By Chris Moore, Medical Negligence expert and Senior Solicitor at Neil Hudgell Solicitors
FOR anyone with a family member or close friend who has suffered from a serious brain injury, they will know and fully understand the devastating impact it can have on their lives.
Quite simply, in many cases, life is never the same again for either the individual concerned, or those close to them.
For the sufferer, their independence and ability to look after themselves is often lost. Family members are no longer just that, but often become full-time carers.
Of course, the effects of a brain injury can be wide ranging – from mild to severe – depending upon the type, location and severity of injury.
Many people probably assume that long-term physical disabilities are most commonly the main consequence. However, most brain injury victims make an excellent physical recovery, which can mean there are few, or no, outwards signs that an injury has occurred.
There are, though, often physical problems that are not always visible, but can have a real impact on daily life.
Equally, the emotional impact, and resultant changes in behaviour, can be just as difficult for all involved to deal with, from the individual themselves, to those around them.
In our work as medical negligence and personal injury law specialists, we deal with many cases involving brain injuries at Neil Hudgell Solicitors, and see first-hand how families require a huge amount of support to cope.
No amount of money can ever compensate for the loss of health, but we do see how it can help people access the specialist care, knowledge and support needed to cope with a completely different way of living.
Of course, brain injuries can be suffered in wide-range of circumstances, from accidents on the road, at work, playing sport or even as a victim of an unprovoked criminal assault. Quite simply, they can happen to anyone, at any time, and as simple human beings, we are all susceptible.
We are all too busy though to stop and think of how we would handle such a situation should we, or a member of a family, suffer a serious brain injury.
Do we worry as to what support would be there for us, or whether benefit cuts, or crucial services being stripped from local authorities and NHS budgets would impact on us?
Quite simply, we should, and that is why we at Neil Hudgell Solicitors are proud to be members of Headway, a registered charity which is dedicated to providing help and support to brain injury victims and their families across the UK.
They are running a ‘Don’t cut me out’ awareness campaign throughout Action for Brain Injury Week, which runs from May 12-18, aiming to increase awareness of the plight of individuals and families affected by brain injuries.
They say vital support services are being reduced as a result of funding cuts and welfare reforms.
We see it as a minimum part of our role in any case we handle to point people in the direction of expert advice, supporting charities and relevant rehabilitation. We recognise that compensation alone isn’t enough .
Headway will use next week to reveal results of a survey conducted with people directly affected by brain injury to demonstrate the effect cuts to their benefits and access to services are having on their lives.
It will no doubt make interesting reading.
Pictured is Neil Hudgell Solicitor’s client Keith Daddy, who suffered a brain injury in 2007 after being knocked off his bike.