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Every year around 1 million people attend hospital suffering from some form of head injury. A significant number of people will suffer on-going symptoms after head injury, ranging from mild, short term difficulty with memory, through to severe lifelong cognitive disability. Head, or more appropriately, brain injuries are put into different categories. These categories are determined by the amount of time that has passed, when the extent of recovery or ongoing symptoms can be identified.
Understanding brain injury and its consequences is key to working with those that have suffered from one. Our team of catastrophic injury solicitors specialise in dealing with the issues that arise from brain injury, such as bringing claims for brain injury compensation and advising on issues relating to capacity, financial affairs and care.
Although initial medical care for a brain injury is free to UK residents, ongoing specialist brain injury rehabilitation, which is vital in achieving the best possible outcome following discharge from hospital, is often not available without cost.
In certain cases we will be able to arrange an assessment of immediate rehabilitation needs so that on discharge from hospital, a programme can be implemented, which might include ongoing specialist physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. Depending on the circumstances this treatment may be provided within the setting of a residential rehabilitation unit or at your home.
We may arrange to appoint a case manager to coordinate ongoing rehabilitation and to ensure that it is adapted to meet your continuing needs. We would expect to have this paid for by an insurance company even if liability for the accident has yet to be resolved.
Brain injuries are always complex and the recovery uncertain. In order to provide evidence of the injury for the purpose of legal action, it is necessary to instruct independent consultants to examine the injured person and provide written reports providing details of the injury, treatment and the likely outcome or prognosis.
Generally the first report will be from an expert in neurological rehabilitation. Thereafter medical experts in the field of neurology, neuropsychology and orthopaedic surgery will often be called upon. Other experts may be instructed, for example, to deal with loss of eyesight or hearing. At times it may be necessary for the medical experts to prepare more than one report on a case.
The aim of the reports is to provide the Court with evidence of the brain injury and its consequences on the injured party. The reports will also be used to help determine the losses and expenses the injured individual has incurred or will have in the future.
As a result of the long periods of rehabilitation and recovery from a brain injury it is often difficult to calculate the amount of compensation to be claimed for until after the accident.
Where, for example, the injured person cannot work there may be an immediate loss of income. Often this occurs at the time of extra outgoings to cover travel, medical expenses, child care, etc.
Where possible we will obtain an interim payment, which is an advance of compensation to meet this need. Often several such advanced payments can be secured as the case progresses.
When the medical evidence is finalised it is generally possible to identify the losses and expenses to include in the claim. These will often include such things as:
This is not an exhaustive list and there can be many additional claims arising, depending on the circumstances.