Brain Injury Claims
Each year in the UK, around one million people attend Accident and Emergency departments as a result of a head injury. Approximately 13% of these injuries affect the brain so severely, the injured person has to be admitted to hospital. Some injured persons will experience a major long-term impact on their physical, cognitive and communication abilities, which can last for the rest of their lives.
While money goes a long way to help a person who has sustained a brain injury, it is not the only help available. Our specialist brain injury claims lawyers have access to a range of support and rehabilitation services that are invaluable for helping you or your loved ones improve your recovery.
What are the different types of brain injury claims?
Brain injuries are classified as traumatic or non-traumatic. A traumatic injury occurs when you suffer a blow to the head so severe, the brain bleeds or moves around inside the skull. Car crashes, coming off a bike, motorbike or horse, hitting your head while falling, or having an object dropped on you from height are leading causes of traumatic brain injury.
A non-traumatic brain injury occurs whenever an illness or medical condition affects the brain. Illnesses such as meningitis, brain tumours, hypoxia (shortage of oxygen to the brain) and certain metabolic illnesses are known to cause non-traumatic brain injury.
Whatever the type of brain injury, the effects are often far-reaching. Serious brain injuries can permanently damage the brain, making it difficult for the injured person speak, take decisions, remember things, and carry out day-to-day activities. Family and friends are often left to support their loved ones who may not be able to live as independently as they did before.
Can you claim compensation for brain injuries?
The short answer is yes, you can claim compensation, as long as you can prove that someone else was responsible for the accident and that the accident caused your injuries.
Even if the injury was partly your fault, you may still be able to make a claim for compensation. This situation often arises in road traffic accidents, for example, where the innocent driver sustains injuries that are more serious than expected because he failed to wear a seatbelt. The other driver would not be 100% responsible for your injuries in this scenario, and it is likely that the Courts would reduce your damages to reflect the part you played in the accident. But even if your compensation was reduced by 25%, you would still receive 75% of your damages.
The law can be complex on the issue of partial responsibility, so you should always seek advice from a specialist brain injury claims solicitor.
Who do you sue in brain injury claims?
The claim will be brought against the person who was responsible for your accident, although in practice it is usually the Defendant’s insurance company who negotiates and settles the claim.
The identity of the responsible person depends on the type of accident you have sustained.
Accident at work brain injury claims
Employers are responsible for keeping their employees safe in the workplace. If you are injured in the course of your work duties, then the claim will be brought against your employer.
It is possible to make a claim against your employer even if the accident was caused by a co-worker. That is because an employer assumes legal responsibility for the actions of their employees under a legal principle known as “vicarious liability.”
Road traffic accident brain injury claims
Your claim is brought against the driver of the vehicle you collided with, although it will be the car insurer who handles the claim. If the negligent driver did not have insurance, or if they cannot be traced, then it is usually possible to claim compensation from the Motor Insurer’s Bureau. MIB will investigate your claim and you will have to prove your entitlement to damages in the usual way.
It is important to note that a civil claim for personal injuries is quite separate to any criminal investigation conducted by the police. However, if the at-fault driver is convicted of a criminal offence such as dangerous driving, this will help you to prove that the driver was negligent, and therefore liable to pay damages for your brain injury.
Public place brain injury claims
Local authorities and other public bodies are responsible for maintaining their streets and buildings and keeping them safe for the visiting public. If you slip, trip or fall in a public place, then the claim will be brought against the authority who is responsible for maintaining it.
Criminal assault brain injury claims
If you have been injured in a violent attack or assault, then a claim may be brought to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). CICA was set up specifically to compensate the innocent victims of violent crime. You will have to prove your claim to CICA and recover compensation in the usual way, so help should be obtained from a solicitor experienced in brain injury claims through CICA.
Medical negligence brain injury claims
Surgical errors, birth asphyxiation, overdoses of medication, misdiagnoses and delayed treatment can all cause brain injuries or make existing brain injuries worse. If you have been harmed by substandard medical treatment, then your claim would be pursued against the GP, private doctor, or the NHS Trust responsible for the hospital that delivered the unacceptable treatment.
Medical negligence claims are especially complex, so it is important that you seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in these types of claims.
Will I receive help during my rehabilitation?
If you receive a brain injury, then it is likely that you will require hospital and outpatient care. Accessing the appropriate services in a timely manner can make a significant difference to your rehabilitation. It is vital that you receive the right kind of care to give you the best chance of recovering from your brain injury.
At The Compensation Experts, we aim to give you plenty of support as you move positively towards recovery and play a proactive role in helping you to access the services you need. Assuming the Defendant admits liability, we will try to secure early payments in advance of your compensation. Interim payments can be used to pay for your therapy, disability equipment, personal care and housing while your claim is ongoing. At the end of the claim, the interim payments you have received will be deducted from your final compensation award.
If we cannot secure interim payments, perhaps because the other side is disputing liability, then we will help you to get support from other bodies. You may be entitled to welfare benefits or grants from the local authority for home adaptations, and we will work hard to make sure you get the support to which you are entitled.
How much compensation will I receive for a brain injury claim?
If you claim is successful, you will be awarded compensation for your injuries. Personal injury compensation is known as “damages.” The aim of damages is to put you back in the position you would have been in, had the injury not occurred.
Whatever the nature of your accident, your compensation will be assessed under two broad categories:
General damages compensate you for your actual injuries and are often referred to as “pain and suffering” damages. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the seriousness of your brain injury and the impact it has on your work, social and family life.
The calculation is largely based on the recommendations set out in a publication “Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases” prepared by the Judicial College. The Guidelines recommend the following compensation bands for brain injury claims:
- Minor brain injury: £1,675 to £9,700
- Less severe brain damage: £11,650 to £32,700
- Moderate brain damage: £32, 725 to £166,500
- Moderately severe brain damage: £166,500 to £214,350
- Very severe brain damage: £214,350 to £307,000.
Special damages are intended to compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered as a result of your injury and any expenses you might have to pay in the future. The award could include:
- Loss of earnings and loss of future earnings
- Loss of pension rights if you are unable to return to work
- Medical treatment costs and future medical treatment costs
- Residential care facility fees
- The cost of therapeutic services e.g. physiotherapy, speech and language therapy
- The cost of any personal care or home help, including the value of any support provided by your partner or family
- The cost of any medical aids or equipment
- The cost of adapting your home to make it easier for you to live in
- Travel expenses
- The cost of professionally managing your financial affairs if your injuries are such that you are not able to do this for yourself.
Many people who sustain brain injuries will require care and support in the long term, and sometimes for the rest of their lives. For these Claimants, the award for special damages can be significant and generally will make up the largest part of the compensation settlement.
Is there a time limit for brain injury claims?
There is a strict three-year time limit for personal injury claims. The Court can stop you making a claim if you are out of time. If the injured person is a child under the age of 18, then a claim may be brought at any time until the child’s 21st birthday.
Significantly, the three-year rule does not apply to “protected parties.” A protected party is someone who lacks the mental capacity to make their own claim, perhaps due to a very serious brain injury. When the injured person is protected, the three-year limitation period does not start running until the protected party is once again able to manage their own affairs. In practical terms, this means that a family member can claim on behalf of a protected loved one many years after the accident.
This is not a reason to delay making the claim, however. Your case turns on the evidence, which degrades over time. Your claim stands a better chance of success if your solicitor can speak to witnesses while their memories are still fresh.
What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is a special court that protects the legal and financial interests of those who are unable to look after their own affairs, which is a common consequence of brain injury. If you are making a legal claim on behalf of a protected party, then the Court of Protection will approve any settlement agreement to make sure that it is in the best interests of the injured person. The settlement cannot be finalised until the Court of Protection has approved it.
After the settlement, the Court of Protection will manage the injured person’s finances and will appoint a Deputy to do this on the Court’s behalf. Often, the Deputy can be a family member. In complex cases involving larger sums of money, the Court may insist that a professional person such as an accountant or solicitor is appointed as Deputy.
We can give you further information about the Court of Protection and the management of your future finances if they are likely to have a role in your case.
If you have suffered a brain injury, it is essential that you consult a solicitor who is experienced in dealing with similar cases. Our specialist panel of brain injury claims lawyers have a proven track record with brain injury claims and have access to an extensive register of medical experts who can help you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.
To find out whether you are eligible to make a claim for compensation, simply telephone our expert advisors. We offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions and discuss the details of our No Win, No Fee funding arrangement. Brain injury claims have strict time limitations, so please get in touch today.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have been harmed physically in the last 3 years, due to someone else’s negligence, the short answer is yes.
Exceptions to this are for instance industrial disease or if you were a child at the time of the accident you may have a longer period to claim.
How much could I claim?
As every injury is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ case to case. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: extent of your injuries, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be keep up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We assess all claims on a No Win No Fee basis, then we can determine how successful a claim is likely to be. This service is 100% free.
We assess each claim on its merits with the information provide, which aids us determine its likely success rate.
Our dedicated panel are experts in securing compensation no matter the injury.
Our personal injury lawyers are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you while providing expert support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
Each client is provided with their own Personal Injury lawyer who will work on the case from start to finish, being there every step of the way. The client will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of the lawyer.
Expert brain injury claims solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of injury claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case you don’t pay! Once you make contact, our experienced team will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.