Head and Brain Injury Compensation Solicitors
Head and Brain Injury Solicitors
Our highly specialist Brain and Head Injury Solicitors handle accident compensation claims throughout southern England including Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Devon, Berkshire, Hampshire, and Somerset.
Free initial advice
it’s really important to know where you stand – that’s why our specialist injury claim solicitors for not only initial free advice over the phone – but also free first appointment – so you can talk to someone about possibly making a claim for compensation, without incurring a legal bill.
Home and hospital visits available
if you’re injuries mean you’re unable to travel – our team are more than happy to come and visit you in hospital – locally at Salisbury District Hospital or elsewhere, or to visit you at home.
Head and brain injuries can be caused by trauma or acquired in other ways.
Head Trauma – usually follows an accident.
Acquired Head Injury – often caused naturally or following medical negligence if there was a delay in diagnosing or treating the original condition. Acquired head injury includes the following head injuries:
- Brain tumour
- Brain haemorrhage
- Injury caused by deprivation of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia)
Can I make an accident compensation claim?
If your head injury was caused by another person’s actions, then you can claim compensation whether your injury was caused by a road accident, an accident at work, a sports injury etc.
Mr H’s Story
Mr H drove a large tipper truck which had to be sealed with a canvas sheet before he could drive on the road. Mr H was standing on the lorry pulling the canvas sheet across the load. The canvas sheet became stuck owing to a defect in the winding mechanism. He fell from the top of the lorry as a result, on to his head and suffered a brain injury causing serious long-term cognitive impairment.
He brought a claim against his employers and the insurance company agreed the system of work for sheeting lorries was unsafe. The accident compensation claim was settled out of court.
How do I prove my injuries are related to my accident?
With head injury claims this is often straightforward. There is often a direct link between the accident and injury.
To prove a link between the injury and the accident we instruct an independent neurosurgeon to prepare a medical report. Our Brain Injury Solicitors have a panel of neurosurgeons and neurologists specialising in head and brain injuries and who help our clients on a regular basis.
What sort of compensation can I expect?
- damages for pain suffering and loss of amenity (your physical injury)
- damages for out of pocket expenses
- damages for future expenses.
Damages for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity
Head and brain injuries can be extremely serious with life-long repercussions. You may become unable to do tasks you were able to do before your accident. Common after effects of head trauma include:
- physical symptoms including poor motor control, poor bowel and bladder function, tiredness, lack of co-ordination and headaches
- emotional and behavioural problems such as anxiety, depression, anger, impulsivity and lack of insight
- cognitive problems including problems with memory, speech, and processing information
All these symptoms are linked to brain injury and are symptoms for which you can receive compensation.
Damages for out of pocket expenses
You, your family and friends can all recover expenses which you would not have incurred without the accident, including
- lost earnings for yourself, your partner or other family members
- travel by your family to visit you in hospital
- cost of buying equipment e.g. a wheelchair or a special computer programme to help develop memory skills
- cost of medication
- cost of any private medical treatment
- cost of your family buying food and drinks at hospital
- cost of childcare
- cost of adapting your home so you can return home, or the cost of you buying a different home.
It is essential to keep receipts, correspondence and paperwork you think may be relevant in future. It is helpful if you or a member of your family or friend keeps a diary for you, listing appointments and expenses.
If you suffered a severe head or brain injury, this is probably the most important part of your claim. Your Head Injury Solicitor needs to be very careful to ensure your compensation will meet all of your future needs.
Your solicitor will obtain expert help from nursing and rehabilitation experts to assess your future needs.
Payment for future expenses will ensure that you receive all the equipment you need in the future, eg equipment in your home.
Your solicitor will be unable to value this part of your claim until independent doctors indicate your likely prognosis when your condition stabilises. It may take a few years to reach this point but it is important not to rush your compensation claim.
If the insurance company acting for the other party admits responsibility for your accident then we can get an interim payment. Our Brain Injury Solicitors try to obtain interim payments as soon as possible to cover your out of pocket expenses, and to buy equipment to make you as independent as possible when you leave hospital.
With head and brain injuries it is sometimes possible to claim provisional damages. If you have a medical condition which may get worse, provisional damages will let you go back to claim further damages in future:
Head injury compensation claims handled by our solicitors involving provisional damages include
Master G’s Story
Master G was crossing the road on a zebra crossing on his way to school. He was hit by a car which failed to stop. He suffered severe head injuries. The majority of his early head injuries affected his cognitive function and he became very angry and aggressive.
His compensation claim was settled and the settlement approved by the Court as he was under the age of 18. There was a risk in the future that he would develop epilepsy so the initial award of damages was provisional.
As a teenager he did develop epilepsy. Medical evidence linked this to his accident. His case was re-opened and he could claim further damages for his epilepsy.
Is there a time limit for making a claim?
A compensation claim must be made within 3 years of the date of the accident. If a person is incapable of managing their own affairs and is registered with the Court of Protection then the time is extended to 3 years from the date when they are capable of managing their own affairs.
If a child suffers a head or brain injury then they have until the age of 21 to make a compensation claim.
If the Claimant is a child or an adult whose affairs are registered with the Court of Protection then they will need an adult of full capacity, often a family member, to claim on their behalf. In these cases the Court approves any final settlement and the money is invested in the Court Funds Office until the child reaches 18 or the adult is capable of managing their own affairs.
I have been the victim of a criminal assault – can I claim compensation?
You can claim from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority if you suffered injury as a result of a criminal act, usually an assault. CICA is a Government run compensation Scheme. The time limit for making a compensation claim is 2 years.
Medical negligence claims
If your brain injury was caused by the negligence of a medical practitioner you may have a compensation claim for medical negligence. Medical negligence claims are harder to bring than straight forward accident compensation claims, as a head injury may start as an “acquired head injury” but be made worse by medical negligence.
Head injury compensation claims handled by our medical negligence solicitors include:
Mr W’s Story
20 year Mr W went to his GP with very severe headache, balance problems and confusion. His GP thought that he had been taking drugs or was drunk and sent him home with painkillers.
4 days later Mr W collapsed at home. An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital. He was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, underwent surgery and was left with permanent brain damage.
The doctors advising as part of the medical negligence claim said when he first visited his GP Mr W had suffered a minor bleed from the aneurysm. He should have been referred to hospital for further investigation. If he had attended hospital the aneurysm would have been diagnosed. He still would have required surgery but his long term outcome would have been much better.
Mr W made a compensation claim for damages for the difference in how his health would have been if he had been referred to hospital after seeing his GP and his condtion after major surgery. The difference in the quality of his life was very marked.
Funding my compensation claim
Our solicitors have various ways to fund your head injury compensation claim:
- Legal Expenses Insurance. Many people have legal expenses insurance attached to their buildings, contents or car insurance. Provided the insurance policy was in force when you had your accident and you claim in time, the policy will often cover your Solicitor’s fees
- ‘No win no fee agreements’ – we offer ‘no win no fee’ arrangements to head and brain injury clients and can arrange insurance to cover costs if your case fails
- Private clients. Some clients pay as their compensation claim progresses- paying an hourly rate for work done on their injury claim and receiving interim bills every 6 months
Contact our Head and Brain Injury Claim Solicitors as soon as possible
It’s important to take legal advice from our Head Injury Claim Solicitors as soon as possible after your accident – time limitation periods apply and it is often easier investigating your compensation claim if you take early legal advice. At your first free interview with us, our Head Injury Claim Solicitors can tell you whether your compensation claim is worth pursuing.
Contact our head injury solicitors to arrange a free initial interview. We visit clients at home, in hospital, in our Salisbury, Andover, Fordingbridge or Amesbury offices and in interviewing facilities in West Dorset. Our head and brain injury solicitors also regularly represent clients locally in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset and throughout England and Wales.
Telephone team leader Denise Broomfield on Salisbury (01722) 424426 or e-mail email@example.com
Denise Broomfield is a solicitor and a member of The Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel, the AvMA Referral Panel and a Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.