Brain injury

At Hugh James, our team of specialist brain injury compensation solicitors provide expert advice and services to ensure you receive the highest possible level of compensation. We will ensure you get the best care, treatment and rehabilitation following a traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries have life changing implications for an individual and their family. Quality care, treatment and rehabilitation are essential to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of a brain injured person. Our expert brain injury solicitors can help on a no win, no fee basis – contact us today for free, no obligation advice.

Our brain injury specialists are members of:

Brain Injury Group  Headway membership 2014   biswg membership logo  Child Brain Injury Trust

 


What is a traumatic brain injury?

Headway UK defines a traumatic brain injury as damage to the brain from trauma to the head. This damage is categorised as minor, moderate or severe depending on various parameters. However, each individual injury is different and the effects on a victim can differ greatly, requiring varying levels of care, treatment and rehabilitation.

A brain injured person may experience:

  • Behavioural changes or difficulties
  • Memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Problems with planning and organising
  • Difficulties solving problems
  • Fatigue
  • Anger management issues
  • A lack of motivation.

How can Hugh James brain injury solicitors help?

The complexities of a traumatic brain injury, along with the high value nature, means the process of claiming compensation can last a number of years. It is important that you instruct a solicitor with the correct experience and expertise to successfully manage your brain injury compensation claim.

At Hugh James, our brain injury solicitors have more than 20 years of experience in managing such claims and are often instructed by clients who have found their original solicitors to be unsatisfactory. We are listed under the Headway and Child Brain Injury Trust’s approved solicitors list for brain injury compensation claims.

We offer:

  • Free initial advice without obligation to proceed
  • No win, no fee
  • Access to financial advice
  • Access to benefits advice
  • Financial management under the Court of Protection by a specialist Court of Protection appointed deputy
  • A multi-disciplinary team of specialists, which includes a qualified social worker, accountant and a medical records officer

The claim process

A brain injury claim will begin with the appointment of a specialist brain injury lawyer who can help you throughout the compensation claims process. Firstly, you and your solicitor will need to prove that it was caused, at least partly, by another person.

During a compensation claim, your solicitor will seek to obtain evidence on the severity of the brain injury sustained and investigate the likely care and medical needs going forward. The process will be undertaken by our team of solicitors against the individual who caused the injury, who is known as the defendant. The defendant can be an individual or a company and generally the claim will be dealt with by the defendant’s insurer. In cases of a violent criminal act an individual can seek compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).  If your claim is concluded successfully the defendant will pay the agreed compensation which could include:

  • Compensation for the brain injury or head injury sustained Loss of earnings caused
  • Funds to provide care, support and case management
  • The cost of specialist equipment, including a suitable property, aids and equipment and transport
  • Court of Protection costs, if a professional deputy is required
  • A periodical payment order (PPO), which is an annual, index linked, payment for life to cover future, year on year, items of expenditure such as care and case management.

Why choose Hugh James for your brain injury compensation claim?

  • Hugh James has a top ranking personal injury compensation practice working from offices in London and Cardiff, covering the whole of the UK.
  • The brain injury team has recovered many millions of pounds for individuals and families affected by a brain injury over the past 20 years.
  • The team includes solicitors with national reputations, a qualified social worker, an accountant and an experienced Court of Protection deputy, able to manage the financial affairs of those who lack mental capacity as defined under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Our injury solicitors are members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
  • Hugh James is approved as brain injury solicitors by Headway UK, the Child Brain Injury Trust and the Brain Injury group.

Case studies

Our client transferred his brain injury compensation claim to the Hugh James Brain Injury Team after being dissatisfied with the service he was receiving at another firm of solicitors.  He sustained a severe traumatic brain injury and orthopaedic injuries after he was involved in a road traffic collision whilst driving his motorcycle through London in 2005. The defendant driver involved in the collision was uninsured and so the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) was put in place as the defendant. Initially the MIB denied liability alleging that our client was driving at excessive speed and had caused the accident.

The specialist brain injury solicitors at Hugh James in Cardiff were able to investigate liability by visiting the accident site, taking photographs, preparing witness statements and thereafter obtaining an expert accident reconstruction report.

The MIB made an offer in an attempt to settle liability, however, our experienced brain injury solicitors and barrister advised our client to reject the offer.  After months of negotiations, liability was eventually agreed on a 60/40 split in our client’s favour. The traumatic brain injury sustained by our client meant that he lacked the mental capacity to make an informed decision, as well as instruct a brain injury solicitor. This meant that the settlement had to be approved by a judge at the High Court.

Following approval of the liability spilt an interim payment of £50,000 was agreed, which enabled the Hugh James Brain Injury Team to put case management and a comprehensive care package in place.  It also funded much needed psychological therapy and occupational therapy and helped ease the financial stress being experienced by our client and his wife as a result of loss of earnings following the collision.

As part of the personal injury compensation process our highly trained brain injury solicitors obtained appropriate evidence (both lay and expert) to assess the nature and extent of our client’s injuries. Reports were obtained from a number of experts including: a neuropsychologist; neuropsychiatrist; neurologist; orthopaedic surgeon; ear, nose and throat surgeon; ophthalmologist;  maxillofacial surgeon; and spinal surgeon. Non medical reports were also obtained from experts in the fields of care, forensic accountancy, Court of Protection as well as a report from an independent financial advisor who dealt with the suitability of receiving compensation by way of a lump sum payment and a periodical payment order.

An out of court settlement was reached in this case 10 days prior to trial following lengthy negotiations. Our specialist brain injury solicitors successfully argued that a reverse indemnity, for state funded care received, should not be a condition of the settlement.

Personal injury compensation amounting to  £1 million and a periodical payment order of £23,500 (annually for life) was awarded to our client and paid into the Court of Protection as he lacked capacity to manage his property and financial affairs. His Court of Protection Deputy, Andrew Harding, Partner and Head of the Court of Protection Team at Hugh James solicitors now manages this clients financial affairs.

The specialist brain injury solicitor who ran this case is Cari Sowden-Taylor, an Associate within the Brain Injury Team at Hugh James solicitors. At the end of the claim our client’s wife and litigation friend commented “Cari, no words can express how much we have appreciated all your help and hard work over the last few years. We are truly grateful. Thank you so much”.

Case study A


 

Our client suffered serious brain and orthopaedic injuries in a road traffic accident  in 2006 when he was hit by a car whilst crossing a road in West Wales.  He developed epilepsy, hearing problems and loss of taste and smell.

Our client made a remarkable recovery but was left with significant ongoing problems. Despite this he was able to return to his pre accident work due to the fact that his employer was very understanding of his ongoing problems.

Reluctantly, the defendants agreed to pay for the recommendations made under an immediate needs assessment under the Rehabilitation Code. This greatly assisted our client and facilitated his return to work and as normal a life as possible despite his serious injuries.

Our client could not remember the accident at all and there were difficult issues in relation to liability – not least that our client was intoxicated at the time of the accident and there were no independent witnesses. The defendants fought the case strongly and denied liability up until a month before the expiry of the limitation period when the case finally settled.

Case study B


 

Our client was cycling along a village road in 2010 when the defendant opened her car door, without warning, into the path of our client’s bicycle. Our client, who was not wearing a helmet, collided with the door of the vehicle and fell from her bicycle which resulted in her sustaining a severe brain injury, skull fractures, swelling of her brain and bleed to her right temporal lobe, as well as soft tissue injuries.  Our client was taken to hospital by air ambulance and, despite the serious nature of her injuries, she was discharged 4 days later in to the care of her family.

For a significant amount of time, our client suffered severe headaches, pain, dizzy spells,  noise  intolerance,  light  intolerance,  loss of taste, loss of smell, fatigue, poor short term memory, loss of concentration, lack  of motivation, loss of coordination and dexterity, word finding difficulties and slurred speech.

The defendant admitted primary liability but argued that our client was contributory negligent for not wearing a helmet and would not have sustained her injuries if she’d been wearing a helmet.

Reluctantly the defendant’s insurer agreed for an immediate needs assessment to be carried out under the Rehabilitation Code. Various recommendations were made, but the defendant refused to provide funding and so an interim payment was sought and obtained which meant that much needed private occupational therapy and neuropsychological input could be provided.

Approximately 3 years post-accident, our client described odd sensations that she was experiencing and so she was referred to a consultant neurologist who concluded that she was suffering temporal lobe seizures. Medication was obtained to help regulate the sensations.

Four months prior to trial, we managed to settle our client’s claim by way of lump sum payment following a joint settlement meeting and achieved a significant six figured sum to reflect the amount of pain, suffering and loss of amenity, treatment received and care costs.

Case study C

 

Testimonials

Andrew Harding is a key partner in the neurolaw department, with formidable experience in complex and high-value head and spinal injury claims.

He is described as “extremely fair – he considers all angles before making a decision.” Sources add that “he stands out because of his skill as a litigator and his in-depth knowledge and experience of claims of the utmost severity.”
Chambers UK 2014

Andrew Harding is considered “very efficient and professionally competent” by his clients.
Chambers UK 2013

Catastrophic/neurological injury matters are led by ‘absolute expert’ Andrew Harding, who is also an ‘excellent’ Deputy
The Legal 500 2013

Associate Cari Sowden-Taylor is ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘client focused’.
The Legal 500 2013

Consultant Sian Warren is a ‘first-class PI lawyer’.
The Legal 500 2013

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