Tetraplegia Injury Compensation Claims

If you have been affected by tetraplegia we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered tetraplegia and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming tetraplegia injury compensation:


In the UK, approximately 1,200 people sustain some degree of paralysis each year.

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.

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.

Tetraplegia compensation claims

Many accidents can potentially lead to a spinal cord injury, and particularly in cases where an individual sustains a neck injury. The most common accidents include:

Tetraplegia may also result in a medical negligence claim, for example as a result of a birth injury, surgical negligence relating to a failed operation to the neck or spine, or misdiagnosis.

Compensation for 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. The calculation of the compensation award or settlement may consider the nature of the paralysis, both sensory and motor, along with other complications, including:

  • Loss of digestive function
  • Bowel and bladder incontinence
  • Respiratory problems
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pressure sores
  • Frozen joints
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Osteoporosis

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.

Compensation and the costs of care

Tetraplegia is a complex injury that requires 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 quadriplegia 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. 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.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

How does no win, no fee work?

With a no win, no fee agreement (known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a tetraplegia injury claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your tetraplegia injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making a tetraplegia injury claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my tetraplegia injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my tetraplegia injury claim?

If your tetraplegia injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

If your tetraplegia injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

How can Quittance help?

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.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Tetraplegia injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a tetraplegia injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the tetraplegia injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your tetraplegia injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a tetraplegia injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim tetraplegia injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a tetraplegia injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher