Spinal Injury Compensation Claims & Settlement Values

37 questions have been answered on this subject - ask us your question

Spinal injuries are often awarded considerable compensation settlements due to their severity and impact. It is your legal right to make a spinal injury claim if you were injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault.

Table of contents

Claims for spinal injury compensation often involve the most upsetting personal stories, with the trauma of life-changing injuries impacting on many people close to the injured party. Some are often unlikely to make a complete recovery, with many needing life-long care and changes to their accommodation and lifestyle. Claiming compensation can help to ease suffering, both physically and financially, and maximise the quality of life you can expect.

We understand that you may be uncertain if you or your loved one has a viable claim for spinal injury compensation and that you will be distressed and concerned about the future, so here we set out what you can expect and how to make a successful claim.

How to know if you can claim

The key element to a successful claim for spinal injury compensation is to be able to hold someone liable for the accident that lead to the injuries. Claims are made against the people, persons or organisations held responsible. This could be employer negligence, a 3rd party driver, a local authority or any other business or organisation that is responsible for the location where the accident occurred. So, the first step with any claim is to assess whether the injury to your spine was the fault of someone other than yourself.

Whether the injuries were caused in a road traffic accident involving a car or motorcycle, or in dangerous workplaces such as a construction site, the implications to the claimant remain the same. Indeed, often innocuous accidents can lead to catastrophic spinal injuries. At Direct2Compensation we have helped people make a claim for spinal injury compensation after accidents that include slips on wet floors, falls after tripping on a dangerous pavement surface and even accidents that can be attributed to faulty products or equipment.

With a few details we can tell you whether or not you are likely to be able to claim compensation, so if you are in any doubt, please do contact us for advice.

Spinal injuries from accidents at work

Whether you have a valid claim for compensation after any accident at work is dependent on employer negligence. Employers are legally obliged to provide a safe and secure environment for workers and visitors. When it comes to minimising the risk of injury in the workplace, especially life changing spinal injuries, there are strict health and safety laws, practices and guidelines that employers must adhere to.

Employers must provide adequate training and guidance. If employers fail to provide the correct training to staff to make sure they work safely, only as qualified or licensed to do so, or fail to make staff aware of the risks present in the workplace, they are acting negligently towards their health and safety obligations. A lack of training, a failure to provide the correct equipment, or failing to provide a safe working environment, are all known as employer negligence.

Compensation claims for spinal injuries suffered at work will succeed if it can be shown that the employer has been negligent in the accident that caused the injury, and are therefore responsible for the affect it has on the employees life and health.

Regardless of the kind of workplace, employers must by law ensure:

  • That staff are adequately trained to cover all aspects of their work safety and are made aware of the risks present in the workplace
  • That all staff work within a safe and secure environment
  • That they carry out regular risk assessments and have suitable and regularly updated policies covering all aspects of health and safety in the workplace
  • That all machinery and tools are regularly serviced and fit for purpose
  • That they adhere to current Health and Safety at Work law

Employers that fail to fulfil these obligations will be liable should any injuries happen to staff under their leadership. Any person injured in this way has a right to make a claim for personal injury compensation.

Why claim spinal injury compensation?

Spinal injury compensation claims usually involve a permanent injury that affects both the injured person and their family. Claimants commonly suffer with very limited mobility, loss of motor function or paralysis, and are unable to work as they did before. Even if they do not need life-long care, they will likely require extensive alterations to their home to enable them to live with their family. Sadly, some of the most seriously injured are unable to continue living at home.

For these reasons, spinal injuries can be very costly. Loss of income and increased expendature are the key reasons why someone will choose to make a claim, and with such hard consequences to the injured person and their immediate family, the motivation for seeking injury compensation is strong.

Making a spinal injury compensation claim on a no win no fee basis is a legal right. Whilst nothing can repair the damage done to a person and their family in such a serious injury scenario, if successful, it can help to make the future easier and remove worries about costs and care. It will fairly compensate the injured person to cover the extent of their injuries and ongoing losses.

Compensation amounts for spinal injuries

The exact amount of the claim settlement depends on the severity of the spinal injury, and any permanent disability or impairment. For the injury itself, and as a guide, you may expect between £70,000 and £140,000.

But in addition to this, a successful spinal injury claim will see a compensation settlement that covers what are known as ‘special damages‘. In the case of a spinal injury, it may include the following:

  • Medical expenses, past and future
  • Psychological trauma, pain and suffering
  • Changes to work, social and domestic life
  • Lost income and future losses of income
  • Expenses for on-going care and accommodation

Each claim is different and the amount paid will vary from one case to another, however your solicitor will be able to give you an idea once your claim has sufficiently progressed.

Remember, with Direct2Compensation you can make a spinal injury compensation claim on a no win no fee basis so you can be assured that the specialist solicitors with whom we work will never charge you if your claim does not succeed.

Claiming on behalf of someone else

Severe spinal injuries may well leave a person unable to care for themselves or manage their affairs without assistance and support. It is unlikely they would be able to make a claim on their own in these circumstances. Therefore, they may appoint someone to do it for them. This person could be a spouse, parent or other suitable next of kin such as a child or someone who has obtained a legal power of attorney over their loved one’s affairs.

How Direct2Compensation can help you

With Direct2Compensation you can be certain of a caring and supportive response to your situation. We will be able to take the hassle out of the no win no fee claims process for you, allowing you to focus on rehabilitation therapies, recovery or helping to care for your injured loved one.

Over the years we have successfully assisted many spinal injury claimants and can help you to understand whether the specifics of your injury are such that you are likely to win compensation. We can give you useful advice and help you to understand your rights, make sure that the details of your accident and injuries have been properly reported and recorded with the right people, and also give you a good understanding about how the no win no fee claims process works.

If you have suffered a spinal injury and want to know if you can make a claim for compensation, contact us today. You can start your claim online or , and one of our expert team will be in touch to offer help. Alternatively, call us on 01225 430285.

37 questions have been answered on this subject - ask us your question

Leave a comment or question

Please note we can only deal with claims within the UK legal system. Your question will appear once approved and we'll reply as soon as we can. Your email address will not be published, your name will, so feel free just to use a first name.

Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming, plus spinal injury claim examples...

I am a retired nurse of some forty years service. I am now disabled , due to degeneration of my spine, and lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication affecting both posterior legs and calves. Have I got a case for industrial compensation? The disability has caused considerable pain and discomfort which stopped me from having an active life style. I am seventy seven years old.

Ian Morris

When did your symptoms start? You may be out of limitation already, so the first port of call is looking at the time limit (3 years from the onset of notable symptoms).


I’ve injured my back working the past year at home too many hours sitting in same position, not moving enough, i’ve been diagnosed with lumbar prolapse disk. Now i cannot sit for more than 30 min, i’m constantly in pain and i’ve difficulties concentrating at work.
Is there any base for a claim?

Ian Morris

Did you ever request a work station assessment or equipment provision from your employer? If you made the employer aware of the problems and they simply ignored you, you would be able to pursue action against them.


I stepped back to open my beach Changing hut when the step collapsed and I fell backwards twisting my right leg onto a wet beach with stones from a height of around three feet. My back was injured L1 spine break and a tibial plateau fracture if my knee. Council deny liability! What can be done? I am with a no win no fee solicitor who says it is difficult to prove.

Ian Morris

Assuming you leased or rented the hut from the local authority or a 3rd party, they will have a duty of care to ensure that the premises/unit is safe and fit for purpose. In this case, it is likely that the beach hut is a temporary structure and is erected for the spring/summer and then removed/stored over the winter months. As such, it is likely that they have to carry out an initial check when erecting the hut and that from that point on, they would rely on users of the unit to report any issues of maintenance. If the council can demonstrate that they had not received any report of maintenance issues with the step, it is likely that they will deny liability and this would probably be seen as a robust defence by the Solicitor acting in the matter.

Has your Solicitor now closed the claim?


I was in a rear end collision beginning of august where a van went into me at fault. i went to minor injury who confirmed whiplash. pain has increased greatly within neck and back which started to radiate to jaw which restricted jaw movement. i’ve had too many prescriptions of pain relief from the GP which does not improve pain at all. i’m getting daily headaches. i’ve have recently been to the dentist who gave me xray who has confirmed i have a dislocated jaw which explains the jaw pain. i have been having treatment from a chiropractor with no improvement who advised me to get an mri of the cervial spine. mri shows loss of cervical lordosis. i’m experiencing numbness down one arm. I have put in for a personal injury claim and i am booked in for a medical soon, but today i had an email from solicitor with an offer from the other party of £1700 which is advisory or else i will be liable for all costs if i am offered less and not accept the offer.
I’m completely new to how everything works, but i’m still in the same amount of pain and suffering as it first happened with no sign of any symptoms improving. It’s really starting to wear me down. i feel i’m being made to take the offer without having a medical to determine possible recovery time.

Ian Morris

Your Solicitor should be taking in to account your report of worsening symptoms and ongoing issues and ensuring that a medical expert is instructed to report on the situation and give a recovery prognosis/advice for treatment. It is likely that the offer is too low and that a medical experts report would see you entitled to a higher settlement. You should put that in writing to your Solicitor and ask them why they are not advising you to have a medical.


I used to work in the car trade and about 4 years ago I got crushed while moving cars and was pinned between two cars.

I now suffer from random sharp stabbing pains in my spine and get numbness in my hands. On the day of the incident I called the Ambulance as the incident put me in shock, they checked me and said I had internal bleeding at the time. Years later I now suffer from occasional extreme sharp pains in spine.

At the time of incident I thought I was fine and continued to work at the company, it wasn’t till years later I noticed a reoccurring pain from my back and it struck me that I had that accident.

Would it be best to get my spine checked out? What course of action can I take?

Ian Morris

Unless you are under the age of 21, you are now unable to make any claim for compensation as more than 3 years has passed since you were injured.


Hi, I had a motorway crash approximately 6 years ago – i have legal insurance cover. At the time of the accident i was 57.

The crash occurred when i was stationary in the outside lane in a queue of traffic – hit at speed from behind, i think approx 5 vehicles involved.

It took a long time for my insurance company to arrange an examination of my injuries (approx 18 months).

However at the time i was a regular NHS Pain Clinic patient at that time for a pre-existing lower back condition. Following the accident i had/still have persistent pain in the Thoracic area. The pain clinic are indicating that this pain may be with me for the rest of my life, but may also get better.

My problem is that the Dr’s report states that the Thoracic pain is being caused by a degenerative condition due to my age – no evidence has been provided to support this diagnosis. I disagree with this as i have had numerous CT/MRI scans that show no degeneration in this area – i also have never reported an injury to the Pain Clinic prior to the accident or to my chiropractor who i saw on a regular basis for an injury/pain in this area. I seem to be doomed to follow this diagnosis which i disagree with, and which to me at least doesn’t make any sense. My solicitors seem to be supporting the Dr and not me – i have to accept that the Dr is right but i don’t believe that they are, this doesn’t seem like justice to me. Any advice would be welcome.



Ian Morris

Your situation is one that many claimants will face – a medical expert finds that a claimant has a pre-existing condition that would have caused pain and discomfort in any event, but the trauma of the accident at the centre of the claim has simply brought about an earlier onset of the symptoms. In most cases, claimants feel that this is unjust.

However, the only way any claim settlement can be agreed is by having evidence in place. Whilst you don’t feel that it is fair (and it doesn’t seem fair), you have no evidence to disprove the medical experts findings and your Solicitor must therefore go with them.

Whilst you could pay for a further medical report, that is not straightforward. Not only would you incur the cost of the report personally, the report may reach the same conclusion as the first report. Even if the 2nd report were to disagree with the first report, the defendant would still point to the first report and base any negotiation to settle on that report and if it came to a hearing, there is no guarantee that a Judge would find in favour of the more favourable report.


I have two separate injuries that have occurred at work. The first injury happened just over 2 years ago but is still not healed. The second injury is more recent and I am currently off work struggling to recover.

The current injury is diagnosed as stress fractures in my lower spine and were found after a recent MRI scan I’ve had done. I have been told to expect that it will take between 6 months to 12 months to recover. I am 65yrs old and retire next April (2022).

My older injury is a ligament tear in the right knee, but the Doctors are reluctant to operate on it (I am not sure why?).

Both injuries occurred at work. I have strapped my knee up and managed to keep working until my second injury to my back forced me to stop work. I am now in the verge of being dismissed due to long term absence, 8 weeks so far. I work as a community caretaker for a housing company.

Ian Morris

Please call us on 01225430285 because we feel that you may be able to recover compensation for both injuries. Importantly, if our Solicitors were able to succeed with claims on your behalf, you would also be able to recover loss of income for any period that you could not work due to the injuries. If you are forced to leave your job due to the injuries, if it is proven that the employer could have prevented them, but failed to provide you with the appropriate training, guidance, equipment and working environment to allow you to work safely, you could also recover loss of income up until your retirement date.

We would very much like to speak with you to get some further information about your work and how the injuries were sustained. Given the potential impact on the final years of your working life, you have every right to make a claim and we would like to help you with this.


I got pushed by someone during a small argument. I hit a wall and fractured part of my spine.
Went to hospital and had to stay off work for nearly 4 weeks.

Ian Morris

Any person injured as the result of a criminal act (assault or violence) can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) scheme. The CICA is a tax-payer funded scheme for those injured by criminal acts to pursue claims for compensation. To be able to make a claim, the injured person must report the incident to the Police at the earliest opportunity, make a statement to the Police and cooperate fully with the police during their investigations.


I was hit by a truck whilst at work in the yard. The 26 tonne truck was reversing at about 5-10mph and hit me across the shoulder and back sending me about 20 feet across the yard. I was lucky not to be ran over. I was in bad shock and a lot of lower back pain after the incident. There was a witness I was talking to at the time. The yard rule is no reversing up the yard so the driver is at fault. The incident was officially recorded. I took 3 days off and was told in an aggressive threatening manner I had to return to work over the phone. I returned and was in a lot of pain and discomfort. I’ve had an xray, nothing broken but have had to attend 2 physio appointments. I cant stand still for more than 1 minute without getting bad pain in my lower spine. It feels like my spine had been twisted or injured somehow from the collision. I also get pain and discomfort intermittently throughout the day. It’s been 2 months now. I was hoping to have fully recovered but the back pain still persists and some days feels worse.

Ian Morris

You describe an accident at work scenario where the negligence appears to be clearly that of the vehicle drive and points at you as an innocent party. Therefore, you have a valid right to make a claim for the injuries you have sustained. The relevant criteria to pursue a claim has been met in that the incident was reported and you have sought medical attention. We would gladly help you pursue your claim and invite you to call us on 01225430285 to get the process started.

Alongside a potential financial settlement and recovery of any lost income or incurred costs, if you were to succeed with your claim you could also recover costs for specialist rehabilitation therapies that may speed up your recovery and enable you to get rid of the pain.


I’m a prison officer. I had a injury after a control and restrain incident, was off from work for three months then went back to work on light duties for few months but now back off work with the injury, awaiting operation to have disc decompressed in spine.

Ian Morris

To find out whether or not our Solicitors can pursue a spinal injury claim for you, please call us on 01225430285. Our team can take details from you regarding the incident, the injuries and how it has impacted your life and then submit a formal enquiry to our Solicitor panel for detailed consideration.


On my third day of working as kitchen porter i slipped on the metal stairs as I was carrying basket with dishes and I hit my spine badly. i might have damaged the disc or just pain from hitting back muscle. The stairs are not well made they are very short and very slippy once a bit of water is on them. Soon i’ll get myself checked by doctor. One of waitress managers saw it and told me to sit down with my head chef and write the report down in accident book. When she spoke with him. It seemed like he somehow talked her into not doing it.

Ian Morris

You should ensure that the incident in recorded within the accident book as soon as you can do so. If the steps are regularly wet and known to be slippery, the employer should have ensured that adequate hazard warnings are in place and there is also an argument to be made to say that the employer should have ensured that a non-slip surface was placed on the steps to reduce the risk of an injury such as yours.

If your injury does turn out to be as serious as you fear, you may wish to make a claim for compensation.


I was a rear passenger in a rear shunt. I have had whiplash and severe back problems requiring surgery due to this accident. I was diagnosed with a new injury to my spine but some years prior to the accident had surgery on my spine for another matter. My solicitor says it doesn’t make any difference to injury to my spine the day of the accident, it will be considered on statistics on recovery from the first operation. Is this correct? He says because of this I don’t have a good case. Also it does not mention my injury in my medical report and he won’t get this changed.

Ian Morris

Without knowing the details of your previous injury and when it was sustained and what new injury has been diagnosed it is, of course, hard to advise you. If a ‘new’ injury has been identified but it is seen as minor, that could explain things. However, your Solicitor will only give up on your claim if they felt that the injuries did not meet a minimum value – usually £1000 in personal injury cases.


I have isthmic spondylolithethis just diagnosed may need spinal fusion, I have worked for same company for 25 years have a job where I twist and reach continually, the primary cause of isthmic spondylolithethis is repetative motion such as a sports person. Would I be entitled to make a claim against my employer?

Ian Morris

Potentially you can make a claim. The issues you may face will be limitation – when did your symptoms start and did you receive medical attention MORE than 3 years ago? Also, causation – proving the causal link between your work and the health condition.


I injured my back in 2016. I worked only for 2 weeks but forced to leave due to injury. I asked for breaks as I wasnt tolerating standing 5hrs as my spine was badly inflamed. Had to call in sick due to severe pain/ sciatica that left me bedridden for an entire day, ended up going to ER. I was told if I couldn’t keep up with the dishwashing I wasnt allowed to take breaks. I dont know if this was legal or not. I am still suffering from spinal issues that prevent me from seeking other employment.

Ian Morris

As you were injured in 2016, you may be out of time to pursue a claim for this matter. UK law affords you a period of 3 years from the date of an injury to pursue a claim. Whilst there are 5 months of 2019 remaining in which you could still be within claim limitation (depending on which month you were injured in), the less of the available period remaining, the harder it will be to get a Solicitor to consider pursuing any claim for you.



My brother in law is a self employed painter and decorator. He has been an ongoing labour only sub contractor for one firm for years but is paid through an umbrella company by them.

He is epileptic but had not had a seizure for a few years. The firm were aware of this.

On Thursday he had a seizure at the top of a scaffolding tower and fell off, this has resulted in him breaking his back in 5 places (T3 to T8). He is in hospital and will be there for the coming weeks. His injury is recoverable with the consultants indicating a recovery time of around 6 months.

His family will now have no income as of next week and his care needs when he arrives home will be substantial meaning that his wife will be unable to seek employment through this time.

For the years he has been working for the company there seems to have been no regard for health and safety, risk assessment or safety briefings.

Although I can see that labour only subcontractors should be covered under Employers Liability Insurance I am unsure if the use of the umbrella company would change this. Having looked at the company the entire point of them is to ensure the subcontractors are not seen as employees (Hudson).

In these circumstances would my brother in Law have a claim against the company?

My other concern would be that he would likely still want to rely on this firm for work upon recovery as it has been his sole income for many years.

Ian Morris

Whether or not the epilepsy and any risk assessments around that issue would be relevant to the claim would need to be investigated. It would depend on what, if anything the employer had been made aware of in writing.

The interest to us in this query from you though is a possible claim for compensation arising from the fall from such a height and given the serious injuries and long term consequences, a claim would likely be pursued, even for the self-employed. When scaffolding towers are in use, staff must be trained to use them safely and they should have the appropriate barriers on the top to prevent falls.

We would be very happy to speak to the injured person to find out more about what happened and advise them as to what action we could assist them with in terms of a claim. Given the severity of the injuries and fractures to 5 vertebrae, even if he makes a good recovery it is likely that he will have permanent issues and therefore he needs to consider his long term best interests rather than those of the firm he works for. Realistically, will he be fit to continue with this kind of work after his recovery? If he were to succeed with a claim, not only would compensation for the injuries and long term consequences be taken care of, but he would recover loss of income now (possibly that of his partner too) and also loss of income in the future if he is deemed unfit to work in such a role.


I had a CT scan in 2014, I didn’t hear anything back from go, so thought everything was ok, yesterday I went to doctors with pain an numbness down right arm and was told then it’s because of results from CT scan in 2014. I said no ones told me anything regarding the scan, now I have to see spine specialist, maybe surgery. I’m so angry.

Ian Morris

You describe a possible case of negligence on the part of your Doctor. Any person who becomes aware of a possible negligent period of care from a medical professional has a legal right to claim clinical negligence compensation. However, such situations require a specific and genuine expertise from a clinical negligence Solicitor. As such, you should make contact with such a specialist at the earliest opportunity.


I have worked for one of the large supermarkets for two years. The first year being on the shop floor lifting heavy fruit and vegetables to no issue. The second year being a delivery driver in which I have been injured.

There was a few times that I had lifted something wrong at work but nothing I felt at the time to cause me great concern. One day I woke up with what I know now as sciatica. It was mild and I thought it was just a strain. I worked four days in total whilst hurting and it gradually became worse. I phoned in the next day saying I could not come in to work and that I would go see a doctors. A few days later I spoke with my manger after going to the doctors and being signed off with sciatica. I was in excruciating pain, taking lots of pain medication and getting by on a few hours of sleep a day.

In hindsight and given much thought I fully believe I have sustained this injury from work. Mostly from twisting my back when loading/offloading the van. There where times I would feel a twinge in my lower back. I cannot recollect having manual handling training but if I did it was a few minutes being briefly shown how to lift a box off the floor. Nothing more literally than this. I have since been asked by my manager if I have had an health and safety assessor come out with me on the vans and I have not.

I have been unable to work for fifteen weeks due to having a large protrusion of the disc on my lower spine L5/S1. This has been recently diagnosed from having an MRI. I am currently waiting to see a surgeon to discuss any options I may have.

My manger recently said that I should of returned after two weeks of absence. That I have had more than ample time off and should have returned back to work by now. I have been told that if I do not return to work soon I could loose my job. When I return they will only be able to support my injury for six weeks along with an amended duties doctors note. If I am then not able to for fill my contract I will not have a job. I asked even if I can’t lift some of the heavy items and she said yes.

Would I be able to make a claim against my employers for the damage that I have sustained to my spine? If I loose my job would that be a claim for unfair dismissal considering I got the injury from work.

Ian Morris

Starting by answering your last point first, if you were to lose your job due to being unable to continue to work through ill health, that is unlikely to amount to unfair dismissal as the law would allow an employer to terminate a position if it were deemed that the employed person is no longer fit enough to perform the work. However, it is vital that the employer follows the correct due process in this matter and as such, we would recommend that you seek expert employment law advice on that issue should it arise.

Moving on to the possible personal injury compensation for the injury you have sustained to your back as a result of your work, there is certainly a potential for you to pursue a claim against your employer for the pain and discomfort of your injury and if successful, for you to also recover any lost income and incurred costs caused by the injury. Clearly, to succeed with a claim against your employer it is important that the right evidence is in place and your Solicitor would be obliged to highlight how the employer has failed in their duty to minimise the risk of any injury sustained by you. Therefore, you will need to be able to identify a lack of suitable manual handling training or a working environment that makes it impossible to follow the guidance of any manual handling training you may have received. In your description of your work, you mention having to reach and twist whilst carrying load – it could well be that this is an area of interest to a specialist back injury compensation Solicitor.

We believe that it would be wise to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation against your employer given the nature of your work and severity of your injury. To that end, our advice at this stage is two fold:

Firstly, you should put a report to your employer (in writing) outlining your belief that your injury has been caused by the work you were doing for them – making mention of the working environment rendering you unable to lift and move items of weight safely. If you are aware of any specific incidents in which injury were caused, make note of them in any report. Providing your employer with such a report will be useful evidence should any claim then proceed.

Secondly, make further contact with us as soon as possible in order to get your No Win No Fee claim for compensation started.


I was injured at work in Iraq but the company i work for are UK based and my contract is with G4S in Jersey. I suffered a serious back injury and i now need surgery to correct the problem. Although i’m insured the company have payed me for 10 months but now that i require surgery the payments have stopped and no other information is given to me.
Can you help or advise on what i should do?


I lost my job due to a spine injury 3 years ago. And I didn’t know id still be affected to the point someone has to half dress me and at 28 that’s not good. Should I have tried to claim earlier as I’m now unable to work for the unforseen future ?

Ian Morris

Under UK law, any person is allowed a maximum period of 3-years from the date of an accident, injury or diagnosis of injury in which they can make a claim for compensation.

Therefore, if you haven’t claimed for the back injury that lead to you losing your job you will unfortunately be statute barred and unable to take any action with regards to a claim.

Chat with us for friendly, expert advice 01225 430285