Head Injury Claims

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It is estimated that more than one million people in the UK attend hospital each year as a result of a head or brain injury. This works out at a rate of one hospital admission every 90 seconds. Many more brain injuries occur but are not reported.

Expert guidance for head injury claimants

It is estimated that more than one million people in the UK attend hospital each year as a result of a head or brain 

It is estimated that more than one million people in the UK attend hospital each year as a result of a head or brain injury. This works out at a rate of one hospital admission every 90 seconds. Many more brain injuries occur but are not reported.

Head injuries include:

Brain injuries include:

There is no doubt that suffering a brain injury can be life-changing, often resulting in tasks that most of us take for granted becoming difficult or impossible. Indeed, with the most catastrophic of brain injuries, the injured party may lose the ability to communicate and/or carry out basic tasks independently.

For expert legal advice, support and representation, Talk to Thompsons.

A range of symptoms and outcomes

Head and brain injuries range in severity from minor bruising and concussion to more serious skull fractures and brain tissue damage causing significant cognitive impairment. Even injuries that seem minor or insignificant can cause serious symptoms such as headaches, distorted vision, personality changes, balance problems or dizziness. Furthermore, some injuries of this nature may be asymptomatic in the short-term but quickly become more serious as the effects of bleeding and swelling become manifest.

More serious brain injuries can cause long-term disability and result in a person becoming heavily dependent on family, loved ones and carers. This means that the ramifications of the injury are felt not only by the sufferer but also by close family, extended family and the wider community – they can come at a profound social, as well as financial, cost.

Breakdown of traumatic head injuries

The effects of a head injury will depend on the force of impact

MILDThe majority of head injuries suffered in the UK are mild. They may result in brief loss of consciousness, but people are able to make a speedy recovery without experiencing any lasting side effects. They are typically caused by a small impact, such as walking into a low door frame.
MODERATEA moderate head injury can lead to loss of consciousness from 15 minutes to six hours. The symptoms – headaches, dizziness, difficulties with attention and memory, and possible differences in behaviour – will take much longer to diminish than in a mild head injury.
SEVEREAccording to Headway, a severe brain injury is defined as an injury that has resulted in the patient's loss of consciousness for six hours or more, or if they suffer from post-traumatic amnesia (a state where the person is disorientated) for more than a day. The injury is likely to require the sufferer to be hospitalised and will often require a lengthy rehabilitation process.


The majority of head injuries suffered in the UK are mild. They may result in brief loss of consciousness, but people are able to make a speedy recovery without experiencing any lasting side effects. They are typically caused by a small impact, such as walking into a low door frame.


A moderate head injury can lead to loss of consciousness from 15 minutes to six hours. The symptoms – headaches, dizziness, difficulties with attention and memory, and possible differences in behaviour – will take much longer to diminish than in a mild head injury.


According to Headway, a severe brain injury is defined as an injury that has resulted in the patient's loss of consciousness for six hours or more, or if they suffer from post-traumatic amnesia (a state where the person is disorientated) for more than a day. The injury is likely to require the sufferer to be hospitalised and will often require a lengthy rehabilitation process.

Stages of Brain Injury

Brain injuries unfold in several stages following trauma, such as accidents or falls. These stages encompass immediate injury, secondary damage, and subsequent complications:

  • Initial Trauma: The immediate impact causing damage, like skull and brain injury from a fall or blunt force.
  • Secondary Injury: Damage that occurs hours post-trauma, often linked to oxygen deprivation, like airway blockage by vomit.
  • Third Phase: Involves bleeding, swelling, or clots, possibly weeks after the initial injury, necessitating close patient monitoring to prevent severe complications.

Swift medical response and constant monitoring are crucial to minimise risk and intervene early. This involves ensuring adequate oxygen supply, hydration, and regular checks for blood clot development.

Brain injuries can be categorised into closed, open/penetrating, and crush injuries:

  • Closed Head Injuries: Common in accidents causing the brain to twist, stretch, or tear without visible wounds, leading to diffuse brain injuries or bleeding.
  • Open/Penetrating Head Injuries: Involve skull opening, exposing the brain to injury, often combined with closed head injury forces.
  • Crush Injuries: Arise when the head gets trapped, causing compression, bleeding, wounds, and irreversible brain tissue damage.

Brain injury consequences vary widely, from impairments in staying awake to specific functional issues. Damage to particular brain areas, such as the left side causing speech problems, highlights the brain's functional specialisation. Brain injuries can lead to visible symptoms and subtle disabilities like personality changes, cognitive issues, and mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Seeking immediate support and understanding the long-term consequences is essential in managing brain injuries.

Helping you and your family to cope

Head injuries in the UK are very common. Each year around 1 million people attend Accident and Emergency with some form of head injury. More than 10% of these require hospitalisation while a small but significant proportion of these involve traumatic brain injuries which have long-term implications, including loss of mental capacity.

If a brain injury has changed the life of someone close to you and you would like to consider the possibility of claiming compensation for expenses, lost earnings, care costs, rehabilitation, home adaptations and more, Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland can help you clarify both yours and the injured party's legal rights. Talk to Thompsons today.

Who can claim?

Any person who has suffered an injury as a result of another party's negligence may be entitled to compensation - even if the incident was partly their own fault, although this might reduce the amount awarded.

If the injured person does not have full mental capacity or is not physically able to make a claim, then another person can make a claim on their behalf – as a family member you can act as a legal guardian for the claimant. If the injured party is under the age of 16, you can act on their behalf as a legal guardian.

However, if you were responsible for causing the accident, perhaps you were driving the vehicle at the time of a road traffic accident which caused your family member to suffer a brain injury, then you will not be able to make a claim on their behalf and another person will need to act for the brain-injured person.

It is important to remember that even if you are claiming brain injury compensation on behalf of someone else, the compensation will be awarded to the injured party. If the claimant lacks mental capacity then it is likely that a personal injury trust will be required to ensure the funds are managed appropriately and the claimant will be able to receive the sums required to maintain their care into the future.

Brain Injury Claims in Scotland

If you've suffered a head injury due to someone else's negligence, whether in the workplace, on the road, or elsewhere, it's crucial to explore your entitlement to compensation for the suffering and impact caused by the injury.

Head and brain injuries present real and immediate challenges, especially severe ones leading to long-term complications. It's essential to assert your legal rights to ensure acknowledgment of the emotional, physical, and financial distress you endure.

Thompsons' head injury compensation solicitors offer authoritative representation in brain injury across Scotland including:

Brain injury claims in Edinburgh

Thompsons Solicitors is the leading personal injury firm in Scotland and has a wealth of experience of acting for both minors and adults in high-value head injury claims in Edinburgh.

We are a claimant-focused firm; this means that our service is entirely tailored to meeting the needs of those who have suffered injury through no fault of their own.

All our brain injury claim clients in Edinburgh are assigned a dedicated solicitor who will make home and hospital visits when necessary, liaise sensitively with families and carers, and work to ensure a full understanding of the client's immediate financial needs. As such, if there are any pressing requirements for care, rehabilitation and support in the short-term, we will seek interim payments to cover the cost of these.

Brain injury claims in Glasgow

Thompsons Solicitors in Glasgow can help you ensure that you are expertly represented in the event that you need to claim compensation for any pain, suffering, lost earnings and medical expenses arising from head injury claims Glasgow.

Wherever you live and work in the city and whatever the nature of the incident, Thompsons has been nationally recognised for its work and can help you achieve justice. Our satisfied clients span every working sector and have been involved in numerous types of head injury incidents.

Brain injury claims in Dundee

Brain injury affects thousands of people across Scotland and brings with it a range of lasting and serious consequences, both for sufferers themselves and the friends and family members around them who may have to put their own lives on hold in order to provide care and support.

Thompsons' head injury claims in Dundee team provides legal advice and representation for claimants and their families, as well as support and related services for those affected by brain injuries caused by the negligent actions or omissions of third parties.

Brain injury claims in Dumfries

Any head injury can potentially lead to brain damage. Serious brain injury may cause life-changing disability and even death.

If you or a member of your family has suffered a head or brain injury as a result of a workplace accident, road traffic accident or another type of incident, contact our team of experienced personal injury solicitors in Dumfries to find out how we could help you make a head injury claim in Dumfries and gain compensation. 

Brain injury claims in the Borders

Our head and brain injury solicitors in the Borders have extensive experience in pursuing head injury claims and always make sure that your interests are paramount. This means that not only are we committed to ensuring the maximum sum of compensation possible, we are also determined to help clients receive interim sums for prompt treatment and rehabilitation, accommodation, transport and equipment where possible.

Brain injury claims in Aberdeen

If you have sustained a head injury in an accident that was caused by the negligent carelessness or recklessness of another party, whether in the workplace, on the road or in any setting, it is important that you consider your possible right to compensation for the pain and impact of the injury.

For head injury claims in Aberdeen, contact our solicitors who can ensure that you receive authoritative and experienced representation in any claim you make for compensation.

Wherever you reside or work and regardless of the accident's nature that caused your head or brain injury, rely on Thompsons. Our national recognition for handling such cases ensures you receive justice. Our experts routinely secure compensation for injuries stemming from various incidents:

  • Construction, transport, and manufacturing accidents
  • Car collisions
  • Medical incidents
  • Falls from height

Leveraging Legal Resources to Your Benefit

Scottish law safeguards individuals affected by negligent actions, ensuring meaningful compensation for head or brain injuries in Scotland, covering:

  • Pain and suffering caused by the injury
  • Associated costs like lost earnings, medical, and travel expenses

Even seemingly minor brain injuries can lead to significant and lasting consequences, altering lives. This often demands adjustments and costly home adaptations. Additionally, it might necessitate expensive medical care, treatment, and rehabilitation, all of which are recoverable through a compensation claim.

Assessing Compensation Values

Personal injury claims generally result in two types of compensation: general and special damages.General damages compensate for direct accident impacts like physical pain, quality of life, or job challenges.Special damages cover measurable expenses like loss of income, future earnings, and medical costs.

Typically, settlements range from £1,788 to £10,340 for minor head injuries and £227,975 to £326,700 for severe cases. However, factoring special damages can significantly increase these sums.

Experienced Brain Injury Solicitors

Thompsons' team of serious injury solicitors has extensive experience in dealing with claims for compensation involving head injuries, and offer the support, guidance and specialist advice that others firms cannot. Although we are the largest and most successful personal injury firm in the country we have achieved this status without sacrificing our commitment to a personalised and sensitive service.

We aim to not only secure you the maximum amount of compensation in the shortest possible time, but also to help and support your loved one in rebuilding his or her life with as much independence and positivity as possible.

Brain Injury Financial Assistance

For individuals and families affected by severe brain injuries, the financial and practical challenges can be immediate and overwhelming. The injured person's inability to earn, coupled with family members needing time off work for caregiving, creates significant financial strain. Additionally, the costs for care, medical treatment, and specialised equipment compound the financial burden. Interim compensation becomes crucial for immediate financial assistance.

Thompsons Solicitors prioritises clients' needs, especially in complex brain injury claims. Interim payments, available when liability is established but the claim resolution is pending, offer short-term financial relief. These payments address immediate needs such as medical care, home adaptations, or mortgage assistance. To secure interim payments, confirming the defender's liability and determining the compensation's potential value are necessary.

Securing multiple interim payments is possible to address evolving financial needs, but they should reflect a reasonable portion of the anticipated settlement. While interim payments alleviate immediate financial pressure, they're deducted from the final settlement amount. This approach ensures that while the final lump sum may be smaller, it prevents the practical challenges of seeking loans during the waiting period.

Brain Injury Compensation Claims

It is important that your claim for compensation recognises all of your specific needs. Here at Thompsons we are committed to ensuring that every possible component of your claim is included in your settlement. Compensable components may include the following:

Furthermore, where possible we will seek interim payment for your most pressing financial needs.

To find out more about the service that makes us one of Scotland's leading personal injury firm, call us today so that you can discuss your circumstances with one of our head injury lawyers.

Head and Brain Injury FAQS

Dealing with a very serious head or brain injury claim can be complex and challenging.  Talk to Thompsons for expert advice on your legal rights following a head or brain injury.

Here, Thompsons answers some of our clients' most frequently asked questions.

When injuries occur as a result of a workplace incident the cost of head and brain injury claims are typically covered by the employer's Employers Liability Insurance. All Scottish employers who have one or more members of staff are legally required to have this form of cover.

In the case of head or brain injuries caused by the actions of a road user, compensation is covered by the relevant motor insurer or, in the case of uninsured drivers, the Motor Insurers Bureau.

In other cases, compensation will be paid by various parties. For example, a public liability insurer in the case of a slip and trip accident in a public place or by the NHS Litigation Authority in the case of a head or brain injury caused by a medical accident.

It is possible to claim compensation on behalf of a family member injured in an accident caused by another party's negligence if that person has lost the mental capacity to claim independently.

Thompsons is Scotland's largest personal injury firm and much of its success has been founded on the development of a No Win No Fee agreement that ensures you will have nothing to pay unless your case is successful.

If we look at your claim and determine that it has a reasonable chance of success, you can proceed under the terms of a No Win No Fee agreement.

Each claimant's case will be different so it is difficult to put a figure on any one claim.

However, claims for serious or life-changing head and brain injuries are invariably settled for larger sums than for relatively minor injuries.

By way of illustration, claims for more serious head and brain injuries will include components accounting for any specialist care or equipment that is provided as well as any rehabilitative support deemed necessary. These are referred to special damages, or patrimonial loss, as opposed to general damages (solatium) which are awarded based on the extent of the injury and the amount of pain and suffering it has caused you.

The following provides a useful guide as to head and brain injury claim compensation amounts. However, the figures apply to solatium only. Total settlements vary greatly on a case-by-case basis and will depend on a number of other factors including loss of future earnings.

  • Minor head injury - £1,675 to £9,700
  • Nose fracture - £1,925 to £3,875
  • Cheekbone fracture - £1,775 to £12,000
  • Jaw fracture - £4,900 to £23,175
  • Epilepsy - £41,675 to £114,100
  • Brain damage - £32,725 to £307,000

The vast majority of head and brain injury claims are settled as a result of some kind of out-court resolution. However, claims for more long-term injuries are generally of higher value so are more likely to end up being determined in court. However, whether your case ends up in court or not, making a claim with Thompsons' No Win No Fee package in place will help ensure you are fully protected against all legal costs and financial risks.

Thompsons' clients have more than one funding option. However, where appropriate, No Win No Fee funding is likely to represent the best route. This means that unless you win your case, you can rest assured that you will not have to pay a single penny to fund your claim.

The personal injury claim time limit is three years from the date of the accident or, alternatively, three years from the date of diagnosis. However, in cases in which the claimant has lost mental capacity, the time limit does not begin until the time he or she regains this capacity.

Different rules also apply if the victim of the injury is a child (i.e. under 16 years old). Because they are unable to claim compensation themselves their three-year time limit will not begin until they turn 16. However, a litigation friend can commence a claim on their behalf before the injured party turns 16.

In cases where there is no expectation that the injured party will regain mental capacity in the near future, a relative or other party can make the claim on the injured party's behalf.

In many cases state benefits can still be claimed even when head and brain injury compensation has been awarded. Furthermore, Thompsons' personal injury solicitors can assist claimants in establishing a personal injury trust so that they can manage their finances in the most advantageous way possible and the funds are protected.

Thompsons has offices throughout Scotland – in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Peebles and Galashiels – and home visits can easily be arranged for less mobile clients.

If the defendant has admitted some level of liability it may be possible to obtain an interim settlement so that the pursuer (claimant) can make provision for his or her most immediate and pressing needs. After all, a head and brain injury case can take years to be settled, and waiting this long for compensation is simply not an option for most people.

It is understandable that you should want only the very best treatment to help you readjust, but the best treatments are also the most expensive. When your injury has been caused by another's negligence, we don't think your chances of recovery should be restricted by finances. Our lawyers will help make sure, whenever appropriate, that you receive the necessary interim payments so that you can have access to the rehabilitation services most suited to you.

Most accident claims are proven on the basis of medical records, witness statements and official workplace health and safety documentation. In the event of a workplace accident or road traffic incident, any investigation which leads to a prosecution will also prove useful in the event of a compensation claim.

A common concern among the victims of personal injury is that they may feel they've been partially responsible for the accident and therefore may not have a valid claim to make. While it's possible that your actions could have contributed to your injury – for instance, if you were involved in a car accident that was largely the fault of the other driver, but you weren't wearing a seatbelt – you should not let this stop you from making a claim.

Your actions do not change the fact that the law places a heavy burden on the driver whose negligence caused the accident in the first place. Before any of the blame is placed on you, the other party must prove, with evidence, that your actions amounted to negligence, not of inadvertence. This is not an easy thing to do, but if they are able to prove it, it will then be up to the courts to decide how much of the liability you share and split the compensation accordingly. For example, if you are found to be 50 percent responsible for your injuries you will receive 50 percent of the damages you would have otherwise received; if you are found to be 75 percent responsible you will receive 25 percent of the damages you would have otherwise received.

Yes. Many of our claimants live in other part of the UK and abroad in locations such as France, South Africa and Australia. If you lived or worked in Scotland before you moved away, you can bring a claim for compensation in the usual way.

Headway in Scotland provides various support services for brain injured people and their families. The charity supports 13 local groups across Scotland and works extensively to promote greater understanding of brain injury and the continued improvement of many aspects of the care and treatment of brain injury patients.

Find out more about the work of Headway and Thompsons' involvement with the charity, here.

Common accidents in which serious brain injuries may occur include:

CAR ACCIDENTSRoad traffic accidents – including incidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians hit by vehicles – are the reason behind half of all traumatic brain injuries. SPORTSAccording to the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF), sports are another significant cause of head and brain injury. Close to 300,000 brain injuries are sustained in sport each year. Winter sports, including skiing and ice skating, pose a particular risk, with 20,000 brain injuries attributable to these types of sports annually. MEDICAL NEGLIGENCENegligent healthcare can lead to an acquired brain injury, perhaps during an operation or at birth. ABI typically occurs when the brain is starved of oxygen. INFECTIONInfection, disease, and strokes are accountable for a large proportion acquired brain injuries. The UKABIF states that encephalitis, a condition where the brain becomes inflamed, causes 4,000 new cases per year. FALLSFor people aged 65 and over, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (according to UKABIF).WORK ACCIDENTSSome work places can pose a significant risk of injury. On a construction site, for instance, many hazards may lead to workers suffering an acquired brain injury: falling objects, falls from height, and accidents involving moving vehicles to name but a few.

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