Claiming compensation following a spinal cord injury or back injury

The spinal cord is part of the body’s central nervous system. The adult spinal cord about 50cms long and is connected to the brain and runs down the back, surrounded and protected by the bony vertebral column. The cord is surrounded by cerebral spinal fluid, that acts as a cushion to protect the delicate nerve tissues. The spinal cord consists of millions of nerve fibres that transmit information to and from the limbs, trunk and organs of the body.

Spinal nerves or nerve roots attached to the spinal cord carry information from the spinal cord to the rest of the body.

Nerves in the neck - Cervical nerves supply movement and feeling to the arms, neck and upper trunk.

Nerves in upper back - Thoracic nerves supply the trunk and abdomen

Nerves in lower back - Lumbar and sacral nerves supply the legs, bladder, bowel and sexual organs

Both the nerves and the segments in the spinal cord are numbered in the same way as the vertebrae:

  • Cervical nerves and spinal cord segments are called C1-C8,

  • Thoracic nerves are called T1-T12

  • Lumbar nerves are called L1-L5

  • Sacral nerves are called S1-S5.

The level of the spinal cord segments do not relate exactly to the level of the vertebral bodies i.e. damage to the bone at a particular level e.g. L5 vertebrae does not necessarily mean damage to the spinal cord at the

There are a number of reasons for this:

  • 7 cervical vertebrae but 8 cervical nerve roots leaving the cord.

  • The thoracic spinal cord segments are compressed into the level
    between the T1-T10 vertebrae

  • The lumbar and sacral segments are at the level of the T11 and T12 vertebrae

  • The spinal cord ends around the level of the disc between T12 and L1 vertebrae

Spinal cord injury
The majority of spinal cord injuries in the UK are caused by:

  • Heavy falls – down stairs or from height

  • Car accidents and motorbike accidents

  • Sport accidents

It can also be caused by diseases such as Polio, Spina Bifida and Friedreich's Ataxia.

Spinal cord injury causes loss of function of the nerves, limbs and organs below the site of the injury. The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for loss of function to occur. The majority of people with a spinal cord injury, have their cord intact, it’s the damage caused by the compression or bruising which results in a loss of function. For more information see The effects of spinal cord injury...

Making a claim for spinal cord injury compensation
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as the result of someone else’s negligence – either in a car accident, fall or sporting injury, you can and should claim compensation. Our solicitors specialise in dealing with personal injury claims of the severest nature and have helped clients claim compensation in excess of £2 million, following a spinal cord injury.

We don’t just help you get financial recompense for your injuries, we can provide a range of services, including treatment and rehabilitation, equipment and care. See Spinal cord injury compensation for more information...

Our no-risk, no win no fee service
Understandably you may be daunted by the thought of pursuing a personal injury claim of this nature and be concerned about the financial implications of making a claim. We work on a no-risk no win no fee arrangement, whereby you are protected from all costs, win or lose. We do not take a penny from you, nor do we make any deductions from your compensation. See no-risk, no win no fee for more information...

Free legal advice, 24 hours a day
If you would like to make a claim for spinal cord injury compensation, or you just want to talk to a solicitor about the possibility of making a claim, without any obligation, please call us on 0800 78 38 846, 24 hours a day.

More information about spinal cord injury



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*Where replacement vehicle costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Where this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, a replacement vehicle cannot be provided.