Spinal Injury Due to Medical Negligence

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors have experience dealing with a range of negligent spinal injuries and conditions, including cauda equina syndrome and spinal surgery claims.

If your injury was caused by poor treatment, negligent surgery or a failure to properly treat or diagnose, it’s likely that our solicitors have previously dealt with a spinal injury compensation claim similar to yours.

The information below relates to medical negligence and spinal injuries. If your injury was caused by an accident or trauma other than medical negligence, please visit our spinal injury compensation claims page.

We are proud to be Business Members of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), which provides essential support and guidance for those affected by a medical or other spinal cord injury.

Our spinal negligence solicitors work with clients all over the UK from our offices across Bristol and the surrounding area in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury.

To discuss a potential spinal injury compensation claim with a spinal negligence lawyer, please contact us on 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.

Can I make a spinal negligence claim?

To make a claim for spinal negligence compensation, we will need to show that your treatment fell below the standard that you could reasonably expect from your healthcare professionals. We can discuss your situation with you and establish exactly what happened and why you have been injured.

We offer no win no fee funding for spinal negligence cases, so you have the option to make your compensation claim with no financial risk to yourself. There may also be other alternatives for funding, including insurance policies you may hold. If you would like to call us, we will be happy to go through your options with you to assess the best choice for your circumstances.

Looking for more information? Please take a look at our spinal injury medical negligence FAQs or get in touch to discuss your case with a member of our team.

Why choose Barcan+Kirby for medical spinal injury compensation?

We are independently recognised as one of the leading medical negligence teams in the South West. This includes:

Where necessary, our medical negligence lawyers work with various external experts to ensure your case is managed to the highest standard, including barristers, cost lawyers and charities.

For more information about our team and the services we offer, see our medical negligence compensation claims page.

Spinal injury medical negligence FAQs

The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae which are split into different levels:

  • Cervical spine, which is your neck area
  • Thoracic spine, which is the main and largest area of your back
  • Lumbar spine and sacrum which is the lowest area of your back

There are many discs, ligaments and muscles which protect your spinal cord. When a break, dislocation or injury in these occurs, it can damage your spinal cord and may result in paralysis, muscle weakness and altered sensations. This is because the messages that the brain would normally send down to the relevant muscles are disrupted due to the break or injury.

Types of spinal injury

There are two types of spinal injury: complete and incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury means a person has lost all sensory and motor function below the site of the spinal cord injury. Whereas, with an incomplete spinal cord injury, the person retains some function below the injury.

Common causes of spinal injuries as the result of medical negligence include:

  • Delayed management of cauda equina syndrome
  • Wrongly administered spinal anaesthesia and spinal nerve damage
  • Misdiagnosed spinal fractures
  • Spinal surgery negligence
  • Failure to treat a spinal fracture
  • Failure to adequately explain the risks associated with spinal surgery and provide alternative options
  • Cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare but serious neurological condition. It occurs when the nerves at the base of the spine become trapped or damaged. Cauda equina syndrome is considered a surgical emergency, so early diagnosis and treatment are vital in order to avoid lasting damage.

Client awarded £1m damages following cauda equina claim

If there’s a delay in diagnosis of cauda equina, the sufferer can be left with severe disabilities. These can include permanent incontinence in the bowel or bladder, loss of sexual function, limb weakness and inability to walk.

Most negligence claims for cauda equina and spinal injuries arise from an initial misdiagnosis of the condition, delay in diagnosis or delay in providing the correct treatment.

To start a claim for spinal injury, you can speak to a member of our Medical Negligence team, who will take details of what happened and assess whether you have grounds to claim compensation.

Once you have instructed our medical negligence solicitors, they will need to obtain evidence to prove that the injury to your spinal cord is as a result of medical negligence. Our solicitors will rely on medical records, statements from medical staff and the expertise of external experts.

To sue for a spinal injury caused by medical negligence, we will need to establish three things:

  • You were owed a duty of care;
  • This duty of care was breached; and
  • This failure in the duty of care caused your injuries.

We will investigate your case fully to establish exactly what happened and request all available documentation from the medical authority involved, including your medical records and any incident reports they may have prepared.

We will arrange for our medical experts to examine you and prepare reports on your injuries. We will also take witness statements in support of your case.

Compensation for spinal injury negligence is divided into two categories:

  • General damages
  • Special damages

General damages

General damages mean payment to compensate you for your pain and suffering and for the loss of the ability to do things, known as loss of amenity.

Special damages

Special damages means compensation for the financial losses related to what has happened. This includes loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, the cost of adapting your home if this is needed, special equipment, home help, help with personal care and the cost of any medical or therapeutic care.

The compensation in respect of a hospital spinal injury claim can be substantial if the incident has left you with long-term incapacity. We can discuss your potential spinal negligence settlement with you and answer your questions about the compensation you could reasonably expect.

In certain circumstances, we can request interim payments from the health authority and their insurer to ensure that you have adequate financial support during the time that your case takes to complete.

If a medical spinal injury is not treated, it can cause permanent nerve damage and, potentially, paralysis. In the short-term, an untreated spinal injury can deteriorate as swelling and bleeding cause pressure on the nerves.

Where a spinal fracture is not diagnosed in the long-term, the spine may become deformed which can potentially cause severe pain and compression of the nerves.

You should speak to an expert medical negligence solicitor straightaway where:

  • Your healthcare practitioner has failed to diagnose your spinal injury; and
  • You believe that this has led to medical problems that you would not otherwise have suffered; or
  • That your medical problems have been made worse because of a failure to deal appropriately with your spinal problems.

You generally have three years from the date the negligence occurred, or from when you first became aware of the spinal injury, in which to start a claim. Our medical negligence solicitors can talk you through the claims process and advise you on the relevant time limits during your initial meeting.

If a child has suffered a medical spinal injury, the three-year period starts on their 18th birthday. If someone does not have the mental capacity to bring a claim on their own behalf, there is no time limit and they can bring a medical spinal injury claim at any stage after the incident.

Start a spinal injury medical negligence claim today

A spinal injury can have a devastating impact. Our medical negligence solicitors are only too familiar with the challenges those with a debilitating spinal condition face every day.

We offer a free consultation with a spinal injury medical negligence claims solicitor to talk about your options and how best to fund your spinal negligence compensation claim.

Our lawyers work with clients all over the UK from our offices spread across Bristol and the surrounding area in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury.

To discuss a potential spinal negligence claim with a member of our team, call 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.


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    • "Thank you for explaining [everything] so clearly."
      AnonMedical Negligence Client
    • "I cannot recommend Barcan+Kirby Solicitors highly enough, especially Fiona Dabell.

      Fiona took my case on in April 2019. I found her extremely professional, very empathetic, honest, and supportive at all times, and kept me informed and updated throughout.

      When I dealt with Fiona she made me feel like I was her only client (obviously this is not the situation).

      This is a measure of her dedication to her clientele. I am immensely grateful for the settlement she achieved for me. I am going to miss the regular contact we had as Fiona has been a pillar of support over the last three years, especially through the difficult times.

      I can’t thank Fiona enough."
      AnonMedical Negligence Client
    • "Thank you so much for representing my claim so meticulously and your kindness”
      AnonMedical Negligence Client
    • “The thing that I would mark them particularly highly for is client care because they go the extra mile.”
      Chambers and Partners 2023
    • “Claire is really personable, competent, and understands the market really well.”
      Chambers and Partners 2023