Brain And Head Injury FAQs

How do I make a claim for a brain injury?

The following outlines the process we will go through with you:

  • Before discussing the severity of a head injury and its impact on everyday life, we need to find out how it happened and get as much detail as possible.
  • One of our expert claims solicitors will then assess and analyse the details of your case and determine whether you have a case for compensation.
  • The next step is to fully review your case, at no cost to you, and ensure we are armed with all the details about the physical, emotional and psychological impact the brain or head injury has had on your life.
  • In all of the compensation cases we take on, we then offer our client full access to independent medical experts as well as other help, advice and support networks which we have established.
  • Brain injury sufferer Paul Spence, who runs the charity PAUL: My Brain Recovery, is an ambassador for Hudgell Solicitors and we can arrange for a one-to-one meeting where he can offer his first-hand experience and advice.
  • Whilst doing all of this, we will always be in close contact to keep you informed at every step of the legal process so you are aware of what’s to come next and allowing you to plan for the future.

What types of head and brain injury are there?

Any type of trauma which causes an injury to the scalp, skull or brain has the potential to have a serious impact on the individual involved.

Whilst a visible wound may be present in some cases, a thorough investigation is always advised so that the extent of any head or brain injury can be properly assessed.

Even if an injury not always visible, all head traumas should be closely monitored, because symptoms can develop later on.

The 3 main types of head injury are:

Concussion: Most common and a minor type of head injury. Symptoms should be checked because any deterioration in response levels may mean there is compression on the brain and may lead to a more serious complications.

Open: Pressure or force which is strong enough to cause a fracture or displacement of the skull. An open head injury may not always include a brain injury.

Closed: A type of head injury where the structure of the skull is not affected or fractured, despite undergoing impact or trauma.

What can cause brain injury?

Serious head traumas can happen due to a number of causes, and this will influence the course and outcome of any potential claim.

Below are some common activities which can lead to head or brain injury claims:

How might you be affected by a brain injury?

Depending on a head or brain injury’s cause and severity, its effects can be widely varied and may present themselves in a number of ways. The location of the injury to the brain can also significantly affect the subsequent symptoms.

Each area of the brain caters for certain mental and physical functions, so it is hard to quantify or fully cover the potential impact a serious brain injury may have.

As a general outline it can be broken into three groups:

Cognitive function:  This may be affected, and this can have a big impact on the patient’s ability to function independently after the accident. Problems such as memory loss can present serious problems for a patient in reintegrating with society following an injury, and may require extended therapy to regulate or overcome. Likewise, a reduced ability to solve problems, multi-task and plan ahead can also significantly affect a patient’s life.

Motor function: Physical abilities (known as motor function) may also be impacted, which can result in reduced mobility and increased reliance on others to do everyday activities. This loss of independence can also result in negative emotional reactions.

Emotional responses: These may be altered, resulting in symptoms that can be hard to diagnose or quantify and are therefore can be complex to treat. They can be relatively minor but nonetheless distressing, such as mood swings, or could extend to significantly changed behaviour, such as feelings of depression and apathy or a lack of personal awareness.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) explained

Apart from injuries resulting from clinical negligence, this is the most common type of injury we deal with – it is caused by physical damage to the head resulting in knock-on effects to the brain.

The large majority of TBIs are caused by impacts to the head, although they can also be caused by the head being crushed or penetrated by foreign objects.

Aside from the preliminary physical damage caused by the actual accident, which can be severe in itself, the brain can also suffer subsequent damage resulting from the initial trauma.

A common secondary effect of brain trauma is oxygen starvation, or cerebral hypoxia. This is where the brain doesn’t receive as much oxygen as it requires and cells die as a result.

Another secondary effect is intracranial swelling, where the brain becomes compressed by fluids building up within the skull. This increased pressure can constrict blood vessels, decreasing circulation and therefore starving parts of the brain – sometimes leading to irreversible damage.

Clotting is another common secondary effect consistent with traumas that result in a bleed within the brain. When this blood pools and subsequently clots, it can cut off circulation and, much like with swelling, lead to oxygen starvation in the deprived areas.

What if my loved one doesn’t have capacity to claim?

If the person suffering from a brain or head injury is not able to manage their own claim, then a trusted friend or relative can do this on their behalf. In doing so they will adopt the role and responsibilities as if they were the claimant themselves, in other words take on the role of ‘Litigation Friend’ under duty to act upon the victims best interests.

How long after suffering a brain injury can I make a compensation claim?

Unlike other personal injury claims, where legal proceedings must start within three years of the accident – or three years after they turn 18 if a child is involved, there’s no time limit if an individual is unable to manage their own legal affairs, due to mental incapacity.

How much compensation will I get for a head injury compensation claim?

Claiming personal injury compensation is a complex process, where the amount awarded will vary on a case by case basis. However, because of the potentially long-term impact on a victim, the final settlement will often be a lot higher than that of an average personal injury compensation claim.

The compensation awarded reflects the initial pain and potentially long term  suffering that could be endured , alongside initial costs incurred and potential future losses as well. This may include costs for rehabilitation, nursing, home adaptations or specialist equipment as well as transport requirements. If the injured person was unable to return to work, the loss of future earning would also need to be factored in to any settlement.

Can I get free legal support and 100% of the damages settlement for a brain injury compensation claim?

We continue to offer free legal support to children, people without mental capacity, and families making claims following fatalities, with a promise of them retaining 100% of the damages secured.

Many law firms scrapped such price promises following statutory legal reforms in 2013. However, we are dedicated to providing vulnerable people with the best legal support free of charge, ensuring they receive the entire amount of damages awarded.

We know the damages received are vital for victims and families to start rebuilding their lives, and to make any adaptations needed at home to live as comfortably as possible in the future.

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Our experts

Matthew Tuff

Senior Solicitor, Personal Injury

Samuel McFadyen

Senior Solicitor, Personal Injury

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