Brain and head injury solicitors

According to Headway, the brain injury charity, every 90 seconds someone is admitted to a UK hospital with a brain injury, and at least 1 million people in the UK are currently living with the effects of a long term brain injury. 

If you or a loved one is one of these, we understand you will be adjusting to a very new life, physically, emotionally and financially.  Our specialist Head and Brain Injury lawyer, Dan Thompson, has many years experience helping people in your situation find the support they need to rebuild their lives.  We can help claim compensation to ease your financial burdens for medical care, home bills or future care needs, as well as put you in touch with rehabilitation specialists, support organisations and charities.

All head and brain injuries are different depending on how the injury was sustained, the symptoms, the impact it has had on your life; here we answer some of the most frequent questions we are asked to help you take that first step towards recovery.

What is the difference between a traumatic brain injury and an acquired brain injury?

Any head or brain injury will be devastating, but understanding the type of injury is an important step.  A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one that is caused by an external impact to the skull, commonly caused by road traffic collisions, trips, slips or a fall, workplace or sporting accidents.

This compares to an acquired brain injury (ABI) which is caused by an illness or other internal complication which creates pressure on the brain, leading to brain tissue damage or a bleed on the brain.  The most common causes of an acquired brain injury include strokes, infections or when someone is deprived of oxygen. The latter can often cause an acquired brain injury at birth.

What are the symptoms of a brain injury?

Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can often manifest themselves in different physical and psychological ways, sometimes not appearing for several days after the accident has occurred.  As soon as you or a loved one has an accident where your head has been injured, it is crucial that medical attention is sought immediately.  Some people can feel reluctant to seek attention if there is no visible indication of an injury such as a cut or bruise for example, however head injuries can lead to long term damage and the absence of a visible injury does not exclude a hidden problem.  There are symptoms to be vigilant of, and early identification is the key to the effectiveness of any treatment.

A mild brain injury can usually be identified if you are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness, disorientation or memory loss
  • Drowsiness and trouble with sleeping, whether that be sleeping more than normal, less than normal or general fatigue
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Reoccurring or ongoing headaches
  • Loss of concentration and confusion
  • Trouble with senses, such as vision, hearing or taste
  • Uncharacteristic mood swings

If you suffer a more serious brain injury, you are likely to experience many of the same symptoms as above, but these will be accompanied by a longer period of unconsciousness, as well as a swifter onset and more aggressive version of those symptoms.  In addition, you may also experience convulsions or seizures, blood or clear fluid leaking from their nose or ear, weakness or numbness in their limbs, a complete loss of co-ordination, confusion, slurred speech and more hostile behaviour.

It is important that after an injury, you are accompanied for the first 48 hours to monitor any change or progression of symptoms.  As soon as any of these symptoms are displayed, medical attention must be sought, even if you have previously been to a doctor or hospital.

What are the long term implications following a brain injury?

The long term implications will depend on the type and severity of the injury.  You may be able to continue with your life as normal following their recovery, however in unfortunate situations, a brain injury will mean a completely new life for you and your loved ones as you experience long term physical and emotional changes.

In terms of emotional or behavioural needs, we have seen cases where a person’s personality has been completely altered.  People can become more easily aggravated, or anxious and depressed in their daily lives.  They could experience memory loss, confusion and a lack of concentration.  Physically, the person may be unable to care for themselves if their injury has reduced their ability to walk, talk or move and so will require care at least during their recovery if not for the rest of their lives. 

Rehabilitation is a vital part of the recovery process, not just physically but also emotionally. By making a claim for compensation, we can provide you with the necessary support and contacts to make the change in your life as pain-free as possible. We can put you in touch with rehabilitation specialists, support organisations and charities. As part of a larger law firm, we can also introduce you to our colleagues in our Private Client or Financial Services departments to lend their expertise in making decisions for the future.

All of these changes will need to be accommodated for, and your friends or family members will need to make decisions regarding the future of their finances, care, appropriate housing or changes to the current property, and future employment status. Even with a short term symptoms, during recovery you may not have been able to work for a period of time, leading the unpaid medical or household bills.

What is the process of a claim for a brain injury?

Following the devastation of a brain injury, you will be left with either short or long term consequences, and either you or your family will face making life changing alterations to your home, work and care needs.  In order to adequately provide for these, if the injury was caused by someone other than yourself, a claim for compensation could be made to cover the cost of essentials such as medical treatment and ongoing care, rehabilitation services, counselling, disability aids, accommodation or alterations to the existing home.

If you decide to make a claim for compensation, you can rest assured you will be supported every step of the way with our experienced, understanding and sensitive team.

Initially, we will meet with you and your family to discuss your injury, the impact it has had on yours and your loved ones life and the future prognosis for your condition and symptoms.  Following this, we will then request copies of your medical records from your GP and hospital.  Using those we will write to the party responsible for your injury, informing them of your intention to make a claim with a summary of the evidence.  At this time, we will also investigate the different options open to you in terms of your rehabilitation.

The party has three months to confirm or deny liability.  If they confirm liability, we will begin to collect evidence in two areas:

  • Medical Report (injuries confirmed, any ongoing symptoms and any further treatment)
  • Financial Losses (such as loss of earnings and out of pocket expenses – remember to keep any receipts)

It is at this stage where we will apply for an interim payment for you.  This is to allow you part of your compensation settlement before the final figure has been reached.  These are only available when liability has been admitted, so even though there will be compensation on its way, the process can take several months if not years and so this interim payment can assist you in paying for any medical treatments or care arrangements you need to make, or if you have suffered loss of earnings.

Once these documents are concluded and we have built a case, we will recommend a settlement figure to the other side.  They then have three weeks to either agree or refuse this offer.  If they agree, then you will receive your compensation and your claim will conclude.  If they refuse, we will then negotiate on your behalf, consulting you at every step.

If the other side deny liability, or a settlement figure can not be agreed, it is likely your claim will continue to trial.  We will work with our recommended team of barristers on your behalf, who have years of experience in representing those with brain injuries, to ensure the very best result for you and your family.

Can we help with rehabilitation following a brain injury?

An injury to our brain is one of the most serious we can sustain in our lifetime.  Depending on the severity of the injury, the brain can recover over time by re-learning certain functions, and this is why rehabilitation is a vital part of the recovery process following a brain injury.

We have a variety of medical professionals that we can refer you to during your compensation claim with us.  We can work to identify your needs in terms of physiotherapy, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, any domestic or accommodation needs you may have and use this information to ensure you receive the appropriate level of compensation.  Using our expertise in this way means you can access rehabilitation as soon as your compensation claim starts, not at the end. Under the Rehabilitation Code we have a responsibility to assist you with making these arrangements, so you can rest assured that by coming to us you will have all the support you need.

We have helped a number of different people in a similar situation to you or your loved one:

  • Motorist received £120,000 after suffering closed head injury following low speed road traffic accident resulting in short term memory loss
  • A child, who was injured in a road accident 6 years ago, has recently received substantial compensation for the head injuries, cognitive impairment and disruption to his academic studies.

To speak to Dan Thompson or one of the team today about how we can support you or a loved one following a brain injury, contact us on 0800 91 92 30, or email injuryteamenquiry@warnergoodman.co.uk.

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