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Brain injury compensation claims

Traumatic brain injuries are often complex and compensation is needed to provide a lifetime of support. This means that the process of claiming compensation can last a number of years. It is therefore important that you find a solicitor with the correct experience and expertise to successfully manage your brain injury compensation claim.

At Hugh James, our Neurolaw department was established over 30 years ago. Our brain injury solicitors have specialist experience in managing such claims and are often contacted by clients who have found their original solicitors to be unsatisfactory. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you seek justice for what happened to you.

 

What is a brain injury?

A brain injury is generally defined as damage to the brain. The injury is classed as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) if the damage results from an external force applied to the head. Damage is then categorised as minor, moderate or severe depending on various parameters.

While general definitions are useful, it is important to note that each injury is different and the effects on the individual can differ greatly, requiring varying levels of care, treatment and rehabilitation.

 

What’s the brain injury claims process?

Your claim will begin with the appointment of a specialist brain injury solicitor who can help you throughout the compensation claims process. Firstly, you and your solicitor will need to demonstrate liability – in other words, prove that your injury was caused, at least partly, by another person.

During the process of making a compensation claim, your lawyer will seek to obtain evidence on the severity of your traumatic brain injury and investigate your probable care and medical needs going forward, known as quantum.

With the help of our team of solicitors, you will make a claim against the individual who caused the brain injury, also known as the defendant. The defendant can be an individual or a company and, generally, the defendant’s insurer will deal with the claim on their behalf. In cases of a violent criminal act, you can seek compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you conclude your claim successfully, the defendant will pay the agreed compensation. This could include:

  • Compensation for the brain injury or head injury sustained
  • Loss of earnings
  • Funds to provide care, support and case management
  • The cost of any treatment that is needed.
  • Court of Protection costs, if a deputy is required
  • A periodical payment order (PPO), which is an annual, index-linked payment for life to cover future, year-on-year expenses such as care and case management

 

How much can I get for a brain injury compensation claim?

Compensation for your head injury claim will account for any pain, suffering and loss of amenity you have experienced and will face later as a result of your injury. Since injuries can range from relatively minor to life-changing, it’s only natural that the specifics of your compensation will depend on your unique case.

It will be made up of two parts called general and special damages – both of which we will explain further in the following sections.

General damages

General damages are to compensate you for the injury itself – this covers the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you have gone through and that you continue to go through. They also take into account what you would have been able to do had it not been for the injury. A special office of the Ministry of Justice called the Judicial College publishes detailed general damages guidelines on the range of compensation applicable to each type of injury. In addition, our lawyers review case law and use their expertise to value the general damages you may be able to claim.

In order to accurately inform you of the levels of damages that you may be awarded, we will arrange for medico-legal reports from various leading specialists. The specialists will examine you and have access to your medical records. From there, they will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and prognosis within their report.

Once this evidence is in place, we will be able to tell you how much we think your brain injury claim is going to be worth.

Special damages

Special damages compensate you for any past or future financial losses directly resulting from the incident that caused your injury.

Past losses include:

  • Care costs, such as the cost of private medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • Case management costs
  • Prescription charges or medication
  • Purchase of aids and appliances
  • Loss of earnings
  • Travel expenses
  • Care costs
  • Personal belongings and clothing damaged in the accident
  • Housing adaptions

Future losses can include:

  • Future loss of earnings
  • Loss of pension
  • Care and case management costs
  • Accommodation costs
  • Future private medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • Aids and appliances

This list is not exhaustive and we will thoroughly consider and include all items that you may need to make a claim for in the future.

We suggest that you start to keep a list of things that you have had to pay for since and as a direct result of the accident. We will need documentary evidence to prove financial losses, such as wage slips, receipts, and invoices, which will be crucial in proving your special damages claim. Additionally, it’s wise to keep a log or brief diary of any unforeseen problems that you encounter while recovering from your injury.

 

How am I going to pay for long-term care?

While we aim to maximise your brain injury compensation in the shortest possible time, we can also help with the immediate issues that you may face in the days and weeks following your accident. We can also support you with any future legal requirements that you may have.

In the long run, your care will be funded through the brain injury compensation that you receive as a result of your claim. While we aim to help you secure this in the shortest possible time, there will still be a sizeable period between now and then.

However, we can also help you deal with the immediate issues that you may face in the days and weeks following your accident.

Undoubtedly, rehabilitation is one of the most important aspects of your recovery and will lay the foundation for the next chapter of your life. We will work with you to make sure you receive the best private rehabilitation available right from the beginning of your claim.

At Hugh James we are very experienced in securing this rehabilitation for you, sometimes before the defendant has accepted liability. Below, you’ll find many of the ways that we will assist you over the course of your claim.

Immediate assistance

  • Access to Hugh James Emergency Fund
  • Welfare benefits advice
  • Arranging payment holidays on mortgage, loan and credit card repayments
  • Checking your life and insurance protection policies
  • Local authority assistance
  • Arranging powers of attorney
  • Advice on funding your claim

Short term assistance

  • Arranging private access for rehabilitation
  • Interim payments
  • Housing adaptions or more appropriate housing
  • Care and support
  • Transport and mobility
  • Assistance with employer

Long term assistance

  • Court of protection support
  • Care and case management
  • Periodical payments
  • Independent financial advice about compensation investment
  • Other legal services e.g. conveyancing, wills etc.

Why choose Hugh James for your brain injury claim?

Hugh James has a top-ranking personal injury compensation practice working from offices in London and Cardiff, covering the whole of the UK. Our team of brain injury solicitors has a wealth of experience in providing support and guidance to clients throughout the process of pursuing compensation claims. Here are several reasons why you should choose us to help you seek justice:

Traumatic brain injuries have life-changing implications for an individual and their family. Our team of specialist brain injury solicitors provide expert advice and services to ensure you obtain the highest level of treatment, rehabilitation and compensation possible following a traumatic brain injury.

We represent many of our clients on a no-win, no-fee basis. We will also consider whether you have access to any legal expense insurance policies that you can use to ease the burden of seeking compensation – contact us today for free, no obligation advice.

Key contact

Andrew is a consultant and head of the neurolaw team at Hugh James. He leads a multidisciplinary team representing only claimants and their families following traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, providing help and support with a heavy emphasis on rehabilitation. The team includes a unique specialist Court of Protection unit, providing professional deputy input to those who lack the necessary capacity to manage and administer their own finances.

View team

Quotes

‘Innovative and hardworking', Hugh James is a ‘market leader' which is establishing a strong national presence. It is one of eight firms recognised nationally by SCOPE, and is also instructed by the Community Health Councils in Wales. Stephen Webber and Mari Rosser are ‘real stars', and Andrew Davies and Hannah Williams (Webber) are also recommended. The team draws on support from the firm’s Court of Protection, social worker and speech therapist departments.

The Legal 500

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

Chambers and Partners UK

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We have appointed Hugh James on a range of site acquisitions. They have provided a professional service with one point of contact, they are responsive, deliver on timescale commitments, good communicators and most importantly, they've helped us get deals over the line.

Chambers and Partners UK

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

Chambers and Partners UK

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

The Legal 500

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Can I once again say how appreciative I am of all the hard work you and all your team at Hugh James put in on my behalf. I have no doubt that without your perseverance and attention to detail we would not have achieved anything near the outcome.

Client

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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.

Client

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We couldn’t have had a better solicitor. So knowledgeable and efficient, yet the most kind, caring and understanding friend all rolled into one, at a time when few people could really understand what my injury had done to me.

Client

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The ‘outstanding’ Cari Sowden-Taylor has a ‘lovely manner with clients'.

The Legal 500

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Ciaran McCabe has strong expertise in assisting both children and adults with severe injury claims. He often handles cases arising from RTAs and workplace accidents, especially concerning brain and spinal cord injuries. Sources indicate that “he goes the extra mile to make sure clients are satisfied with the outcome of any settlement, and is very conscientious in terms of the overall result.

Chambers and Partners UK

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I was delighted with the service which you provided me with, I would not hesitate to recommend you to others. You explained the most complex issues in a straightforward manner and negotiated an outstanding settlement for us.

Client

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The 'excellent and responsive' Kate Coles is also recommended.

The Legal 500

Videos

A Court of Protection case study | Jenny Rogers

Affiliations

Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel
The Law Society Clinical Negligence
Child Brain Injury
Headway Cardiff & South East Wales
The Silverlining
The Children's Trust

Your questions answered

What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

 

Traumatic brain injury is defined as an injury caused by trauma to the head.

Common causes include:

  • Being hit in the head
  • Falling from height
  • Being involved in a collision.

An individual who has sustained a traumatic brain injury may show signs of:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulties speaking
  • Vision impairments
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of memory
  • Lack of attention, concentration and motivation
  • Behavioural changes or difficulties
  • Memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Problems with planning and organising
  • Difficulties solving problems
  • Fatigue
  • Anger management issues
  • A lack of motivation.
Category 1 – Closed head injuries
 

A closed head injury is not visible to the naked eye as there is no open wound. These types of injuries commonly happen as a result of rapid acceleration or deceleration, causing the head to move violently forward, backward or from side to side. These types of injuries can damage nerve fibres in the brain causing a traumatic brain injury.

Category 2 – Open or penetrating wounds
 

An open or penetrating wound is visible to the eye and exposes the open skull and brain. An injury such as this can result from being struck directly on the head, and outcomes can vary depending on severity. An open wound tends to be localised to the area of the head that has been stuck, while the injury can also be coupled with the fibre damage caused by acceleration and deceleration forces.

Depending on the severity of the injury, the individual may require rehabilitation and support as well as costly specialist equipment.

What is an acquired brain injury (ABI)?

 

Acquired brain injuries are a type of brain injury that are present since birth. They have many causes, including strokes, brain tumours, haemorrhages, or a lack of oxygen to the brain. By contrast, traumatic brain injuries occur following trauma to the head.

An individual with an acquired brain injury may still be able to claim personal injury compensation as a result of medical negligence. Medical negligence occurs when improper treatment or diagnosis of an illness is identified as causing prolonged illness, injury, or death.

Alongside our dedicated team of brain injury solicitors, we also run one of the largest, top-ranked teams of clinical negligence solicitors in the UK who can help you with compensation claims after an acquired head injury.

Am I eligible to make a brain injury claim?

 

A traumatic brain injury can have life-changing implications – not just for the individual who sustained it but for their family also. Specialist treatment and rehabilitation are essential, yet they can also be expensive and difficult to arrange without experienced professionals providing guidance.

You can get this guidance from an expert brain injury lawyer, who will support you in finding whether someone else was at fault and then in pursuing your claim. It is difficult to make all of the necessary considerations on your own, so the best way to find out if you are eligible to claim is to speak to a specialist brain injury solicitor about your situation.

Why do I need a specialist brain injury solicitor?

 

Brain injuries are often referred to as hidden disabilities. That’s because sufferers often give the impression that everything is fine and those around them find it difficult to deal with the issues that come with a brain injury.

A specialist solicitor, however, is familiar with these. They will be skilled at speaking to you in a understanding and effective way when getting the information needed for you to be able to make a claim.

As experienced brain injury solicitors we are able to choose the witnesses to give evidence that supports your claim. We know exactly how to ensure that the witness statements complement the evidence and best match your evidence.

We also have formulas that help us accurately calculate the value of your claim. We will use these to ensure that there is enough money to cover your needs, including lifelong care, therapy costs, accommodation, aids, and appliances, and more.

Additionally, access to appropriate rehabilitation is vital for your recovery and the earlier you receive this treatment, the better. We can use our vast experience of working with neuro rehabilitation therapists and clinicians in order to help give you the best chance of recovery.

At a time when there are so many challenges, knowing that you have our specialist team of brain injury solicitors in your corner will give you peace of mind.

How will making a brain injury claim help me?

 

Unless you’re able to win compensation from a head injury claim or fund yourself, you will have to rely on the NHS for your rehabilitation needs. Even though the NHS is an incredible institution, it is well known that not all specialist treatments are available to everyone or in every area.

Specialist rehabilitation such as neuropsychological treatment, neuro-physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, music therapy, and specialist occupational therapy can make a significant difference in terms of your recovery. These are examples of treatment that could become available to you as a result of winning compensation from a brain injury claim.

If you instruct Hugh James, you can feel confident that you’ll be represented by solicitors who care about you and will guide you throughout the claims process. Our team of specialist brain injury lawyers will set up a network of professionals who will support you at every step of the way, and endeavour to reduce the everyday stresses that often accompany brain injury.

We will aim to ensure that you are awarded an appropriate amount of compensation for the pain and suffering that you encounter. This compensation will take into account the losses you will experience over the whole course of your life as a result of your head injury. We will also try to secure interim payments to help you out if you were to lose your job or have other financial difficulties as a result of your injury.

Will I have to give evidence in court?

 

If you are capable of instructing legal advisors and you provide a witness statement, there is a chance that you will need to give oral evidence at trial.

If this is the case, your specialist brain injury solicitor will do everything they can to make the experience of testifying as painless as possible. That being said, most cases tend to settle out of court.

For PI & Claims | Neuro | FAQ | Will I have to give evidence in court?

Will I have to give evidence in court?

How will I fund my brain injury claim?

 

There are a number of ways that you may be able to fund your brain injury claim. As each case is different, the best option is to speak to your solicitor about your circumstances, but your options normally fall into one of three categories.

  • Insurance
    The first port of call is to check if you have insurance that covers legal expenses. If you have legal expense insurance, which may be attached to a home insurance policy, we will ask the insurer to pay your legal fees.
  • Conditional Fee Agreement
    If you do not have insurance and your solicitor determines that there is a reasonable chance of bringing a successful claim, you may be offered a conditional fee agreement (CFA).
  • CFAs are sometimes known as “no win, no fee” agreements. In these situations, your solicitor is taking the risk because they will not be paid unless the claim is successful. If you win your case, the legal fees will either be paid by the other side or will be deducted from the money awarded to you by the court.
  • Self-funded
    In the case that your solicitor is not confident that you will be successful in your claim but you want to move forward with it anyway, you always have the option to cover your legal fees yourself. This is a decision that you will need to consider carefully.

However you decide to fund your claim, your specialist brain injury solicitor will be there to help explain everything to you in a clear manner so that you can make the best decision for your circumstances.

For PI & Claims | Neuro | FAQ | How will I fund my brain injury claim?

How will I fund my brain injury claim?

Can I move solicitors if I am not happy?

 

The result of brain injury claim can be life changing. Therefore, it is vital that you have an expert in your corner; someone who has experience and a track record of dealing with these types of claims. If you have lost confidence in your current solicitor or simply want a second opinion on your claim, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We always put your interests first and deliver advice in a friendly and approachable way, taking pride in helping you put your life back on track. We will strive to achieve the best outcome for you at each stage of your claim, both in terms of recovery and rehabilitation, and when it comes to negotiating the compensation settlement of your brain injury claim out of court or at trial.

Contact us today and we will give you a free consultation on your head injury claim. We will review the details, look at how your case has been handled, and review the amount of compensation you are claiming for. If you then decide you would like us to pursue your claim, everything will be done for you and we will contact your current solicitor on your behalf.

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