Take a look at the brilliant brain injury charity Headway’s website and you’re quickly struck by the huge impact a brain injury – even a minor one – can have on every aspect of your life. In many cases, a brain injury leaves you unable to work, or to work at the same level as you were prior to the injury. While an injury to another part of your body might affect your mobility, a brain injury can affect your mobility, your speech, your ability to process information and communicate with others, both directly and emotionally.
The costs of brain injury
The greatest cost of any brain injury will be the loss of ability, the readjustment, the emotional toll it has on you and your family and friends. That said, it’s important not to underestimate the financial costs that can result from a brain injury. The most serious brain injuries can leave you (or your loved one) requiring full-time nursing care. Even less serious brain injuries can still be catastrophic, leaving you unable to work, and reliant on benefits, with all the stress this can bring, as well as nursing needs and other vulnerabilities.
In many cases, it is possible to seek compensation for brain injury when you have suffered damage caused by someone else’s breach of the law. Road traffic accidents, accidents at work, assaults at work, negligent medical treatment, accidents on the sports field are among some of the scenarios we have seen which result in brain injury – and may give rise to a liability for compensation to be paid.
A lengthy legal battle may well be the last thing on your mind at such a traumatic time, whether it’s you or a family member that has been injured, but the long-term cost implications of a brain injury can be serious. Compensation can help make your life as comfortable as possible, and put you in a position to move forward, though no amount of compensation can make up for sustaining a serious injury.
The complexities of brain injury claims
Every legal action has its own complexity – and each case will be different, because you are an individual and the nature of the injury will be individual to you. That said, there are some general principles that apply to brain injuries which make it important to choose a specialist legal team to help you. You need to be sure to choose a legal team that understands the issues that arise from these kinds of injury and that they will use the best barristers at the appropriate time in the life of the claim. This is important because the injury you have sustained may affect the conduct of the litigation itself, as well as impact on the level of compensation you might receive. An unsympathetic or inexperienced legal team may not fully appreciate this.
If your compensation claim is funded by legal expenses insurance, you may well have been referred to a law firm by an insurance company. You do not have to work with the team your insurance company has recommended – we’d always advise speaking to 2 or 3 firms to find the one you feel most comfortable with. Personal injury litigation claims can be long-running, and at times frustrating, so choose the team you feel most comfortable with. If you are unhappy with the way your chosen solicitor is conducting your claim, you can also choose to switch firms.
What levels of compensation might I be awarded?
We don’t deal in ‘personal injury calculators’ here at Truth Legal – they tend to be inaccurate and can’t possibly take account of all the factors that will apply in your specific case, particularly for high value claims such as brain injury claims. However, the compensation, ‘general damages’, you might receive for the injury itself, is set out by the Judicial College in guidelines which are used by judges when assessing compensation, so it acts as a useful guide. More information can be found here.
For the very worst brain injuries resulting in a significant effect on the senses and severe physical limitation leaving the victim with little, if any, evidence of meaningful response to stimuli and the need for full-time nursing care, the award will be within the range of £235,790 to £337,700 (not including financial losses or care and assistance). In making their calculation, the court will consider the degree of understanding the victim has, their life expectancy, and the extent of physical limitation. At the “lower” end of the scale, according to the Judicial College Guidelines, cases where concentration and memory are affected, and the claimant experiences a reduced ability to work, maintains some limited dependency on others and lives with a small risk of epilepsy will attract compensation between £36,000 to £75,900. Even brain injury with a good recovery may attract compensation in the region of £12,000, not including financial losses and care and assistance, which can be substantial.
Affording the legal costs of a compensation claim
If you don’t have legal expenses insurance in place to cover a personal injury claim, the costs of pursuing a legal action can seem prohibitive, especially given everything else that you may now need to afford in order to adjust to changed circumstances. One of the ways you can address this is by working with a team such as ours which takes on many claims on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. If a person or organisation has caused your injury, then we are highly likely to offer a No Win, No Fee agreement to pursue your claim.
As you will have seen, we’re passionate advocates for the claimants we work with, striving to achieve fair compensation that will go some way to support them following an injury. If you’ve got a question or would like to discuss engaging us to represent you in your claim, please do get in touch!
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