22/03/2016

Legal and Practical Help After Spinal Cord Injury

Around 1000 people within the UK and Ireland will receive a substantial spinal cord injury in the next 12 months with the highest rate of injury occurring between the ages of 15 to 38. The most common cause of spinal cord injury are road traffic accidents (36.8%) trips and falls (41.7%) sports injuries with the highest being rugby and horseriding (11.6%) being knocked over or while lifting or colliding with an object such as diving in shallow water (4.2%) and finally trauma causing around 3.3% of injuries.

There is currently no cure for spinal injury or anyway to repair a damaged spinal cord, research continues and although progress is being made, anything resembling a cure or reversal of spinal injury is still very much in the distant future. News and current research programmes can be found on the Spinal Research website at www.spinal-research.org.

A person’s life can change completely after a severe spinal injury, many being confined to a wheelchair and having to rely on carers due to complete or partial paralysis often resulting that after rehabilitation they cannot return to their previous home due to access issues, this obviously means greater emotional upset added to having to learn to live a completely different life with a disability and in many cases with limited funds.

Fieldfisher are experts in all personal injury and medical negligence claims including spinal injury compensation claims, if your injury was caused by negligence or due to the actions of a third party, workplace incompetence or other issues outside of your control you may well be able to make a claim for substantial compensation that could at least help alleviate your financial problems allowing you to adapt and start rebuilding your life.

If compensation is not an option you may be entitled to a Disabled Facilities Grant from your local council, further details can be found on the Gov.UK site or by clicking this Disabled Facilities Grant link.

Thankfully there is a great deal of support provided from the moment that you are admitted to hospital. The Spinal Injury Association (SIA) have a number of dedicated male and female peer support officers that fully understand what you’re going through and will help you rebuild your life through support, outside resources and important information geared toward your exact needs. The SIA offer free advice on 0800 980 0501 or you can chat online or through the website at www.spinal.co.uk.

The important thing to remember is that you are not alone, there is help available and that life does go on and in time you will rebuild your life albeit in a different direction than you originally intended.

As a spinal injury cord person that suffered a C4/5 injury I can tell you that the resources highlighted in this article have been invaluable to me and I hope they are invaluable to you or any of your friends or family members that have recently received a spinal cord injury.

As the now Professor Brian Cox shouted at us when he played keyboards with D:Ream back in 1994 “things can only get better”


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