Brain and Head Injury Claims
Head and brain injuries can have serious life-long consequences, including the potential to cause profound physical and cognitive disabilities. The effects can be devastating, not just for the injured person but for their family and friends as well.
We regularly act on behalf of adults and children who have suffered brain and head injuries.
If you believe you or a loved one received negligent medical care either following a head or brain injury, or which has caused a head or brain injury, resulting in a negative impact on your/your loved one’s long-term health, you may be able to claim compensation.
While these types of claims can be complex, with the right legal advice and support it is often possible to secure a substantial settlement helping to ensure the best possible rehabilitation support and quality of life for someone living with a head or brain injury.
Wolferstans’ medical negligence solicitors have secured millions of pounds in compensation for clients with head and brain injuries. This experience combined with our skilled advocacy and strong expertise in non-confrontational dispute resolution, means we can typically resolve claims without the need for you to attend court.
We will ensure no detail is missed when pursuing your claim and can provide a highly accurate assessment of your claim’s value at the outset. This is vital to make sure your claim is not settled for less than you may be entitled to – something that can be a significant risk when working with firms lacking specific experience in this area.
We offer a free initial no obligation consultation during which we will be able to tell you if you have a claim worth investigating further.
To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on 01752 292204
Our head and brain injury claims service
We support a wide range of clients with head and brain injury claims related to medical negligence throughout England and Wales, including cases involving:
- Failure by paramedics or A&E staff to properly assess a head injury
- Failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests, such as a CT scan
- Failure to correctly interpret the results of a CT scan or other diagnostic test
- Failure to consider a CT scan or other test results
- Failure to take appropriate action, such as brain surgery to alleviate the build-up of fluid on the brain
- Failure to resuscitate appropriately following cardiac arrest
- Delays in or failure to diagnosis and treat a wide variety of medical conditions, including those listed below
- Brain surgery errors
- Negligent aftercare following brain surgery
- Medication errors
- Falls in hospitals and nursing homes
- Attempts by patients to take their own lives
Read about some of the cases we have successfully pursued in relation to head and brain injury claims.
Types of medical condition leading to head and brain injuries
There are many types of medical condition that can cause head and brain injuries, if they are not diagnosed promptly and treated appropriately. We set out below some of these conditions that we have investigated or are currently investigating:
- ADEM (Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis)
- AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation)
- Birth trauma (resulting from lack of oxygen before or after birth or jaundice, low blood sugars or infection)
- Brain abscess
- Brain tumour
- Cardiac arrest (resulting in lack of oxygen)
- Cerebral vasculitis
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Infections (including Chicken Pox virus, E-Coli, herpes virus and septicaemia)
- Infective endocarditis
- Mycotic aneurysms
- Shunt blockages and infections
- Subarachnoid haemorrhage
- Subdural and other haemorrhages (sustained after falls striking head)
- Subdural empyema
- TIA (Transient Ischemic Attacks)
Effects of a head or brain injury
The effects of a head or brain injury can vary enormously depending upon the severity of the injury itself. The effects can be subtle, if the injury is relatively minor or catastrophic, if the injury is severe and can cause physical, cognitive and/or emotional and behavioural problems for the injured person, which can impact upon their ability to maintain their personal and family relationships, continue in employment and lead a normal life.
Some of the main problems that a brain and head injury can cause are:
- Dizziness and balance problems
- Epileptic seizures and absences
- Fatigue, often severe
- Sleep disturbance
- Visual disturbances and loss of sight
- Attention and concentration problems
- Communication difficulties
- Decision-making problems
- Memory problems
- Apathy and loss of motivation
- Mood swings
- Personality changes
- Difficulties performing routine domestic activities
- Reduced independence
- Social interaction difficulties
How brain and head injury claims work
While the idea of making a claim for a head injury or brain injury may seem complicated and confusing, our clinical negligence lawyers have the experience and expertise to make the claims process as simple and straightforward as possible.
A typical head or brain injury claim will involve:
- Building your case e.g. applying for medical records, collecting witness evidence and consulting independent medical experts.
- Contacting the relevant healthcare provider with the details of your claim.
- Ensuring the defendant responds to your claim in a timely fashion.
- Assessing the defendant’s response and advising you of your options.
- Valuing your claim e.g. obtaining details of your past financial losses and expenses and collecting witness evidence and consulting independent experts to quantify your need for future care, therapies, aids and equipment, transport and adapted accommodation, etc.
- Negotiating with the defendant and/or using alternative
- Negotiating with the defendant and/or using alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation or independent evaluation, to secure a suitable settlement.
- Submitting your claim to the relevant court and representing you at a court hearing where required to resolve the matter.
Find out more about the process of making a clinical negligence claim.
Funding head and brain injury compensation claims
We appreciate that people often have concerns about how they will pay for a medical negligence claim. This should never be a barrier to pursuing a claim, however. If we believe you have strong grounds for compensation, we will find a funding option to suit you.
For the majority of head and brain injury claims, this will involve us working with you on a ‘no win, no fee basis’, also known as a ‘conditional fee agreement’. This approach means you are not required to pay anything towards legal fees or expenses when starting a claim. Instead, you will only have to make a contribution towards these costs if we succeed in winning compensation for you.
Following a successful claim, the amount you pay will be based on a percentage of the compensation secured. This ensures you have complete clarity about the likely costs involved right from the start.
Legal expenses insurance can also be an option for funding claims. Often offered as an optional extra with home insurance, as well as some bank accounts and credit cards, this may be a preferable option depending on your circumstances.
To discuss your options for covering the cost of a brain or head injury claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Find out more about funding a medical negligence claim.
Our expertise in head and brain injury claims
Our medical negligence team have extensive experience in both adult and child head and brain injury claims related to medical negligence. We have earned a reputation for successfully handling even the most complicated claims, resulting in millions of pounds in compensation for our clients over the years.
Wolferstans is accredited by the Law Society for Clinical Negligence, recognising our particular expertise in this area. We are also Lexcel accredited by the Law Society for excellence in legal practice management and client care.
Wolferstans is also accredited by Headway (National Head Injury Association), BIG (Brain Injury Group) and UK ABIF (UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum) further recognising our specialist knowledge and skill in handling head and brain injury claims.
Various members of our medical negligence team are also on the Law Society and AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) Specialist Clinical Negligence Panels and have been accredited by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) as Clinical Negligence Specialists and Brain Injury Specialists.
Find out more about our medical negligence claims team.
Common questions about head and brain injury claims
With any type of medical negligence claim, there is normally a 3-year time limit to bring a claim for compensation. This will usually be counted from the time the negligence occurred, although if the negligence was only uncovered later, the time limit may be counted from this point instead.
However, if the claim is being brought on behalf of someone else because they lack mental capacity to pursue compensation themselves (which is common with serious brain injuries), there is no time limit for their representative to bring a claim for them.
Another exception to the standard 3-year rule is where the person affected by the medical negligence was under 18 at the time it occurred. In such cases, their parents or guardians will have until they turn 18 to bring a claim for them. If this is not done, then once they turn 18, the person who suffered the injury will have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim themselves.
If the injured party dies within 3 years of the alleged negligence occurring, the representatives of their estate will normally be granted an additional 3 years from the date of death to bring a claim.
Determining whether the relevant time limit has expired can be extremely complicated, so we strongly recommend consulting a specialist medical negligence lawyer however long ago the negligence occurred.
How much compensation you/your loved one may be entitled to will depend on how serious the impact of the medical negligence has been on you/your loved one’s health and lifestyle.
If you or your loved one have suffered a serious brain or head injury, you are likely to need life-long care and support and financial help to provide therapies, aids and equipment, appropriate transport and adapted accommodation.
Whether the claim follows the route of a negotiated settlement or a court hearing where damages will be decided by a judge, the experience and skill of your legal team is likely to be a major factor in the amount of compensation secured. Working with medical negligence lawyers with specific expertise in head and brain injury claims is therefore strongly recommended.
Depending on the situation, there are two types of compensation you may be entitled to – special damages and general damages
Special damages – These cover specific financial losses incurred up to the date of settlement, such as costs associated with treatment and buying special equipment, as well as lost earnings due to having to give up work.
General damages – These cover non-financial losses such as compensation for pain and suffering and changes to your lifestyle. This can also compensate you for foreseeable future financial losses and expenses due to the injuries sustained.
In many cases compensation will not be paid until the end of the case, when a settlement has been reached or damages have been awarded by the Court.
Head and brain injury claims often taken sometime to conclude, so wherever possible, we actively seek to secure an interim payment of damages from the Defendant, on account of the compensation which will be paid at the end of the case. This is usually only possible after the Defendant has admitted responsibility for causing the brain injury.
Interim payments enable funds to be available, at an earlier time, to provide the care and support which the injured person requires, as well as the purchase of appropriate therapies, aids and equipment, transport and accommodation.
Where the injured person has suffered a severe brain injury, we will arrange for the appointment of a Brain Injury Case Manager, who will liaise with you and us to identify exactly what is needed and then co-ordinate everything for you/your loved on.
A relatively common issue with head and brain injuries is that the person who suffered the injury may lack the mental capacity to bring a claim on their own behalf. Often this will be because they have been left with brain damage affecting their ability to understand or retain key information needed to pursue a claim or because they have issues with communication.
In such circumstances, it is possible for someone else (normally a family member or close friend) to be appointed as a ‘litigation friend’, meaning they can pursue a compensation claim on behalf of the injured party.
Where someone has died as a result of a head or brain injury, the personal representative of their estate will normally be able to pursue a claim on behalf of the estate and the deceased’s dependants.
Further information about brain and head injury claims
For more information about head and brain injury compensation claims and all types of medical negligence claims, please take a look at our news, blogs and our series of helpful leaflets covering specific issues.
Start a head or brain injury claim with us today
To arrange a free initial no obligation consultation and find out more about starting a brain or head injury claim:
To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on 01752 292204