In some cases, spinal injuries may be relatively minor and require only a period of carefully monitored rehabilitation. However, they are often much more serious and can result in long-term loss of function and impairment.
Whatever the case, if the injury has led to some form of physical discomfort and has caused you to lose earnings or incur costs such as medical and other practical expenses, Thompsons spinal injury solicitors in Scotland can help you secure compensation. Our expertise extends to representing claims for all kinds of spinal injury, including those located in the area of the cervical spine.
Spinal injuries are frequently life-changing, even in instances where they occur lower down the spine and do not cause total loss of independence. However, when the injury is situated higher up, in the region of the cervical spine, they have a greater effect on the brain and spinal cord and may cause significant loss of feeling and/or motion and, in the worst cases, may lead to tetraplegia or quadriplegia.
Understanding the location of the cervical spine
The spine consists of 33 vertebrae. These surround and protect the important nerve tissues of the spinal cord and, together with various muscles and ligaments, act as the major support system for the upper body.
Spinal injuries are categorised on the basis of their location from the first vertebra (C1) down to the last (S5), as follows:
- Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries – C1-C7
- Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries – T1-T12
- Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries – L1-L5
- Sacral Spinal Injuries – S1-S5
Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries – C1-C7: If damage occurs to the spinal cord and/or vertebrae in the region of the cervical spine there are a variety of possible outcomes. Damage to the high cervical nerves (C1-C4) can sometimes prove fatal. Even in non-fatal cases, complete damage in this region is likely to lead to paralysis, or quadriplegia. Injuries at C5 level or below can still cause paralysis but are may still allow the injured party some level of sensory or motor control.
The cervical spine in detail
The cervical spine is situated at the upper part of the spine, immediately below the head and above the thoracic spine. It is made up of 7 vertebrae, although there is a type of cervical spine injury known as a C8 injury. This involves damage to the nerve roots of the spinal cord that are located between C7 and T1.
Injuries to the cervical spine are almost always serious and can be categorised in the following way:
- C1 and C2 (sometimes called atlas and axis): injuries to these two vertebrae which sit just below the base of the skull are rare but are usually fatal.
- C3 and C4: If not fatal, complete injuries to these vertebrae will usually result in paralysis or tetraplegia. Injured parties will typically require a lifetime of breathing support.
- C5-C8: People with injuries in this region are more likely retain some level of motor and sensory function. However, paralysis and loss of the function of one or more limbs are not uncommon.
It is important to note that the degree of impairment caused by cervical spine injury will depend on a number of factors, including whether the injury is complete or incomplete. However, all cervical spine injuries should be treated as serious and an injury at any point in the cervical spine could affect speech, the ability to breath, the function of the limbs, the development of numbness tingling and other neurological symptoms, loss of bladder and blower function and loss of independence. Cervical spine injuries also lead, inevitably, to many mental health and welfare challenges.
How do cervical spinal cord injuries occur?
Cervical spine injuries can be caused by many types of incident; however, the claims most commonly handled by Thompsons' spinal injury solicitors are likely to involve the following:
- Road traffic accidents
- Cycling accidents
- Falls from height
- Slips and trips
- Accidents in the workplace
- Sports accidents
Thompsons Spinal Injury Solicitors
If you or someone close to you has suffered a cervical spinal injury, the specialist solicitors at Thompsons can help you make a spinal injury claim to help you manage the practical and financial consequences. This may include compensation for the following:
- Home and car adaptations
- Lost earnings
- Medical equipment
- Healthcare, including private rehabilitation and therapy
Although a spinal injury claim cannot turn back time or reverse the symptoms of any injury, it can help you make the post-accident situation as manageable as possible. By choosing Thompsons Solicitors, you can be sure that you will receive support throughout the duration of your claim in order to help you secure the best possible care, treatment and rehabilitation.
Cervical spine injuries are serious and claimants need every possible support; this is why, whenever possible, we strive to secure interim damages to help provide for your most pressing needs. Furthermore, by offering a No Win No Fee spinal injury claims service, we help you stay financially protected through the claims process.
Contact Thompsons' team of spinal injury solicitors today to see if we could help you make a claim. Call us on 0800 0891 331 or fill in our contact form so we can discuss your options.