Head injuries can be some of the most severe type of injury that it is possible to suffer. The term can cover a wide range of different injuries: from relatively minor or short-lived effects (such as concussion), to serious, life-changing injuries which impair brain and sensory function. Even what may appear to be a mild brain injury can have some unpleasant side-effects. Frequently doctors and lawyers miss subtle brain injuries, meaning that the injured person doesn’t get the care that they need and that a compensation claim is potentially under-settled.
Just as extensive is the range of different ways in which head injuries can occur. Unfortunately, head injuries can be caused by:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Road traffic accidents
- Assaults at work
- Accidents at work
- Clinical/medical negligence
- Sporting accidents
- Criminal injuries
If your head injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to a substantial sum in compensation. Most compensation claims are brought using No Win, No Fee agreements.
Head Injury Claims
It can sometimes be difficult to assess the severity of a head injury. Symptoms which might indicate only a minor head injury could also point to something much more serious.
Particular symptoms to look out for include:
- Consistent headaches
- Loss of consciousness
- Fits or seizures
- Sensory problems – such as blurred vision or loss of hearing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Memory loss
Often it isn’t the injured person who realises that they have suffered a brain injury. Frequently it is the close friends and family who noticed the impact of the accident. If you have suffered a brain injury then it is imperative that you discuss your injuries with friends and family.
Any major trauma to the head inevitably risks causing damage to the brain or sensory organs. Such damage can have a huge impact on the quality of someone’s life, causing effects such as:
- Personality changes
- Reduced life expectancy
- Cognitive impairment
- Sensory deprivation – loss of sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch
With any injury, the most important consideration is your health and wellbeing. A personal injury claim shouldn’t be your first consideration. This is true whether you are making a compensation claim or not. Given the potentially drastic consequences of head injuries, seeking medical attention becomes even more vital. Often the NHS discharge people with head injuries sooner than they should be. If you are in any doubt as to the medical opinion that you have received, obtain a second medical opinion.
Naturally, you want the best medical care possible to help with your recovery. When making a claim, you also want the best in legal expertise. Truth Legal can offer you that expertise due to the expertise, experience and approach of our personal injury Solicitors (not unqualified paralegals).
If you have suffered a head injury, naturally you want to get your life back to normal as soon as possible. Claiming for compensation is one way to do so.
Compensation is intended to return you, through financial means, to the situation you were in before the accident happened, as if the accident hadn’t happened. The unfortunate truth is that no amount of money will ever undo the impact of the accident. What compensation can do is mitigate the negative effects from the accident and help you to rebuild your life. The aftermath of your accident might mean adjusting to a new way of living and compensation can avoid the strain of trying to manage your finances whilst you do so. Your injury might be so debilitating that you need a new home building for you.
But claiming compensation isn’t just about countering the negative effects of your head or brain injury. It is about making a stand for what’s right, claiming what you are entitled to, and acting as a strong deterrent against similar negligence in the future. Your claim could drive changes to avoid the same thing from happening to others. It is bad enough that you have suffered a debilitating injury through no fault of your own, without other people suffering needlessly as well.
Cases involving head injuries require specialist legal knowledge. You should always instruct an experienced firm of solicitors to deal with such a claim. Ask your solicitor whether they have experience of head or brain injuries before and, if so, how many. Don’t assume that your lawyer is familiar with your injuries just because they are personal injury lawyers.
If your head injury is not the only injury you sustained in the accident, sub-standard legal representation could mean it is not properly investigated, or that it is missed out of your claim altogether, particularly if the head injury is incorrectly assumed to be a lesser injury to, say, a fracture.
At Truth Legal, Helen Beaumont is a specialist solicitor who has dealt with hundreds of personal injury claims. Many of these have included head injuries. She has the expertise needed to recognise the situations where in-depth, focused medico-legal evidence is required to fully investigate a potential head injury.
Truth Legal are personal injury experts who work tirelessly to obtain the compensation that our clients deserve. We pride ourselves on delivering an ethical, bespoke and efficient service, working as as team with our clients.
If we sound like the kind of solicitors you wish to instruct for your claim, contact us. Remember, even if your case has been assigned to a particular firm by a claims management company, you are entitled to instruct whichever solicitors you wish. See our page on switching solicitors for more information. We specialise in taking over compensation claims when other firms have provided a sub-standard service.
In some situations, yes. Sadly, the effects of serious head injuries can mean that a victim is no longer mentally able to bring a claim for themselves. They may not have capacity to bring a compensation claim themselves.
If your loved one is in this position, you can bring a claim on their behalf as their ‘Litigation Friend’. Please contact us to discuss this in more detail.
As head injuries can vary greatly in severity, so too can the amount of compensation you could receive. No online compensation calculator is ever going to be able to adequately value your claim.
The following figures are from taken from the 13th Edition of the Judicial College Guidelines. The Judicial College Guidelines are produced by top lawyers and Judges and provide guidance as to what compensation a personal injury client should receive. As the brackets below are wide, in order to value the injury element of a personal injury claim, a personal injury solicitor should perform legal research in order to see what courts usually value a claim at.
Very Severe Brain Damage
- Cases where there has been a significant effect on the senses and severe physical limitation. Little, if any, evidence of meaningful response to stimuli. The need for full-time nursing care.
- The court will consider the degree of understanding the victim has, their life expectancy, and the extent of physical limitation.
- £235,790 to £337,700
Moderately Severe Brain Damage
- Cases of very severe disability with the need for constant care and substantial dependence upon others. There may be physical disabilities, such as limb paralysis, and a possible, marked impairment of intellect and personality. Life expectancy may have been greatly reduced.
- The court will consider the degree of understanding victim has, their life expectancy, the extent of physical limitation, their degree of dependence upon others, their ability to communicate, any behavioural abnormality, and the extent, or the risk, of epilepsy.
- £183,150 to £235,790
Moderate Brain Damage (upper tier)
- Cases of moderate to severe intellectual deficit and/or personality change. An effect on sight, speech, and senses. A significant risk of epilepsy and no prospect of employment.
- £125,510 to £183,150
Moderate Brain Damage (middle tier)
- Cases of moderate to modest intellectual deficit. The ability to work greatly reduced or removed completely and some risk of epilepsy.
- £75,900 to £125,510
Moderate Brain Damage (lower tier)
- Cases where concentration and memory are affected. A reduction in the ability to work. Very limited dependency on others and a small risk of epilepsy.
- £36,000 to £75,900
Less Severe Brain Damage
- Cases where a good recovery has been achieved with a return to normal social and work life. Includes the potential for some ongoing impairment such as poor concentration, memory or mood problems. For cases at the high end of this bracket there is a potential small risk of epilepsy.
- The court will consider the severity of the initial injury, any permanent disability (or the chance of it), any personality change and its extent, and any depression.
- £12,820 to £35,970
Minor brain or head injury
- Cases of minimal brain damage (if any).
- The court will consider the severity of the initial injury, the recovery time, any continuing symptoms, and whether the victim has suffered from any headaches.
- £1,840 to £10,670
To put these numbers in perspective, the awards for neck injuries, for example, range from a few hundred pounds to around £124,030 at their very maximum. And that upper figure is for people who will be permanently restricted to little or no mobility in their neck.
When you claim for an injury, you are claiming for the pain and suffering that an injury has caused. You also can claim for ‘loss of amenity’ – essentially, the things your injury has prevented you from doing, affecting the enjoyment of your normal life. The claim for pain, suffering and loss of amenity is normally the main element of any personal injury claim. See our what I can claim blog post.
However, other losses, which have arisen from the accident and injury, can also be claimed. These could include:
- Travel expenses – to attend your GP or hospital, for example.
- Medical expenses and treatment costs – such as painkillers or rehabilitation treatment.
- Care and assistance – especially where a severe head injury might restrict your abilities, requiring extensive care and help with your daily life.
- Loss of earnings – for lost wages or bonuses, missed in the time you spent away from work.
All of these out-of-pocket losses should be compiled in a Schedule of Loss. Particularly in a brain or head unity a very detailed Schedule of Loss ought to be produced by the Claimant’s Solicitors.
In order to successfully claim compensation for a head injury, you must prove that it was caused by the negligence of the party you are claiming against. There are several parts to this:
- The other party must have owed you a ‘duty of care’. This term may call to mind a doctor/patient situation. Undoubtedly this is one instance of a duty of care exists but the concept covers many other situations. For example, it can cover employers and employees and the duty of road users to take care in relation to others.
- The Defendant must have failed in their duty of care to the Claimant in order to substantiate a personal injury compensation claim. This can be through either something they did, or something they did not do, which meant they did not meet the standards the law required of them.
- Their failure must then have caused your injury. “Causation” is often the most disputed element of any personal injury claim.
To be successful in your compensation claim, you must prove each of these points – unless the other party accepts that they were negligent. You must also prove the amount of every item you are claiming for and support it with evidence. As the party making the claim, it is for you to prove it – not for the other side to disprove it, just as you would for any insurance claim.
This may make the process sound difficult, but Truth Legal will guide you through each step. We will ensure that making your claim is as easy as possible, explaining each step to you.
There is no definite answer to this. See our blog on this point.
If you have been involved in an accident, it is understandable to want everything to get back to normal as soon as possible. And we understand that this can extend to any personal injury claims you are pursuing. We will guide you through every stage of your claim. We can’t promise that your claim will be completed quickly – no law firm can in all honesty – but we can promise to work with you to make the process as hassle-free as possible.
The duration of a claim depends upon many different circumstances. One of them is your recovery time. It is always best to make sure your injuries are as completely resolved as possible before settling a claim – that way the extent of your injuries can be properly documented and all additional losses you have suffered can be included in your claim.
Other factors can also play a part. If the people you are claiming from are disputing certain aspects of your claim, it can take time to gather and present the evidence required to establish your case.
Areas of dispute can also lead to court proceedings. These tend to lengthen the time a claim will take. However, even if court proceedings are started, the vast majority of cases are resolved before they need to be heard in a courtroom by a Judge (not a jury).
If too much time has passed since the accident in question, you might be prevented from making a claim. See our Knowledge Centre link on limitation here.
In general, you must begin your personal injury claim within 3 years of the date of the accident.
There are a number of rules which can change the time limits which apply to your case. If you are thinking of bringing a head injury claim, or you are worried matters have been left for too long, contact us as soon as possible so that we can advise you on where you stand. Limitation law is called complicated.
If the accident which caused your head injury was not your fault, then Truth Legal Solicitors can often conduct matters on the basis of a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement. In the vast majority of situations, this means that you will not have to pay our fees if we are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for you.
On the other hand, if we are successful, our fees will be paid by a portion of your compensation award and also by the other party (or more commonly their insurers). This is standard practice.
If you have any concerns on how a head injury claim is funded, we are more than willing to discuss matters with you in more depth. It is our mission to be candid with our clients. We prefer to use No Win, No Fee agreements.
Finding out more information
If you would like more information on claiming for a head injury, or you wish to discuss your situation, contact us today. We would be more than happy to chat things through with you in a free consultation, with no obligation to proceed further.
Let us help you to claim the compensation you deserve.