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A guide to brain injury compensation claims

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A guide to brain injury compensation claims

Brain injuries can range from minor concussions all the way up to severe head injuries impacting the brain’s function. No two brain injuries are the same and the effects of the injury will vary. However, common symptoms include memory loss, severe mood swings, hearing or vision loss, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, irritability, and a variety of other issues which can affect your personality, your relationships and your ability to lead an independent life. Some of these symptoms may fade over time. However, there may be long term effects of the brain injury you have suffered.

Common accidents that can result in brain injury include road traffic accidents, injuries sustained during sports, accidents at work, injuries caused by violent crime against a person or even injuries occurring in amusement parks.

There are two awards that will make up the total compensatory award if your claim is successful: general damages and special damages.

Awards for general damages

The Judicial College Guidelines (16th edition) provide us with very useful guidance as to what you may expect to be awarded for your injuries if your claim is successful. Each case will vary dependent upon its particular circumstances and nuances. However, the court will use the below guidelines in making their decision.

Very severe - The injured person will likely be displaying little if any evidence of meaningful response to environment, little to no language function, double incontinence and/or need for full time nursing care. £282,010 to £403,990

Moderately severe - The injured person will be very seriously disabled and show a substantial dependence on others and the need for constant care. Disabilities may be physical, cognitive or both. £219,070 to £282,010

The Guidelines then continue on to where the brain damage is moderate, less severe and all the way down to minor brain damage where the lowest award is £2,210.

Special damages

Special damages seek to compensate the injured person for the financial losses they have incurred as a result of their injury. A person who suffers a brain injury, especially a serious one, will typically need a lot of care, have a lot of medical appointments and may need specialised equipment or adaptations to their home.

It is a common misconception that where brain injury compensation claims settle for £1million+, which can often be the case, the compensation has been ‘won’ by the claimant or that the settlement award is a ‘windfall’ sum. However, the reality is that the majority of this sum is awarded to fund the lifelong care required by the injured person, the adaptations they require to their home and to account for the fact that they may not now be able to go to work to earn an income.

Brain injuries can be life threatening and the nature and extent of these injuries can necessitate daily care and frequent hospitalisation for the rest of the person’s lifetime. Special damages awards seek to place the person back in the position they were in before the accident occurred. However, where a brain injury is particularly traumatic, it is fair to say that no amount of compensation can truly put the injured person back to where they were before their accident. Despite this, these awards do help enormously to allow the injured person improve their living conditions and their quality of life post-injury.

Eligibility and evidence

You may be eligible to make a personal injury claim for a brain injury where it can be proven that:

  1. The defendant owed you a duty of care in law
  2. This duty was breached
  3. The breach of duty was negligent
  4. And as a result, you suffered a brain injury

How Stephensons can help

No brain injury is insignificant, and we can help whether you have suffered a severe concussion or life-threatening injuries as a result of your accident. Brain injury compensation claims can be complex and lengthy. However, it is vital to carry out thorough investigations to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is awarded. If you have suffered head trauma as a result of an accident, you may be eligible for compensation to help ensure that you get the treatment and ongoing support that you need to maintain your quality of life. Please contact us on 0161 696 6235 for more information.

By Lucy Moran, personal injury team