How to Make a Claim for Tetraplegia

If you’ve experienced tetraplegia as the result of negligence, you might be eligible to make a claim for a life-altering injury. We look at the symptoms you might experience and how they could alter the way you live your life. 

Throughout this guide, you can learn about the duty of care you are owed at work, on the roads and in public spaces. You might be able to claim compensation if this duty of care was breached and you were injured as a result. We look at what evidence you could submit to support your claim. In addition, this guide will address the accident types that could result in paralysis. 

Tetraplegia claims guide

Tetraplegia claims guide

Explore compensation examples for specific injuries related to paralysis with this guide. In addition, we look at what costs you could incur when your life has been changed due to an injury like this and how these could be recovered as part of your claim. 

You might believe that legal representation is out of reach due to the financial costs associated with hiring a lawyer. There is another way to claim with a minimised financial risk and no upfront solicitors fees. We discuss these in greater detail throughout this guide. 

Free legal advice is available from our advisors.  

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Choose A Section

  1. What Is Tetraplegia?
  2. Accidents That Could Cause Paralysis
  3. What Is The Difference Between Tetraplegia And Quadriplegia?
  4. Calculating Compensation For Paralysis
  5. Can I Have A No Win No Fee Agreement?
  6. Learn More About Tetraplegia Claims

What Is Tetraplegia?

If you are reading this guide you might be wondering ‘what does tetraplegia mean?’. It is a form of paralysis that impacts both arms and legs. It is generally considered to be a life-altering injury. 

Tetraplegia symptoms include: 

  • Inability to move arms and legs. This could mean they are stiff with occasional spasms, floppy or numb, painful and tingly. 
  • Chronic pain. 
  • Sensation loss. 

Symptoms could lead to:

  • Loss of control of bladder and bowels
  • Respiratory infections
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pressure sores
  • Emotional distress

Tetraplegia treatment could include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Surgery

The NHS may not cover all costs associated with your injuries. You might be eligible to claim for a life-altering injury if you experience paralysis as a result of a breach of another party’s duty of care. 

Our advisors can help start your quadriplegia claim today. Get in touch for free legal advice about the process of claiming. 

Tetraplegia Statistics

Injury at work statistics are collected by Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 51,211 total non-fatal employee injuries were reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) in 2020/21

These included:

  • 2,542 head injuries (exclusing the face)
  • 769 neck injuries
  • 7,377 back injuries

Accidents That Could Cause Paralysis

You could experience a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that results in tetraplegia in a number of different settings. If you would like to claim for tetraplegia you will need to prove you were owed a duty of care and this duty of care was breached, causing you to be injured. We will examine a few different situations that can lead to a valid life-changing injury claim below.

At Work

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) your employer owes you a duty of care. This means that they must take reasonable steps to reduce workplace risks of employees being injured. 

Failure to do so could result in an injury, such as from a fall from a height. For example, scaffolding that is not properly secured could collapse while workers are on it. This could lead to broken bones and brain damage leading to paralysis. 

On the Roads 

A car accident could result in a spinal cord injury leading to paralysis. If the other road user breached their duty of care as outlined in the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA) you might be able to claim tetraplegia compensation. A duty of care breach on the roads may involve driving dangerously, for example,  or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

In Public

A duty of care is owed by the controllers of a public space to all users of the public space under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1988 (OLA). Reasonable steps to reduce risks need to be taken by the landowner or occupier. The party in control, such as the local council, failing to signpost a large step could result in a fall. Slips, trips and falls could cause spinal cord injuries or TBIs that cause this kind of harm and therefore result in a life-changing injury compensation claim. 

Our advisors are available to discuss your injuries if you were owed a duty of care by another party and they failed to adhere to this, resulting in injury. 

What Is The Difference Between Tetraplegia And Quadriplegia?

You must be able to prove your injuries were caused by another parties’ negligence in order to make a tetraplegia claim. Quadriplegia and tetraplegia are two terms for the same thing; they both result in paralysis in both arms and both legs. You might hear them used interchangeably while gathering your evidence.

To help strengthen your claim for compensation for tetraplegia the actions you take following the injury might help. You could:

  • Seek medical attention. Your medical records following an injury could be submitted as evidence. 
  • Note witness contact details. Anyone who witnessed your injury could be contacted at a later date for a statement. 
  • Request CCTV. You could request CCTV footage of the accident that resulted in your injuries from the relevant party. 
  • Seek legal advice. Life-changing injury compensation claims could run more smoothly with the support of a legal professional. 

To discuss what evidence you could submit to support your claim for a life-changing injury, contact our advisors. 

Calculating Compensation For Paralysis

Two heads of settlement could form your life-altering injury claim, should you wish to file for compensation. These are general damages and special damages. We discuss each with examples below. To support your tetraplegia claim you might require an independent medical assessment.  This is so a more accurate picture of your injuries (and the extent to which they have impacted your life) can be drawn. 

General Damages

The pain and suffering caused by your physical injuries and any related emotional distress can be compensated under the general damages head of your claim. To help assign value to your injuries, legal professionals use a document titled the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

Examples of injuries alongside potential compensation brackets for each one are listed in this publication. We’ve provided examples from the 16th edition published in April 2022 in the table below:

Injury Potential CompensationNotes
Tetraplegia£324,600 to £403,990Paralysis which may involve physical pain and impact on senses.
Very severe brain damage£282,010 to £403,990Severe cognitive and physical disabilities as a result of brain damage. Little or no meaningful response to environment.
Moderately severe brain damage£219,070 to £282,010Dependence on others from a very serious disability.
Bowels Up to £184,200Natural bowel and bladder functioning is lost.
Severe neck injuries (i)In the region of £148,330Incomplete paralysis or spastic quadriparesis from a neck injury.
Severe back injury (i)£91,090 to £160,980Damage to spinal cord and nerve roots leading to severe pain and disability.
Severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)£59,860 to £100,670Inability to function at pre-trauma level with a permanent impact on life.
Severe psychiatric damage£54,830 to £115,730Inability to cope with life and relationships.
Impairment of taste and smellIn the region of £39,170Total loss of taste and smell.
Moderate psychiatric damage£5,860 to £19,070Inability to cope with life but improvements made and a good prognosis.

Special Damages

You could recover costs incurred due to your injuries under the special damages head of your claim. Evidence of your costs, such as receipts, must be provided. 

You could claim for:

  • Care costs.
  • Medical equipment that you’ve had to pay for.
  • Loss of earnings. 
  • Physiotherapy where you couldn’t get this for free on the NHS. 
  • Prescription costs. 

Our advisors can discuss what you could include under the special damages head and what you will need to supply as proof. Get in touch today for free legal advice. 

Can I Have A No Win No Fee Agreement?

You might find claiming compensation for a life-changing injury easier with a solicitor. Legal representation has traditionally been expensive, however. This has made it out of reach for some people. 

A No Win No Fee arrangement, however, offers a way to have legal representation with a minimised financial risk. These could also be called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)

You won’t pay an upfront solicitors fee with a No Win No Fee solicitors. You will pay a success fee instead, if your claim is successful. This is legally capped and taken from your award. However, if your claim fails you don’t pay this fee to your lawyer. 

Discuss Your Tetraplegia Claim With Us

Our friendly advisors are waiting to discuss your potential life-altering injury compensation. They can estimate your general damages and advise you on special damages. If you would like to discuss how you could prove that someone owed you a duty of care and they breached this, causing injury, contact us today. Furthermore, if it seems eligible, they could pass you on to a No Win No Fee lawyer from our panel. 

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Learn More About Tetraplegia Claims

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Thank you for reading our guide on claiming for tetraplegia.

Writer Danielle Blythe

Publisher Fern Stringer