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How Much For A Spinal Cord Injury

Sep 2, 2008
There is absolutely no doubt from anyone that a catastrophic head injury or spinal cord injury is the stuff of nightmares. We try not to think about it but sometimes, if we know of somebody who has been through it, or if we read of it in the news, we may spend a while thinking about how it would affect our lives.

We could devote hours to this thought but we would never do justice to the people that have suffered such an occurrence. We could never fully appreciate the impact on life as we know it when we don't have to. The simple act of breathing is something that isn't automatically available to someone who has suffered paralysis after a spinal cord injury and without this ability, how can we comprehend how difficult everything else would be?

For those who have suffered a severe spinal cord injury, compensation usually equates to somewhere in the region of 100,000. pounds However, in a ground breaking case, personal injury lawyers have managed to secure a much more substantial payout for a man that ended up as a tetraplegic after a road accident.

The middle aged family man in question was cycling home from work when he was hit from behind by a car whose driver was found guilty of driving without due care and attention. Despite this guilty verdict, his insurance company still fought a compensation claim and the man had to instruct specialist spinal cord injury lawyers to fight his case.

It seems so wrong that it should be such a fight to gain any compensation for such an incident. The driver admitted fault yet there was argument from the insurers that didn't want to pay out. It's probable that they argued because they knew how serious an injury this was and how much it was going to cost them but what price can you put on the quality of a man's life and that of his family's?

This man's particular case spanned almost three years. During this time, he and his family would have suffered and struggled needlessly. After the spinal cord injury occurred in the man's neck, he was left with no use of his lower limbs and severely impaired use of the arms. This means he now requires round the clock care and daily life has changed beyond recognition for him and his family.

Those who have never experienced this first hand (including the insurers who don't want to pay out) could not possibly understand the implications. Working life is brought to an abrupt halt and this alone will bring on all sorts of psychological connotations for the patient. A man gets used to being the breadwinner, to being able to provide for his family and this is stripped away without warning. Any intimate relations with a partner are likely to halt so relationships can become terribly strained.

The dignity that comes with simple acts of washing and dressing being done in private is then put in the hands of either a carer or their next of kin, usually one that they themselves are used to caring for. Playing with and caring for offspring is severely impaired after a severe spinal cord injury. This is difficult enough for the parents, let alone the child. Young children do not have the intellectual capacity to understand what has happened. They will take it in their stride and adjust but it is a difficult time for the whole family to adjust to.

These are just a few of the things that were taken into consideration when personal injury lawyers acted for the man in the above example and an unprecedented sum of 1.35 pounds million was awarded with an annual income of 280,000. pounds This is more than normally would have been paid out and may set an example for other lawyers to work towards. When you consider the fact that this man is going to need his home specially adapted, he will need specialist equipment to assist with everyday life and will need to pay for 24 hour care for the rest of his life, as well as the fact that because of someone else's carelessness, he will never work again, this sum doesn't seem so unreasonable after all.
About the Author
Compensation expert Catherine Harvey looks at why a spinal cord injury has such a huge impact on life.
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