If a paralysis injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by tetraplegia or paraplegia, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a paralysis injury claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Over 2,500 British people suffer an injury to their spine every year, according to a recent report published by the spinal charities, Aspire, the Back Up Trust and the Spinal Injuries Association. Approximately 1,200 people sustain some degree of paralysis each year.
At present, there is no cure for many serious spinal injuries, and 1,000s of individuals in the UK live with some form of paralysis.
Tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, is recognised by the courts as having a life-altering impact on affected individuals and their families. Compensation awards are consequently high for paraplegia injury claims, particularly those relating to quadriplegia.
Paraplegia is a specific type of paralysis characterised by the loss of feeling and movement in the legs while the arms remain unaffected. It is usually caused by damage to the spinal cord which interrupts the nerve impulses travelling between the and the brain.
High-level paralysis is usually the result of damage to the top section of the spinal cord, for example, the injuries sustained in a very serious road traffic accident or fall.
Continuing to work is rarely an option, and the majority of people affected by the injury will need ongoing, full-time support. Given the costs associated with this care, getting the right amount of compensation is critical. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of another party's negligence, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
If you decide to make a paralysis injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Compensation for paraplegia and tetraplegia-related injuries
Tetraplegia generally affects one or more of the top eight sections of the spinal cord and as a result injured individuals will experience other symptoms beyond the paralysis itself. Paraplegia is also usually accompanied by other injuries and health conditions.
The calculation of your compensation award or settlement will consider the nature of the paralysis, both sensory and motor, along with other injuries and complications, including:
- Loss of digestive function
- Bowel and bladder incontinence
- Respiratory problems
- Low blood pressure
- Pressure sores
- Frozen joints
- Deep vein thrombosis
Symptoms vary depending on where the injury takes place. Damage to the highest vertebra in the neck typically will result in loss of function from the neck down, and the patient may require a ventilator. Patients with damage to the lower vertebrae may be able to live independently in some cases.
Paralysis injury claim case study
In 2014, compensation of £735,000 was awarded to a 41 year old woman for paralysis and other injuries. The claimant suffered brain injuries and a stroke leading to left-side paralysis following persistent headaches misdiagnosis by her GP five years earlier.
The claimant suffered persistent headaches and heaviness in her left arm. She attended her GP for treatment. She was diagnosed with a migraine and prescribed painkillers.
The lady continued to suffer headaches. Three weeks after seeing her GP she experienced complete weakness in her left side with a numb lip and drooling. Her GP could not see her for two days. At the appointment, the GP suspected diabetes and arranged blood tests but failed to check her blood pressure.
Ten days later the claimant woke having suffered a stroke while sleeping. The claimant's left side was paralysed. She was admitted to hospital where a CT scan was performed. Damage to the right frontal lobe of her brain was confirmed.
She was transferred to another hospital where an MRI scan was performed. The scan showed stroke damage in the form of a right carotid dissection with multiple micro emboli in the right middle cerebral artery. Treatment with anticoagulants was commenced.
The claimant was left with very significant weakness in her left side. Her arm was affected most and she effectively lost the use of her left hand. She was unable to worked and relied on family members to help with everyday household tasks. Her condition was unlikely to improve and she would require care on a permanent basis.
Care experts advised the claimant should receive physiotherapy and occupational therapy at home. She would need extra space at her home for this.
It was hoped the claimant would be able to retrain and be able to return to part-time work in time. however, her injuries would create a significant disadvantage in the labour market.
The claimant's solicitor argued that the GP was negligent, by failing to carry out a proper examination initially. A proper history of her neurological symptoms was not taken. Her headaches were not taken into account despite having no history of migraines. The doctor had failed to consider the possibility of a stroke. Aspirin, heparin or similar medication should have been prescribed. The solicitor alleged the GP's failure to refer her to the TIA clinic or a neurologist on an urgent basis was negligent.
Paralysis injury claim settlement
Liability was admitted and the claim did not go to court. Compensation for the paralysis injuries of £735,000 was accepted by the claimant's solicitor.
- £50,000 was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
- Past losses generally were awarded in the sum of £75,000.
- £180,000 was attributed to future care costs.
- Future loss of earnings of £171,000 was accepted.
- £214,000 was awarded for accommodation expenses including adapting her property.
- Equipment needed for treatment and living was agreed in the sum of £30,000.
- £7,000 was allocated to transport costs. Pension losses were agreed at £8,000.
Paralysis compensation and the costs of care
Paraplegia and tetraplegia are complex injuries that require careful management. Because complications such as deep vein thrombosis can occur as a result of the loss of movement, it is important that anyone living with severe paralysis receives the best possible care and assistance.
Medical costs and long-term personal care costs invariably are assessed as part of a tetraplegia compensation claim or paralysis compensation claim. Compensation can also cover the cost of making adaptations to the home as well as the cost of specialist equipment such as powered wheelchairs and portable hoists.
Compensation is assessed on a case-by-case basis by reference to the seriousness of the injury and the physical and psychological effect it has on your life.
However, the Courts recognise that tetraplegia is an irreversible condition causing considerable mental anguish and claims are typically of a high value to reflect this.
Do I have a paralysis injury claim?
If you've been injured in an accident that was caused another person or organisation in the last 3 years, you will be entitled to make a claim for financial compensation.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
How long do I have to start a paralysis injury claim?
In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.
If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a paralysis injury?
The amount of money you could claim for a paralysis injury will depend on:
- the severity of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
Average injury general damages compensation
The following injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Paralysis||Paralysis of short duration||Up to £44,850|
|Paralysis||Paraplegia||£199,150 to £258,420|
|Paralysis||Tetraplegia (Quadriplegia)||£295,090 to £367,260|
Can I claim for PTS or other psychological trauma?
If you have experienced psychological issues in addition to physical symptoms, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey found that 29.03% of claimants reported a psychological injury, with 70.97% of these relating to a physical injury.
Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your paralysis injury. Compensation can include loss of wages, commission and any other income, damage to your car, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as physical therapy, assistive devices, pain medication and surgery.
The claims process for a paralysis injury will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee injury claim, we are open:
Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.