If your brain injury occurred because of the actions of another person or a third party and you can show that they are in some way responsible, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Whether your injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault or as a result of an assault, it’s worth investigating.
Why make a brain injury claim?
Brain injury can impact many areas of your life, for example your employment or education, independence and mobility, family and home life. You are likely to need rehabilitation. You may also need a care package or adaptations to your home, aids and equipment to assist with mobility and psychological support.
Accessing early specialist legal advice on a wide range of legal, financial and practical matters can ensure continuous rehabilitation, treatment and care following discharge from hospital and throughout your brain injury claim and help to improve your outcome by maximising recovery and independence.
A solicitor with the right brain injury experience will be able to build a case for the level of compensation you need to support you in the years ahead and your long term future security, rather than just agreeing a short-term settlement that will not be sufficient for your ongoing needs.
When can I make a claim for brain injury?
You should bring your claim as soon as possible following your accident. This will enable your solicitor to gather all the evidence about your accident and the injuries and losses you have suffered. Generally, brain injury claims should be brought within three years of the accident date, known as the limitation period, but there are exceptions to this rule including injuries sustained during an assault and accidents abroad. If you were younger than 18 when you sustained the injury (16 in Scotland), you have until your 21st birthday to lodge a claim (19th birthday in Scotland) regardless of your age at the time of the injury. If a person lacks mental capacity i.e. cannot make decisions for themselves, there is no limit for bringing a claim, unless capacity is regained, at which point the 3 year limitation period commences.
If your brain injury occurred more than three years ago and you feel it has had a negative impact on your life, it’s probably worth talking to one of our solicitors to see if you could still make a claim.
You can find more information on time limits for bringing a brain injury claim in our article
The brain injury claims process
Your solicitor will keep things as simple as possible for you and keep you informed along the way as they gather the detailed evidence needed to demonstrate how a brain injury has affected you and your family.
It can be a lengthy process, especially as it often takes time for the full effects of brain injury to become evident and understood. You might be required to undergo a range of assessments with different experts that appreciate the injury sustained and establish the full extent of the impact on your life.
Every case will proceed differently, but in the initial stages they tend to follow a similar pattern. Here’s what you can expect once you’re connected to one of our expert members:
- The solicitor will have an initial chat over the phone and arrange a convenient time to meet – whether at your home, in hospital or at their office. This initial consultation is completely free of charge.
- If your injuries prevent you from having this call you can ask a member of your family or friend to speak to a solicitor on your behalf.
- If the solicitor agrees there is likely to be a claim, they will discuss possible funding options for your case. Brain injury claims tend to be funded through a Conditional Fee Agreement – commonly known as ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements or CFAs. However, there are other funding options available which your solicitor will discuss with you. Legal Aid is not available for brain injury claims, other than certain clinical negligence claims.
- Your solicitor will explain how they will build a case and the evidence that will need to be collected. They will try to establish liability by collecting witness statements and police reports. They will also have to gather evidence to show the effects of the brain injury on your life, both now and in the long term, to determine what level of financial compensation might be required. This could include reports from medical and neurological specialists, case managers, employment and educational specialists amongst others. For more information on medical reports see www.braininjurygroup.co.uk/news/brain-injury-claim-medical-examination/
- Brain injury cases can take a long time to conclude, but our member solicitors might be able to help to secure interim payments to provide financial support for your immediate needs as well as funding for rehabilitation.
- Besides expert legal advice, our solicitors work with a range of other specialists who can provide you with additional support. This includes guidance on welfare benefits, financial advice and an immediate needs assessment, bringing practical help when you need it most. This is part of a free package of support you receive when you pursue a claim through Brain Injury Group.
For more detailed information on the claims process see www.braininjurygroup.co.uk/news/advice-on-bringing-brain-injury-claim/
Compensation Award – compensation for a brain injury
Compensation, commonly referred to as damages, falls into two categories:
- General damages – these compensate for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that you have suffered; and
- Special damages – these include past and future financial losses as a result of your accident: such as travel expenses to medical appointments, prescription charges, private medical treatment, loss of earnings and loss of pension, cost of housing adaptations, future care requirements, aids, equipment and mobility aids.
The purpose of bringing a compensation claim is to help you rebuild your life and to put you back into the financial position you would have been in, but for the accident.
Road Traffic Accidents – Uninsured or Untraced Drivers
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident that was not your fault and the driver of the other vehicle was either uninsured or left the scene of the accident and cannot be traced, it is possible to bring a claim under the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (“MIB”) Untraced Drivers’ Agreement or Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement. Our solicitors are experienced in bringing claims under both MIB schemes and will be able to advise you accordingly.
Choosing a Brain Injury Solicitor
Brain injuries are complex by nature and the outcome in respect of recovery can be very difficult to predict. That’s why it is crucial to choose a solicitor who understands the complexities and nuances of brain injury to ensure that your claim is not undervalued and that you achieve fair compensation to meet your future needs.
Brain injury claims can take a long time to conclude; you need to be satisfied that your solicitor has the expertise in brain injury to be able to act in your best interests throughout a demanding case, and to be happy to work with them over several years.
You can be confident that all our member firms have the legal experience you need, but you should still ask plenty of questions and talk to more than one solicitor to make sure the ‘fit’ is right and you are comfortable to confide in them.