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Spinal injury claims

We understand that a spinal cord injury is life-changing. We understand that you and your family will be devastated and have no idea of what the future will bring. It is our job to help you see that there is a future, a different future but a positive one that can be achieved.

Digby Brown has helped hundreds of people in a similar situation. We have the relevant experience and expertise to know how to help you today, tomorrow and into the future, we can guide you and your family with confidence.

Of course, the primary job of our spinal injury solicitors is to ensure that you receive rightful financial compensation through our expertise in the legal process. These funds can be substantial as they will be used over many years to help pay for essential items including supported living, alterations to your accommodation or even a new property. A huge number of new technologies exist which can aid both recovery and life going forward.

Our experience with others allows us to understand what you will need and although your circumstances are unique we do have the know-how, as well as access to others with expertise and the understanding to take you through the legal claims process.

Our commitment to helping survivors is also why leading charities like Spinal Injuries Scotland and Back Up recommend Digby Brown Solicitors for legal support in spinal cord injury claims. We have been involved in helping spinal injury survivors for over 40 years and that experience does count for a lot.

How can Digby Brown help with a spinal injury claim?

It can’t be overstated that you need the help of an expert spinal lawyer who has years of experience in helping people who have suffered a spinal cord injury.

In law, not everyone is equal. Digby Brown don’t sell houses or do criminal law, we wouldn’t have a clue what to do with an immigration dispute.

We are experts in personal injury and specifically within the serious injury department and spinal injury compensation. We have a team of spinal cord injury solicitors who can rightly say they are the “best of the best” in Scotland. We have accreditations and awards to prove it.

This isn’t about us showing off, this is us proving that without our help, there is more than a chance that you won’t receive the best advice and in turn the best outcome. Most of the time it isn’t about whether someone was to blame, it is about how much. And that can make a massive difference for your future. Knowing that, for example, £3 million isn’t enough and £5.5 million is, is why people choose to come to Digby Brown.

Our reputation goes a long way when dealing with defenders of these cases and the insurance companies responsible for paying rightful compensation, and they know we don’t accept average.

When coming to Digby Brown for help you get more than just a no win, no fee claim for compensation – you are provided with a thorough and complete bespoke care package tailored to suit your individual needs which can also help with every aspect of dealing with a spinal cord injury, including:

  • An Immediate Needs Assessment - this is the first step and can cover a range of medical assessments including medical needs, for example, access to private physiotherapy, short and medium-term daily care needs and mental welfare. From this assessment, we will be best placed to consider the short-term future.
  • Medical care - to give you the best possible chance to recover from your injuries as fully as possible. This can be funded privately with the insurer's agreement and can cover a range of needs depending on the injuries sustained.
  • Counselling - to help you understand what has happened and cope with the changes that have suddenly taken place.
  • Interim payments - with the insurer’s agreement, to cover any immediate costs like mortgage payments (this is important as most spinal injury survivors are unlikely to be able to work for a period of time).
  • Case management support - who will take a hands-on approach to help assess and solve your immediate, short term and long-term care needs.
  • Welfare rights - which we do for free to help you to navigate the confusing world that is our benefits system. Many benefits are not means tested and therefore everyone can and should access them.
  • Peer support - which can offer further guidance, and hands-on help and provide a network of friendly, similarly affected people that can help with your journey.
  • Adapting to a different life - whether having your home altered to the needs of a wheelchair, Motability and independence which are crucial to a positive mindset, technology which will help with every day, anything which is an issue, can be overcome.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone, we are here to help. 

Initial interviews – we will meet and speak with you to find out what happened and see if we can help. This interview can be at your home, one of our seven offices or even at the hospital if you are still in recovery or rehabilitation. Whatever is easiest and most comfortable. It is, of course, free. During this meeting we will also explain how we fund your case with our no win, no fee Compensate funding model. In essence, this allows us to progress your case on your behalf without ever asking for payment. Only after the case is successfully settled, will we take an agreed at the outset percentage of the damages and in the unlikely event the case is lost we take the hit, it is risk-free for you. Because spinal injury claims are usually significant our percentage of damages is capped and reduced on a scale.

Sorting additional help – after the interview, we’ll be able to consider any immediate or short-term needs and start the process of putting these in place.

Gathering evidence – we work with leading experts to fully value your claim. This will include medical experts who can fully assess the impact of your injury. We can also work with employment experts who can provide expert witness reports that confirm how your injury will impact your ability to work (and if you are unable to work permanently then we can calculate how much money you’ve lost, including the impact on your pension, and even any earnings you’ve lost out on when considering things like probable future promotions). This is why you cannot trust websites that offer claim values in a table. No personal injury claim value can be boiled down to a simple tariff value without conducting any kind of investigation. Many insurers use this method themselves so that’s why you know it’s not necessarily the right way to approach your case.

Valuing the claim – once all evidence is gathered we can put a figure to the damages. This is what we will present to the insurer as fair and just compensation.

Intimating claims – we will write to the other party (most commonly an insurance company) and inform them that we are acting on your behalf to recover compensation.

Negotiating with insurers – we then present our evidence to the other party. If the other side offers a fair level of compensation then we will offer you the necessary guidance on acceptance. However, if we think the other side is offering less than you are entitled to then we would advise you to reject their offer.

Preparing for court – every case is prepared with the expectation that we will go to court. This is just one reason why insurers know that Digby Brown is not bluffing. We will and do take cases to court if either liability (who was at fault) is disputed and/or if the amount the insurer is offering is not enough. Most cases do settle before the court, however, insurers know the risks for the law firm are significant if they lose. Insurers tend to push very hard and we need to push back, no matter the consequences. Remember, as the client, this is risk-free, we will advise you of what we believe is the best advice and with your authority proceed on this basis.

Digby Brown fully subscribes to The Rehabilitation Code of Practice. This set of standards was put in place years ago after leading law firms and insurers sat down and agreed on a code of practice for dealing with serious injury claims – Digby Brown was a part of these discussions.

The code ensures both sides of a legal case act sensibly to ensure the survivor’s needs are central to the litigation process. For the survivor, it means they should be able to settle their cases as quickly as possible so they may focus on their recovery and life ahead.

Adventure sports enthusiast can still bike and travel the world.

What exactly are spinal cord injuries?

The first thing to understand is the spine and the spinal cord are two different things. The spine is the collection of small bones (vertebrae) that runs the length of a person’s back. But the spinal cord is a network of intertwining nerve fibres (about two feet long and as thick as your finger) that runs inside the vertebrae.

The spinal cord is part of the nervous system and carries signals between body parts and the brain to register sensations like movement, pain or temperature:

  • Cervical nerves (neck) are connected to the arms, neck and shoulders
  • Thoracic nerves (upper back) are connected to the abdomen
  • Lumbar and sacral nerves (lower back) are connected to the legs, bowel and sexual organs

The spinal cord is a vital but delicate part of your anatomy which is why it is surrounded from top to bottom by dozens of protective vertebrae.

If a person damages vertebrae in their spine there is a good chance it could heal without lasting issues – this is because it’s only the protective bone that’s been damaged.

But if the injury damages the spinal cord inside the vertebrae then it can have life-changing consequences. This is because the spinal cord cannot mend like bone and depending on where you were injured it can result in permanent loss of function and paralysis depending on the nerve:

Tetraplegia and Quadriplegia – spinal cord damage at the neck resulting in both arms and both legs losing functionality.

Paraplegia – spinal cord damage around the chest then both your legs can be paralysed but the hands and arms may be unaffected.

But however your spinal cord injury has impacted you, the spinal injury lawyers in Digby Brown’s Serious Injury team can help you access the support you need.

How long have I got to claim? 

You have three years from the time of your injury to make a claim. However, there are some significant exceptions to this rule. 

  • Lack of capacity – if the injury you suffered was so serious that you were physically and mentally unable to seek legal advice during the time of your recovery then limits are waived. 
  • Children under 16  – When children under 16 are involved you can claim compensation at any point until they turn 19, regardless of what year they were injured.

We always advise that you start your claim as soon as possible by contacting us so we can get immediate access to rehabilitation and treatment services to give you the best chance at recovery and this will allow us enough time to gather evidence to support your case.

Can you recover from a spinal injury?

Sadly, there is no way to estimate if or how someone would recover from spinal cord injuries or how their life will look in the future. Some things to consider when talking about recovery are:

  • The severity of the injury
  • The length of time it took to get medical attention
  • How quickly you had access to physiotherapy and rehabilitation
  • What care is in place going forward

Researchers are continually working on new treatments, including prostheses and medications, that might promote nerve cell regeneration or improve the function of the nerves that remain after a spinal cord injury.

These treatments may help improve the quality of life for people who have had spinal cord injuries.

What types of accidents cause spinal injuries?

It can be difficult to pinpoint one type of accident that is most likely to cause a spinal cord injury. But in our experience, the people who are most commonly affected by such injuries are those who have been involved in road traffic accidents or workplace accidents (especially those who have fallen from height).

Regardless of how each person is injured, one thing that nearly all have in common is that their injuries were down to the negligence of another person.

Negligent accidents are the very reason that makes spinal injury compensation claims possible – and why you need the help of an independent spinal cord injury solicitor.

No win no fee personal injury solicitors

The expression “No Win – No Fee” is often used in personal injury cases.  It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses. 

A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful. 

In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.

Compensate 'no win no fee' funding

Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.

If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing

On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer

Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.

In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website, or watch Joanne's story.

Beware of compensation offers which may be too good

We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.

  • How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
  • If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
  • Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
  • If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
  • It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
  • These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.

We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value. 

Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.

Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown

Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.

Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.

Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

For further information about no win no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.

Digby Brown’s reputation in spinal injury compensation claims

The work of our Serious Injury solicitors plays a key part in Digby Brown topping the legal rankings year on year for personal injury work. We have been top ranked in Chambers for the last eighteen years and top ranked by Legal 500 for the last fourteen.

Although we are a Scottish-only firm, our Serious Injury department was recognised as Catastrophic Injury Team of the Year at the UK-wide 2020 Personal Injury Awards.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has around 50 accredited specialists in Scotland for personal injury work – and around half of these work at Digby Brown. Moira Kay, who is a Partner in the Serious Injury department, is the only APIL-accredited specialist for both brain injury and spinal cord injury in the whole of Scotland so you know that when you come to Digby Brown you are accessing some of the best legal minds in the country.

We work closely with Spinal Injuries Scotland and Back Up – two national voluntary organisations concerned with helping people affected by spinal cord injuries. Not just survivors of serious accidents but also their relatives and friends.

Our reputation and proven track record for success and accessing wider aspects of rehabilitative care is why both groups recommend Digby Brown as a provider of legal support.

We also have a great reputation among NHS staff at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Unit in Glasgow – a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to treating and rehabilitating survivors of spinal cord injury.

We have been part of the Spinal Injuries community in Scotland for many, many years. We have raised over £1 million for charities associated with the injury. Our annual dinner dance alone has raised over £750,000 and is now in its 20th year.

Get in touch

We know this is an incredibly difficult time. Please get in touch and we can discuss how and if we can help.

You can contact either by phone or email Chris Stewart, head of the Spinal Injuries Department or you can contact our Legal Enquiry Team which is available seven days a week. They will organise the relevant help and someone will be in touch. We try and see clients within 24 hours of being in touch.

0333 200 5926

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm 
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

(Please note, local rate, even from mobile)

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Complete our enquiry form and we will strive to reply within 24 hours

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