Head & Brain Injury

The brain, more than any other part of us, defines our individuality. A head/brain injury typically affects your behaviour and personality, cognitive processes and abilities, and physical condition.

By definition, a brain injury is caused at least initially by outside force. However, it also includes the complications which can occur as a result, such as damage caused by lack of oxygen, and rising pressure and swelling in the brain.

Head/brain injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in all age groups. Currently, there is no effective treatment to reverse the effects of the primary brain injury sustained, and treatment is aimed at minimizing the secondary brain injury.

  • At the least estimate, 1 million people in the UK living with long-term effects of brain injury.
  • Â 558 UK residents per 100,000 sustain a brain injury.
  • Every 90 seconds someone is admitted to hospital in the UK with acquired brain injury.
  • In 2011-12 there were 353,059 admissions to hospital with acquired brain injury in the UK.
  • In 2011-12 there were 213,752 admissions to hospital for head injury in the UK, of which 169,673 were for non-superficial head injury.
  • There has been an increase in UK head injury admissions in the last decade by 33.5%.
  • Annually, there are around 10,000-20,000 traumatic brain injuries in the UK.

Common causes of head/brain injury include:

  • Falls.
  • Vehicle-related collisions.
  • Violence.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Explosive blasts and other combat injuries.

The effects of a head/brain injury may differ depending on the type, location, and the severity of the injury. They may generally be defined as cognitive effects, communication problems and emotional and behavioural effects. In simple terms, symptoms of a head/brain injury may include:

  • Mild traumatic brain injury:
    • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes;
    • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented;
    • Memory or concentration problems;
    • Headache;
    • Dizziness or loss of balance;
    • Nausea or vomiting;
    • Sensory problems;
    • Sensitivity to light or sound;
    • Mood changes or mood swings;
    • Feeling depressed or anxious;
    • Fatigue or drowsiness;
    • Difficulty sleeping;
    • Sleeping more than usual.
  • Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury:
    • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours;
    • Profound confusion;
    • Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behaviour;
    • Slurred speech;
    • Inability to awaken from sleep;
    • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes;
    • Loss of coordination;
    • Persistent headache or headache that worsens;
    • Repeated vomiting or nausea;
    • Convulsions or seizures;
    • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes;

Children’s inability to communicate many of the listed symptoms require the careful observation of their eating habits and nursing habits, mood, attention span, patience, sleep habits, and interests.

REHABILITATION

The purpose of head/brain injury rehabilitation is to reduce handicap by optimizing your functioning through either the enhancement of your skill set or the modification of the environment in which you must function. In more simple terms, rehabilitation aims to aid the brain in learning alternative ways of working in order to diminish the long-term impact of the injury. Furthermore, rehabilitation helps you and your family to manage successfully any remaining disabilities.

Recovery after a head/brain injury is a lengthy process and usually takes months or years. Furthermore, psychological recovery may take considerably longer than physical recovery.

Head/brain injury rehabilitation includes three aspects:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation: an intensive specialist rehabilitation which usually takes place in a neurological rehabilitation centre if you are not yet ready to return home after you have been discharged from the hospital.
  • Outpatient rehabilitation: if you return home you can receive outpatient rehabilitation at your local hospital or rehabilitation centre.
  • Community rehabilitation: you may be accommodated at a residential transitional living unit where you will be given the opportunity to develop your independent living skills. Alternatively, you may return home and use the help of a community rehabilitation team or outreach team in pursuance of the same goal.

Typically, an effective rehabilitation programme will include a team of specialists who will take care of the different aspects of your injury and needs. Such a team may involve:

  • Nurses;
  • Doctors;
  • Physiotherapists;
  • Occupational therapists;
  • Clinical neuropsychologist;
  • Social worker;
  • Speech and language therapist.

CONTINUING CARE

If you no longer require intensive rehabilitation but you are unable to return home, you may require residential care. This may be long-term or intermediate care, depending on your condition. NHS funding may be available to cover care home fees, completely or partially.

Alternatively, if you have already returned home you and your family may be entitled to some available home care services, such as:

  • Help with bathing and washing;
  • Help with getting up and going to bed;
  • Help with shopping;
  • Help with managing finances;
  • Help with cleaning, cooking and tidying the house;
  • Adaptations to the home;
  • Provision of meals by home delivery or at a day centre or lunch club;
  • Provision of recreational, educational and occupational activities;
  • Help with transport and costs of transport;
  • Respite care: a break from caring by short term care home accommodation or a temporary paid carer.

We will be able to advise you on your options and support you in making an informed decision.

HOW DOES A HEAD AND BRAIN IJURY AFFECT YOU?

Head and brain injuries are serious injuries which may be very severe and typically affect your whole way of living: work, family life, education, social life, day to day living. Moreover, a serious head injury may lead to lasting and even permanent physical problems. Expert advice and support is crucial in going through the trauma of suffering such an injury and in ensuring that you can move on having a full life.

EXPERT LEGAL REPRESENTATION:

Head and brain injury cases are usually extremely complex. Thus, they require a particular expertise and experience from the solicitors who undertake such claims. Compensation Solicitors Online is a well-established specialist in the area of head and brain injury claims and our professionals are fully equipped to lead you all the way to the compensation which you deserve in this difficult time of your life. Furthermore, we understand that you need more than just money: we will advise you and support you all the way through your claim, and we will help you by providing access to a range of support services you may need, including rehabilitation.

YOUR CLAIM:

We can simplify the complexity of making a head and brain injury claim and summarise it in three steps:

ESTABLISHING LIABILITY (WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCIDENT):
The first step is to show who was at fault for the accident to take place and to what degree. This is not necessarily straightforward and sometimes contributory negligence may be found (the victim has contributed to some extent to the harm that s/he has suffered). However, this concept only plays a role in calculating the compensation value and does not affect the establishing of liability.

SHOWING CAUSATION (SHOWING THAT THE ACCIDENT CAUSED THE HEAD AND BRAIN INJURY):
Once a degree of liability has been established, it must be demonstrated that the resulting head and brain injury has been caused by the accident, and not by a previous medical condition or another accident, for example.

CALCULATIONG THE QUANTUM (ESTABLISHING THE APPRORIATE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION):
The compensation in such cases will have the purpose of attempting to put the claimant in the position s/he has been in before the accident. It is our specialist solicitors’ job to liaise with medical and other experts in order to prepare a Schedule of Loss, setting out the solutions and costs to all problems which the claimant has or may have in the future, as a result of the accident.

Our expert solicitors have experience in achieving the best results in all the three steps of the process, thus ensuring that you get the best compensation which you deserve.

REHABILITATION

It is our priority to ensure that you get the right medical/rehabilitative treatment, as well as expert advice on nursing care and disability aids (e.g. wheel chair ramps, bathroom/car adaptations) as quickly as possible. This can make a real difference in your life.

TIMING

Generally, personal injury claims have a three year time limit i.e. court proceedings have to be issued at least one day before the third anniversary of the accident , otherwise they will be time barred and you will no longer be able to pursue your claim. (There are a few exceptions to this rule and the court does have some very limited discretion to extend the various time limits). You can still pursue a claim for personal injury after the third anniversary of the accident, you just have to make sure court proceedings have been issued before that third anniversary in order to do so. We will be happy to discuss this further with you.

If you are a minor at the time of the accident, i.e. under 18 then the 3 year limitation date period starts to run after you have turned 18. Furthermore, there also a complicated set of rules that allows the 3 years limitation date period to run from the date of knowledge of the incident/accident. These rules normally apply to clinical/medical negligence cases or industrial disease claims, where they may be a long latency period between the incident giving rise to your claim and you first suffering any symptoms and becoming aware of it. The rules on this are technical and we will, once again, be happy to discuss this in detail with you.

FUNDING

There are a variety of funding options open to you. We will discuss these options with you in more detail and where appropriate represent you on a no win no fee basis (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement).

TIME

A head and brain injury claim can take years rather than months to finalise. The specialist solicitors from Compensation Solicitors Online always aim to establish a balance between the need to allow time for medical experts to examine and evaluate the full extent of the injury, and the client’s interest of concluding the claim and moving on with their life.

COMPENSATION

There are two parts to any compensation claim, consisting of two types of damages:

GENERAL DAMAGES
General damages are calculated as a part of the compensation based on the type of injury and are designed to compensate for pain and suffering and the impact on the claimant’s enjoyment of life.

SPECIAL DAMAGES
Special damages are the more variable part of the compensation and depend on individual circumstances. The claimant may be able to recover:

  • Expenses relating to the cost of living with any disability;
  • Expenses to cover services provided by other people;
  • Increased accommodation costs;
  • Loss of earnings;
  • Medical expenses;
  • The cost of buying in care.

Establishing the level of special damages to be paid is a crucial part of a compensation claim. Compensation Solicitors Online have experience in compensation claims in cases of serious injury.

MAKE A CLAIM

If you would like to speak directly to one of our team you can either call us on 0208 203 5031 or send us your enquiry and we will give you a call back to discuss your claim within 1 business day.

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