Delivering legal expertise since 1845

Spinal cord & spine injury claims solicitors

A spinal cord injury can occur in a split second or sometimes over a prolonged period. Whether due to a sudden impact or a disease or infection, the effects can be life changing for the individual and their loved ones alike. We are on hand to support people like you with their spinal cord injury claims, whatever the severity of your injury or its cause.

People first, lawyers second

Recent estimates from leading spinal injuries charities such as the Spinal Injuries Association suggest that 2,500 people are injured or diagnosed with a spinal cord injury in the UK every year. Our team of specialist spinal cord injury solicitors understand the physical and emotional impact these injuries can have – and have the experience needed to secure the spinal cord injury compensation you and your family are entitled to.

What is a spinal injury?

The spinal cord is an extension of the central nervous system which consists of the brain and the spinal cord. It starts in the bottom of the brain, in the brain stem, and ends in the lower back. It is a bundle of nerves that carries messages from your brain to the rest of your body. These messages help you to move and manage important functions such as breathing and blood pressure, bladder and bowel control. Damage to the spinal cord can be caused by trauma, disease or inflammation that disrupts this line of communication and often results in permanent changes in movement, sensation and other bodily functions.

The extent of these changes and their impact on your lifestyle will vary depending on how high up the spinal cord is damaged. Loss of movement and sensation also differs from person to person. While complete repair is not currently possible, there continues to be break through in treatment and the present treatment and rehabilitation available are both feasible and effective, and many people who suffer spinal cord injuries continue to lead fulfilling and independent lives.

Nigel's story

What are the different types of spinal cord injury?

The position of the damage to the spinal cord influences the resulting impacts on your body:

Medical classification

Healthcare professionals use certain terminology to describe the level and type of injury sustained. While it may appear confusing at first, it is relatively straightforward with a little explanation.

The terms ‘complete’ and ‘incomplete’ refer to the type of injury sustained:

Bike RTA

Shoosmiths - spinal cord injury experts

  • What are the common causes of spinal cord injury?

    Spinal cord injuries can result from damage to the spinal cord itself or to the vertebrae, ligaments or discs that make up your spinal column. This damage can happen suddenly (traumatic) or over time (nontraumatic).

    Traumatic spinal cord injuries

    Traumatic spinal cord injuries are often preventable and occur from sudden blows to your spine that fracture, dislocate or compress vertebrae, or from cuts to your spinal cord. These kinds of injuries are more common and can worsen over the following days and weeks due to secondary effects such as bleeding, swelling and fluid accumulation. Common causes include:

    • Road traffic accidents involving vehicles, motorbikes or bicycles
    • Falls - be it an accident at work or a trip around the house
    • Acts of violence such as stabbing or shootings
    • Sports and recreation activities, particularly impact sports such as rugby, horse riding or diving

    Nontraumatic spinal injuries

    Nontraumatic types of spinal cord injury can be caused by diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis or cancer that cause the spinal cord or column to degenerate. You could also suffer a spinal cord injury due to serious inflammation or infection caused by medical negligence.

    Risk factors

    While spinal injuries are usually the result of an accident, there are factors that may make you more susceptible. According to data for 2022/23 published by the Spinal Injuries Association in their annual report:

    • 60% of people referred to a specialist spinal cord injury centre were male.
    • 63% of newly injured people were over the age of 50, with the biggest age group being 60–69-year-olds.
    • 37% of injuries were caused by an accident, with the most common cause of injuries resulting from an accident was a fall (25%). Other causes include traffic collisions and sports injuries. Illnesses and other medical conditions account for 53% of injuries.

Spinal injury experts

Our skilled team of specialist lawyers want to speak to you today for free

Nick Tubb

Nick Tubb


Medical negligence

Nick has successfully pursued complex medical negligence brain and spinal injury claims for clients, securing a number of multi-million pound awards. Tell Nick your unique story.

Sharine Burgess

Sharine Burgess


Personal injury

Sharine is an award-winning lawyer in the personal injury department, acting on behalf of claimants and their families through a wide range of cases, so give her a call.

Spinal cord injury FAQS

  • How can Shoosmiths help with spinal injury claims?

    Adjusting to life with a spinal injury will be challenging enough without the added burden of getting to grips with legal process. We have a team of lawyers with specialist knowledge of spinal cord injuries and they will work hard to make sure you get the compensation you need. We think it’s essential to make sure your immediate needs are met – especially if you’re unable to work or would benefit from specialist rehabilitation services.

    We have a real appreciation of what spinal cord injuries can mean for individuals and those closest to them, so we offer extensive support in other areas too:

    • Ensuring the right medical and rehabilitation services and support structures are in place
    • Obtaining interim payments to cover the costs of care and rehabilitation 
    • Introducing you to charities and support services that can offer information and advice, put you in touch with support groups, provide services to help you adjust to living with any long-term effects of your injury
    • Putting you in touch with colleagues in our conveyancing team, should you need to move to a more suitable property, or our Court of Protection team if you need a to put in place a deputyship or lasting power of attorney.
    • We will be with you throughout your recovery and rehabilitation, helping you to rebuild your life. 
  • How do I make a spinal injury claim?

    If you think that you have a spinal cord injury and want to explore whether you can claim compensation, our skilled team are ready and waiting to get the conversation started.

    We’ll find out a bit more about you, the impact of your injury and how best we can help you, drawing on our years of experience. Don’t worry, this initial chat is free – on the phone, at our office, at your home, or anywhere else that’s convenient for you - and there’s no obligation. We just want to make sure your claim gets off to the right start.

    Our team always put your interests and wellbeing first. It means working to achieve an amount of compensation that best reflects your pain and suffering. But it can also mean being honest if we think your case might not be a success. The best way to find out is to the begin the process. 

    To find out more get in touch with our expert team – call free on 0370 086 8687 or message us.

  • What could my spinal cord injury compensation cover?

    Spinal injury claims are highly complex and technical so it is worth having experienced solicitors help identify all potential future costs to make sure you get the appropriate level of compensation for your injury, such as the cost of: 

    • any initial treatment; 
    • long term care and rehabilitation, this will depend on the severity of the injury; 
    • specialist transport or equipment; 
    • lost earnings if you cannot return to work or your work prospects are affected; 
    • modifications to your home, or purchasing a new home;
    • The level and amount you receive will depend on the severity of your injury and the extent of care and support you need to give you the best possible quality of life. 
  • How long do I have to make a spinal cord injury claim?

    You have three years from the date that you suffered the injury caused by the negligence of the other party – or the date when you first had knowledge that your injury was caused by the negligence of another party - in which to start a claim by issuing court proceedings. 

    But there are two exceptions to this: 

    • If a person under the age of 18 suffers a serious injury, they have up until their 21st birthday to start the claim by issuing court proceedings.  A claim can be brought on behalf of the child by a litigation friend, usually a parent or guardian, at any time up until their 18th birthday. 
    • If someone doesn’t have capacity to bring a claim because they have a brain injury, the time limit starts from the moment they regain capacity. If they are assessed not to have capacity and that incapacity is permanent, there is no time limit. 

    In all cases, however, we recommend contacting our serious injury lawyers as soon as possible – this gives the claim the best chance of success as it makes it easier to gather any evidence. 

  • Why Choose Shoosmiths to help with your claim?

    When start the litigation process it’s important to know that you can trust the people you turn to.  Rebuilding your life after an injury can be difficult and challenging, and the last thing you need is any additional stress or uncertainty.  

    At Shoosmiths, we treat every individual with care and understanding. Not only are we with you at each stage your claim, but we’ll also stay by your side for years to come – even once your claim is settled and compensation awarded. 

    You can also trust that we have the right expertise: – we have specialist accreditations and connections with the right charities. We also comply with best practice and standards: 

    • We are accredited by the Law Society Personal Injury Panel and the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel; Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL); and the charity Action against Medical Accidents. 
    • We are established partner members of the Spinal Injuries Association, and Back-Up Trust, charities that focus on spinal cord injuries. 
    • We are signatories to the APIL/FOIL (Forum of Insurance Lawyers) Guide to the Conduct of Cases Involving Serious Injury. 
    • Our lawyers are recognised for their care and knowledge by two independent legal directories: Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK. 

    For us, however, the most important reason for choosing Shoosmiths is our dedication to helping people in need. Our reputation is built on the success we achieve on behalf of our clients. You can read what some of those clients have to say – and how we could help you too.

    Get the clarity you’re searching for if you think you might have a spinal injury claim.

    We help individuals and families rebuild their lives. Call us on 0370 086 86867 or message us.

Who we work with

  • Brain Injury Group
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Headway
  • SIA
  • Back Up
  • Macmillan
  • Danielles Flutterbyes
  • Forces
  • Bens Heroes Trust

Our accreditations

  • Accredited Personal Injury
  • Apil
  • Ama
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Legal 500
  • UK Chambers
  • The Society Of Clinical Injury Lawyers