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Brain Injury Claims - Information for families

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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.

What if the injured party was partially liable?

If the incident was partly caused by the injured party, they will still be eligible to make a claim – although this might reduce the amount awarded.

For example, if they suffered a brain injury in the workplace as a result of a combination of unsafe working practices on the part of their employer as well as individual failure to wear protective equipment, they might receive a sum 25% less than that which they would have received had they been wearing protective equipment. The amount of reduction will be assessed at the time of the claim and will reflect how much the claimant's actions contributed to the accident and their injuries.

Time Limits

There are strict time limits for pursuing brain injury compensation claims. Typically, litigation must begin within three years from the date of the accident or the diagnosis of the injury. 

However, this time limit does not apply if the injured party lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. As such, an injured party in this situation – or their representative – may be able to make a claim outside of these usual time limits. 

If the injured party is aged under 16, there is still a three-year time limit for a legal guardian to make a claim on their behalf. However, if the injured party wishes to make the claim themselves, they will have three years from the date they turn sixteen to initiate the claim. 

Who is the defender?

There are a wide variety of defenders in brain injury claims. These include the following:

  • Motor insurance companies: This is the case for brain injury claims related to road traffic accidents. If the person was injured by an uninsured driver or in a hit and run incident, the Motor Insurers Bureau will cover the compensation. Remember, it is possible to claim even if the injured party was a passenger in a vehicle being negligently driven by a friend or family member.
  • Employers and their insurers: Claims against employers are made even if the brain injury was caused by the actions of a fellow employee.
  • Local authorities: Claims against local authorities are made in the event of slips, trips and falls in public places and other similar accidents.
  • Private hospitals and NHS Trusts: Medical negligence claims are made against the Trusts responsible for the hospitals where the medical error occurred.

Medical evidence

Head and brain injuries are complex by nature so it is probable that your family member's injury will need to be verified by several medical experts: 

  • A neurosurgeon or neurologist
  • A clinical neuropsychologist
  • A rehabilitation consultant
  • A Neuroimaging specialist

Counting the cost of your help

People who suffer traumatic brain injury are necessarily dependent upon family members to help them perform the basic daily tasks of their lives. Sometimes family members may have to give up their jobs and hobbies in order to provide this assistance. Thompsons Solicitors may gather witness statements from professional carers, occupational therapists, GPs, family members and other interested parties to detail the extent of this help and to calculate its cost so it can be factored into any claim for damages. 

Talk to Thompsons – Helping you to help your loved one

As one of Scotland's leading teams of high-value personal injury claim solicitors, Thompsons is dedicated to helping claimants get the most comprehensive package of compensation in the shortest time possible. Brain injury claims can be complex and high value so demand a first-rate level of legal representation.

You can talk to us today on 0800 0891 331 about your loved one's circumstances so that we can help you, and them, enjoy your full legal rights.

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