Have you suffered a paralysis injury?
If you have suffered paralysis as a result of an accident or medical negligence, you could be eligible to make a paralysis compensation claim
How Much Could You Claim?

Paralysis Claims

Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part or all of the body. This condition can be due to various factors, such as spinal cord injury, nerve damage, strokes, or certain diseases. Whether partial or complete, this is a severe and life-altering injury that can only be made worse if the cause of the paralysis is due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or company.

Several accidents may lead to paralysis, including car accidents, slip and trip accidents, medical negligence and accidents at work. In some cases, prompt treatment and rehabilitation can help a person recover some or all of their muscle function, while in others, paralysis may be permanent.

If you have been left paralysed after medical negligence or an accident that was not your fault, no matter the extent of your suffering, an experienced solicitor will be pleased to help you start a paralysis claim and secure the compensation rightfully owed to you.

To arrange a free consultation with a friendly legal adviser, call 0800 032 3660 or enter your contact details into our claim form to request a call back.

Can I make a paralysis claim?

Whether you can claim paralysis compensation depends on the circumstances surrounding your injury. In general, you should be able to make a claim if the paralysis was due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or company.

To make a successful claim, you will need to provide evidence of the following:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care
  • They breached that duty of care
  • The breach of duty caused your injury
  • Your injury resulted in damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages

You should keep in mind that there are time limits for starting a paralysis claim, so it is best to act quickly to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. Usually, the time limit is three years, but several exceptions to this rule are detailed below.

It is also important to note that you may be entitled to paralysis compensation even if you were partially responsible for your injury. According to contributory negligence law, you may still be entitled to recover damages if you hold less than 50% of the blame.

For example, if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of a car accident, and this partially contributed to your paralysis, the court may find you were contributorily negligent and reduce the amount of compensation that you are eligible to receive.

To find out if you have a valid paralysis claim, call 0800 032 3660 today or use our claim form to arrange a free consultation with no obligation to proceed. If your case has merit, your solicitor will also offer you a no win no fee* agreement, meaning that:

  • You do not have to pay any upfront fees to get legal representation
  • You do not have to pay them at all if they do not win your case
  • You will not incur any out-of-pocket expenses if your claim is unsuccessful

How is paralysis defined?

Paralysis is defined as a complete or partial loss of muscle function in one or more parts of the body. This can result from damage to the nerves and spinal cord, which control the movement of muscles. Paralysis can also occur due to medical conditions that interfere with the ability of the brain to communicate with muscles, such as a stroke. Complications with the muscles themselves rarely cause paralysis.

It can manifest as a loss of sensation in specific areas, loss of control over bodily functions, or the inability to move limbs or muscles. The degree of paralysis can range from mild weakness to a complete loss of movement and feeling, and its extent will depend on the location and severity of the nerve or spinal cord injury.

A diagnosis of paralysis is separated into one of two classifications:

  • Localised: where a specific part of the body is affected, such as the face, arm or foot
  • Generalised: where large parts of the body are affected

Personal injury solicitors have extensive experience processing a wide range of paralysis compensation claims. Such cases include:

  • Paraplegia – This type of paralysis affects both legs and can sometimes impact the pelvis and lower body;
  • Tetraplegia – This type of paralysis is sometimes referred to as quadriplegia and affects both arms and legs;
  • Monoplegia – The paralysis affects only one limb;
  • Hemiplegia – Where one side of the body is affected, and so there is paralysis in an arm and leg on one particular side of the body.

Paralysis is a devastating condition that can severely impact an individual and their loved ones, profoundly affecting their future. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your pain, suffering and all the related financial losses and expenses.

In a successful paralysis claim, the compensation awarded is usually based on the degree and extent of the affected body parts. The more severe the paralysis and the more areas of the body that are impacted, the higher the compensation award is likely to be if liability is successfully established.

What are the common causes of paralysis?

Paralysis can be caused by many events and accidents, many of which will be the responsibility of another person. Some of the most common causes that may lead to a paralysis claim include the following:

Road traffic accidents can cause severe injuries to the spine and nerves, especially those involving vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorbike riders. The cause of the accident could be the fault of another driver, a problem with the road conditions, or a malfunction in the traffic management system.

If you have been affected by a road accident and believe it was due to someone else’s negligence, it is recommended that you contact an experienced personal injury solicitor. Liability can usually be established using evidence such as police reports, CCTV footage, witness statements, and photographic records.

Certain medical conditions, such as a stroke, tumour, or a herniated disk, can interfere with the communication between the brain and the muscles, leading to paralysis. If a healthcare professional has failed to provide proper care or treatment, or if there was a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition that could have been treated, you might be entitled to paralysis compensation.

Alternatively, a surgeon may cause damage to a nerve or the spinal cord during a surgical procedure. To establish a case of medical negligence leading to paralysis, it is necessary to demonstrate that the healthcare professional has failed to meet the accepted standard of care and that this failure directly caused an injury. An experienced medical negligence solicitor can help you to gather the necessary evidence and build a strong paralysis claim.

  • Criminal attacks

Criminal attacks, such as assaults with a weapon, can sometimes result in paralysis if the victim sustains severe injuries to the spinal cord or other body parts that control movement. For example, a bullet, knife or another sharp object may penetrate the spinal cord and cause permanent damage to the nerves, leading to paralysis.

If you have been the victim of a criminal attack and have suffered paralysis, you may be eligible to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). To claim through the CICA, you must have reported the attack to the police and cooperated with their investigation.

Sporting accidents can also cause severe spinal cord injuries, resulting in paralysis. These types of trauma often occur in contact sports, such as football, high-impact sports like gymnastics or skateboarding or due to horse riding accidents.

Some examples of negligence that may entitle you to start a claim include insufficient protective gear, faulty equipment, poor safety measures and inadequate ground conditions. Paralysis compensation can help cover the costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and assistive devices, as well as lost income and other expenses related to your injury.

Some common causes of paralysis in workplace accidents include falls from heights, such as scaffolding or ladders, vehicle accidents and heavy machinery accidents. If you suffered an accident at work, you might be inclined to blame yourself for not being skilled or vigilant enough.

However, if your paralysis injury was caused by a workplace accident, your employer may be liable under the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974. Under this act, employers must meet several requirements for maintaining a safe working environment, including:

  • Provide suitable training to employees
  • Ensure that the necessary safety equipment is available free of cost
  • Conduct regular inspections of machinery
  • Carry out regular risk assessments to identify hazards
  • Ensure good housekeeping and provide a safe place of work
  • Consult employees on health and safety issues

If your employer has not met their responsibilities and you have subsequently been injured, you might be able to make a paralysis claim against them.

  • Severe trips, slips and falls, typically from heights

Slips and trips can cause severe injuries to the back and spine, especially if they involve a fall from a height. The extent of the injury and the resulting paralysis will depend on the severity of the fall and the part of the spinal cord that was damaged.

Slips and trips can occur in many different areas, including at work or in public places such as shops and restaurants and are usually due to preventable hazards, including:

  • Wet or slippery surfaces
  • Uneven or damaged floors and pavements
  • Poorly lit areas like stairways and hallways
  • Clutter or items left in walkways
  • Poor housekeeping

If the cause of a slip or trip was due to the negligence of the property owner or an employer, they could be liable to pay you compensation for any injuries sustained.

Anyone who has suffered paralysis as a result of the neglect or actions of another party may be eligible to file a compensation claim. An experienced legal adviser can assist in determining the relevant laws that protect their right to make a claim. Even in cases where the cause of the injury is from an unknown or untraceable source, such as a hit-and-run or a criminal act, a solicitor may still be able to help the victim make a paralysis claim.

How is the liability for paralysis determined?

In a paralysis claim, proving liability will depend upon the circumstances of your case, as different environments and causes will abide by distinct legislative factors. To secure the maximum compensation, your solicitor will also demonstrate the level of your injuries and how they have affected your life. Several factors can impact liability, including:

  • Negligence: If the injury was due to another person’s negligence, such as a distracted driver or a medical professional who made a mistake during a procedure, they might be liable for damages.
  • Product liability: If the paralysis was caused by a defective product, such as a faulty seatbelt or machinery, the manufacturer might be held responsible for the injury.
  • Premises liability: If the paralysis was caused by a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, such as a wet floor or a poorly maintained staircase, the owner might be liable for the injury.

Below are some examples of how liability could be demonstrated in common paralysis cases:

  • Work-Related Accidents

You might be able to claim compensation if you can show that your employer neglected to fulfil their legal obligations outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This act holds UK employers responsible for upholding safe working standards and providing specific protection against known workplace hazards.

If you have suffered a work-related incident such as a fall from a height, being hit by a heavy object that has fallen on top of you or an electrocution that threw you to the ground, you will likely be able to make a paralysis claim.

  • Road Traffic Accidents

If a road user caused an accident by reckless driving, speeding, or driving under the influence, they could be held responsible for any paralysis suffered as a result. In other situations, poor road conditions may have caused the accident, in which case, the relevant council or highway authority may be held liable.

With road accident claims, liability is proven through evidence such as police reports, witness statements, CCTV footage, and photographic records. If you have suffered paralysis due to a road traffic accident, contacting a personal injury solicitor is recommended as soon as possible. They will offer you a free consultation to discuss your options and determine whether you can claim paralysis compensation.

  • Sporting Accidents

If you suffered a sporting injury, you might be able to start a paralysis claim against a sports venue, organising body, coach or another negligent individual who may have caused your accident.

The Health and Safety at Work Act applies to sports clubs and venues unless they are run solely by volunteers. Even in cases where volunteers run the club, there is still a duty to maintain health and safety. Your solicitor can provide guidance on whether you are eligible to file a claim in these situations.

Regardless of the cause of your injury, you should try to secure as much of the following evidence as possible to support a paralysis claim:

  • Medical records of the extent of the paralysis, the cause of the injury, and the prognosis for recovery;
  • Contact details for witnesses to your accident;
  • Photographs or a video of the accident scene and any visible trauma;
  • Police or accident reports;
  • Documentation such as employment contracts and health and safety reports;
  • Evidence of any expenses or loss of earnings incurred due to the injury.

How much paralysis compensation will I receive?

The amount of compensation paid to you will depend on the severity of your condition and the level of impact the paralysis has had on your life. The greater the severity and the larger the body area affected, the higher your compensation award will likely be.

Injury solicitors are skilled at negotiating the highest settlement awards possible on your behalf and will ensure that all suffering and losses are accounted for in your compensation. That means that your solicitor will seek to recover two types of damages in a paralysis claim:

Special damages is compensation for specific, out-of-pocket expenses that are a direct result of the injury. These can include:

  • Medical expenses, such as the cost of treatments, rehabilitation and therapy
  • Any necessary modifications to your home or car to accommodate your injury
  • The cost of medical devices such as wheelchairs, standing frames or mobility aids
  • The loss of income you have suffered, including any future loss of earnings if you are unable to return to work
  • The cost of care and support with daily tasks
  • Travel expenses for medical treatment or rehabilitation

These are just a few examples of expenses that can be claimed as special damages in a paralysis claim. Your solicitor will be able to provide more specific guidance on the types of financial losses that may be recovered in your case.

The objective of awarding special damages is to put the claimant in the same financial position they would have been in if they had not suffered the injury, so they can continue to enjoy a reasonable standard of living.

General damages, on the other hand, is compensation for your pain and suffering and reflect the impact that the paralysis has had on your quality of life. This will take into account:

  • Pain, suffering and associated symptoms like sleep disturbances and loss of energy
  • Mental distress, including anxiety, depression, and loss of self-esteem
  • Loss of quality of life and the ability to participate in activities and hobbies that you once enjoyed
  • Long-term emotional or psychological effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Loss of a unique career

According to the current guidelines for general damages published by the Judicial College, you might be entitled to receive the following:

  • Between £177,000 and £241,185 for paraplegia
  • Between £262,300 and £342,835 for quadriplegia

Your solicitor will arrange a free independent medical exam with a specialist to help determine the full extent of your injury and suffering. This and other evidence related to your case will help secure the maximum paralysis compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries and losses.

Can I make a paralysis claim on behalf of a family member?

Yes, it is possible to make a paralysis claim on behalf of a family member. This may be necessary if the person cannot make a claim themselves due to the extent of their injuries or if the injured person is a child.

To claim paralysis compensation on behalf of a loved one, you need to make an application with the court to be appointed as their litigation friend. This involves filling out a court form and providing evidence that the person you want to represent cannot conduct their own legal affairs.

Once the court has reviewed your application and determined that you are suitable to act as a litigation friend, they will issue an order granting you the authority to act on behalf of the injured person. This is potentially a long-term responsibility that will require you to:

  • Communicate with the court and other parties involved in the case
  • Act in the best interest of the claimant
  • Make decisions about the claim, such as accepting or rejecting settlement offers
  • Keep updated on proceedings and deal with correspondence
  • Pay any fees requested by the court
  • Keep the claimant informed of any developments in the case and seek their views and opinions where possible
  • Make sure that the injured person attends all medical appointments

If compensation is secured for a child, the funds are usually held in a court bank account or personal injury trust until the child reaches the age of 18, when they will have access to the funds. However, in some cases, your solicitor could help you apply for early release if you can prove that this is in the child’s best interest.

For more information about starting a paralysis claim on behalf of a family member, you can request a free consultation with a legal adviser by calling 0800 032 3660 today or arranging a call back.

What is the time limit to make a paralysis claim?

In the UK, the time limit to start a paralysis claim is typically three years starting from the date of the accident that caused your injury. In some circumstances, this date could be extended to your date of knowledge. This is the date when you first became aware that your trauma was significant and could lead to long-term consequences, such as partial or total paralysis.

In some cases, the date of knowledge may be the same as the date of the accident that caused the injury. In others, it may be some time later, when the extent of the injury and its potential long-term effects become clear.

A lot of work can be involved when seeking paralysis compensation, so you should seek legal advice as early as possible. This will allow your solicitor ample time to gather evidence and arrange specialist visits to assess the full extent of your injuries. The court may sometimes extend the three-year time limit, but this is rare and usually granted only in exceptional circumstances.

There are some exceptions to the standard three-year limitation period to start a paralysis claim, including:

  • Claims for minors: If a child is the victim of a paralysis injury, a claim can be made on their behalf at any time before their 18th birthday. Once the child turns 18, they have until their 21st birthday to start their own claim.
  • Criminal injury claims: If you suffered a paralysis injury after a violent crime, you must claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years of the incident.
  • Mental capacity: There is no time limit for claiming on behalf of someone who does not have the cognitive ability to handle their own case.
  • Military accidents: If you suffered a severe injury that has left you paralysed while on duty, you have seven years to claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
  • Accidents abroad: Different time limits apply overseas depending on each country’s laws. The limitation period to start a paralysis claim could be as short as six months, so you should speak to a solicitor as early as possible.

How long will it take to receive compensation?

The time it takes to receive compensation after a successful injury claim can vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • The type and severity of your injury
  • The complexity of the case
  • Whether the defendant admits liability
  • Whether you have to go to trial
  • The amount of compensation being claimed
  • The time needed to gather evidence for your case

If your claim is straightforward and both parties agree on the compensation amount, you may receive a settlement relatively quickly, sometimes within a few months. In other cases, the claims process can take several years, especially if the case goes to court. The exact timeline will depend on the specifics of your case, so it is essential to speak to a personal injury lawyer to get a better idea of what you can expect.

Once your paralysis claim has been settled, you should receive your compensation promptly after accepting the final settlement, usually within a maximum of 14 days. If you go to trial, the judge will typically order the defendant to pay damages within 21 days after settling the claim. If you do not receive the payment within the specified time, your solicitor can take additional legal steps to ensure you receive the compensation you are owed.

If you believe you may have a paralysis claim or want to find out more about the process, call free on 0800 032 3660 or enter your details into the contact form below to receive a call back. A legal adviser will be happy to assess your case and answer any questions you may have.

* Personal injury claims are offered on a no win, no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive up to 25% of your compensation as their success fee. Any additional costs, such as legal protection insurance, will be clearly explained to you by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply if you fail to cooperate with your solicitor. This includes deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing.