spinal Cord Injury: Open spinal cord injuries can happen when the spinal cord is penetrated and exposed to the open air where it can also come into contact with dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants. These injuries often result in significant tissue damage and an increased risk of infection. Open spinal cord injuries present unique challenges for treatment and rehabilitation due to the increased risk of complications associated with the exposure of the spinal cord.

About Gibson & Associates LLP

We are trusted throughout Ireland for tailored advice and legal support

Our team of spinal injury solicitors understands the impact a spinal cord injury can have on your quality of life. If you have suffered an injury that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to make a claim for financial compensation. While this might seem daunting, our experienced team is committed to making the process easy and giving you peace of mind that your claim will achieve the best possible outcome.

When you choose Gibson & Associates LLP, you benefit from the expertise and resources of a large firm with the understanding and personalised attention of a smaller one. Our nationwide team can support you no matter where you are located in Ireland.

For a confidential discussion about your situation, please call us on 01 264 5555.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a claim for a spinal injury?

Several factors will determine whether you are eligible to make a claim for financial compensation for a spinal injury. For example:

  • Were you owed a duty of care by someone else, such as a driver, employer, medical professional, or property owner?
  • Was this duty of care not met due to negligence or carelessness?
  • Have you experienced an injury as a direct result of this breach of duty or negligence?

Is there a time limit on making a claim?

Legal action must typically start within two years from when the person was injured. This is known as the ‘date of knowledge’.

If you have a child under 18 who has suffered a spinal injury, you can make a claim for financial compensation on their behalf. Alternatively, they can make their own claim when they turn 18.

Find out more about Child Injury Claims here.

What will compensation cover?

Determining the compensation for a spinal cord injury (SCI) involves various factors, with the severity of the injury and the person’s needs being of primary importance. General damages account for compensation for pain, suffering, impact on enjoyment of life, and opportunities that have been lost as a result of the injury.

In addition to general damages, special damages account for current and future financial losses. These can include:

  • Lost earnings from the date of the injury to the anticipated retirement age had the injury not occurred.
  • Costs of specialised medical treatment and care that is needed now and in the future.
  • Rehousing expenses if accommodation needs change
  • Round-the-clock nursing care for those requiring continuous assistance.
  • Specialised devices and aids that can enhance quality of life.

While severe spinal cord injuries were awarded lump sum payments in the past, recent legislation passed in Ireland introduced a new means of payment called a periodic payment order (PPO), after an initial lump sum figure has been awarded.

This gives people who have suffered spinal injuries the opportunity to seek future payments and access ongoing financial support that can cater for their needs as they change.

Who is responsible for a spinal injury?

Claims for financial compensation for a spinal injury have to identify who is at fault for the incident that caused the injury.

Depending on the nature of the cause of the injury, such as a trip or fall, car accident or failure of machinery at work, the local authority, your employer, building contractor, or another individual could be held responsible.