Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day

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Matthew Clayton Profile Picture
Matthew Clayton

Partner, Serious Injury Solicitor

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Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day takes place on May 13 to raise awareness of spinal cord injuries and highlight the challenges people suffering with them face every day. The majority of spinal cord injuries are caused by preventable accidents and can have a catastrophic impact on the quality of life of those suffering from them.

Our Serious Injury lawyers see first-hand the life-changing impact of spinal cord injuries, as we help hundreds of people every year who have sustained such injuries  from accidents that could have been prevented. We work to signpost our clients to charities such as the Spinal Injury Association (SIA), who exist as a first port of call for anyone affected by a spinal cord injury so that they can be connected to support networks and the services they need. Meanwhile, we help secure compensation for people with spinal cord injuries so that they can access the invaluable help, counselling, and support that is available.

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How Can Spinal Cord Injuries Happen?

Every four hours, one person in the UK suffers a spinal cord injury. A traumatic spinal cord injury can be caused by a sudden, traumatic blow to your spine - the majority of these injuries happen from preventable accidents such as:

Our Serious Injury team help hundreds of people claim compensation for spinal cord injuries, so they can get a sense of both justice and access the support and rehabilitation they need. Our Medical Negligence team also help those with spinal cord injuries that were caused by, or made worse by, medical mistakes and oversights – for example:

Accidents that cause spinal cord injuries can happen in the blink of an eye and can change someone’s life forever. However, sometimes serious spinal injuries aren’t obvious immediately after an accident, because symptoms such as numbness or paralysis can develop gradually. Our lawyers and charities like SIA are here to help people suffering with spinal cord injuries – we aim to help people have the chance to live a fulfilled life by taking their exact circumstances into account and signposting them to the help they need.

What Challenges Do People with Spinal Cord Injuries Face?

The spinal cord is an extension of our brain, and it is made up of many nerves that carry messages to the rest of our body. Spinal cord injuries affect our nervous system, by disrupting and damaging the messages between our brains and bodies.

All spinal cord injuries are serious, but every person and accident is different, so the physical symptoms of spinal cord injuries can vary significantly.. You can have either a complete spinal cord injury (where all feeling and ability to control movement is lost) or incomplete (where you have some sensory function or ability to move).

Many people with spinal cord injuries are tragically left with chronic pain conditions and paralysis, but many people don’t realise spinal cord injuries can also affect your ability to control your temperature, retain memories, or even talk and breathe effectively. Spinal cord injuries can also lead to loss of bladder and bowel control and sexual dysfunction, which may be embarrassing for people to deal with and talk about. However Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day is about raising awareness of these daily issues and the misconceptions around spinal cord injuries.

The physical repercussions of a spinal cord injury are significant, but it’s also important to acknowledge the mental health problems that can be brought on by suffering a spinal cord injury. It can be extremely overwhelming and daunting for people with spinal cord injuries to adjust to their new life.

According to the World Health Organisation, around 20-30% of people with spinal cord injuries suffer from depression, which is a very understandable response to such a traumatic event. Any big life change can be very stressful, and arguably sustaining a spinal cord injury and having your independence taken away often overnight is one of the most disruptive things that could ever happen to you. Physical symptoms can mean that people lose their independence, freedom to socialise and carry on their hobbies in the way they used to.

While we have helped hundreds of people with spinal cord injuries, our Serious Injury team will treat every person as an individual. SIA offer a free specialist counselling service, and our dedicated lawyers will find out everything we can about yours or your loved one’s injuries to ensure you can access the exact help you need.

How We Can Help if You’ve Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury

If you or a family member has suffered a spinal injury, often claiming compensation will not be your first thought because of how much the injury can disrupt your life. Sadly, no amount of money can reverse what has happened to you, but if you sustained a spinal cord injury and it was at least partly someone else’s responsibility, our dedicated solicitors could help you claim compensation.

Our expert lawyers have years of experience helping people with spinal cord injuries and with their expertise, they can take your exact situation into account to secure the best possible compensation for you. We can help you access:

  • Specialist private rehabilitation;
  • Loss of earnings, if you’ve had to take time off work, or it can account for earnings you may miss out on in the future if you’re sadly unable to return to your career.
  • The resources you need to adjust to life with your injury, which can include anything from a wheelchair, cuffs for picking up objects, adaptations to your home, or even a new house.
  • Any therapy you might benefit from, including physiotherapy, counselling, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy;
  • Pain management experts.

The list above does not cover absolutely everything you could access, as the exact help you need will depend on yours or your relative’s situation. To see whether you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation, contact our lawyers today for a no obligation Free Case Assessment, and we can give you a better idea of how we can help you live with your injuries in the best way we can.


www.simpsonmillar.co.uk. (2023). Spinal Cord Injury Claim | Simpson Millar Solicitors. [online] Available at: https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/personal-injury-solicitors/serious-injury-claims/spinal-cord/

www.simpsonmillar.co.uk. (2019). Spinal Cord Injury Compensation Payouts Guide UK | Simpson Millar. [online] Available at: https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/personal-injury-solicitors/serious-injury-claims/spinal-cord/spinal-cord-injury-compensation-payouts-guide-uk/

www.simpsonmillar.co.uk. (2021). What Rehabilitation Is Available if I Have a Spinal Injury? [online] Available at: https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/personal-injury-solicitors/serious-injury-claims/spinal-cord/rehabilitation-for-a-spinal-injury/

Matthew Clayton Profile Picture

Matthew Clayton

Partner, Serious Injury Solicitor

Areas of Expertise:
Personal Injury

Matthew specialises in Serious Injury claims for compensation including AmputationsBrain Damage and Head Injuries, and Spinal Cord Injuries.

Matthew joined Simpson Millar in November 2016, and heads our department which looks after clients who have suffered life changing injuries.

Matthew is a former Principal Lawyer with Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK. He qualified as a Lawyer in 1990, and has a wealth of experience in helping clients who have suffered a range of injuries.

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