If you’re involved in an accident which results in a serious injury then the chances are that you’re going to have to spend the rest of your life fighting to overcome it. This is especially the case if you suffer an injury to your brain. Far from being a chance to cash in, for someone suffering from a serious brain injury, a compensation claim may well be the only chance they will possibly have to be able to afford the level of care which they’re going to need for the rest of their life.
The brain is the control centre for the vast majority of the body’s vital functions, so even a minor injury can have significant consequences and lead to a substantial compensation payout.
If you’re involved in a road traffic accident and injure your brain, for example, then the effects could range from limited movement or psychological problems all the way up to paralysis and almost total incapacity. In the most serious cases the injured party no longer even has the ability to start a case for compensation, and it must be undertaken on their behalf by what is known as a ‘litigation friend’, usually a close family member acting in the best interests of the victim.
The exact details of your case may vary – you may have fallen from a badly positioned ladder at work, for example, or been seriously injured in a car accident – but the principle is the same. If you’ve been injured and it was caused by someone else’s negligence then you have every right to make a claim for compensation. Indeed, the more serious the brain damage is, the more you’ll need any more awarded so that you, and your loved ones, can set about rebuilding your life.
When deciding to make a claim for compensation, it is always advisable to make sure you choose an injury solicitor who has expertise in this area. It is worth checking for injury lawyers who are members of both Headway and the Brain Injury Group:
Headway is a leading British charity that provides help and assistance to brain injury victims and their families, including rehabilitation programmes, care workers, community work and social reintegration. Lawyers have to adhere to a strict code of conduct to qualify for Headway’s recommendation. You should always make sure that your solicitor has been awarded this accreditation.
The Brain Injury Group is a company which brings together different organisations and solicitors from around Great Britain that offer help and support to anyone who has suffered a brain injury. All solicitors who are members of the scheme have vast experience of dealing with these types of serious injuries and getting the compensation that the injured person deserves.
The amount of money paid out for a brain injury is listed in the government published Judicial College Guidelines, with the guide amount running from £14,380 for minor brain damage all the way up to £379,100 for very severe damage. This is merely a lump sum to represent the pain and loss of amenity you’ve suffered, however. Far more important will be the additional compensation paid to fund the cost of things such as alterations to your living environment and any future medical costs or care needs you may have. The more serious the injury, the more vital this payment will be, since the very worst cases will require the person concerned to have virtual round the clock care for the rest of their life.
Below is a table showing guideline compensation amounts for pain and suffering caused by brain injuries:
|Injury Type||Description||Compensation Amount|
|Very Severe Brain Damage||Serious brain injury which limits the victim’s ability to acknowledge their surrounding environment. Very little or no language function, and the need for full-time care.||£264,650 – £379,100|
|Moderately Severe Brain Damage||Injuries which leave the victim severely disabled and substantially dependent on others. There will be a need for constant care and other medical requirements. Disabilities may be physical or cognitive.||£205,580 – £264,650|
|Moderate Brain Damage (I)||Applies if the injured party’s dependence on others is reduced compared to the brackets above. Includes cases in which there is moderate to severe damage to intellect, changes in personality, problems with sight, speech and other senses, and serious risk of epilepsy.||£140,870 – £205,580|
|Moderate Brain Damage (II)||Includes cases in which there is moderate damage to intellect, and the possibility of returning to employment is either low or non-existent. Possible risk of suffering from epilepsy.||£85,150 – £140,870|
|Moderate Brain Damage (III)||Includes cases in which concentration and memory are badly affected, and there is a reduced risk of epilepsy. Employment opportunities may be lower than before the injury, but there is little dependence on other people for help with day-to-day tasks.||£40,410 – £85,150|
|Less Severe Brain Damage||Cases where a good recovery is made and the injured party can return to social and work environments. There may be some on-going issues, such as mood swings or concentration and memory problems. At the upper end of the bracket there will be a small risk of epilepsy.||£14,380 – £40,410|
|Minor Brain or Head Injury||Covers minor injuries in which permanent brain damage is minimal, or non-existent. The final compensation payout will depend on time of recovery, severity of initial injury, on-going symptoms and the presence of headaches.||£2,070 – £11,980|
Unfortunately, there are rare occasions when someone suffers a brain injury due to medical negligence. This could be during birth if a newborn baby is starved of oxygen due to mistakes by medical staff, when surgery goes wrong resulting in damage to the brain, or from other botched medical procedures. These types of injuries can be devastating, and compensation is available for the pain and suffering caused. There may also be lifelong financial implications, including costs for ongoing medical care and loss of future earnings.
In cases of medical negligence, most claims will be made against the NHS. However, if the negligence occurred at a private practice rather than an NHS hospital, the victim is still entitled to make a claim for compensation.
No matter what the circumstances, compensation as described above should be available if negligence was involved.
If you or someone close to you has been injured then speak to a personal injury lawyer about pursuing compensation. They usually work on a no win no fee basis, which means there is little risk financially to starting a claim.
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If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.