Brain and Spinal Injury FAQs
What is a head injury?
A head injury is an injury to the head, that is the skull, including the facial area. It does not necessarily include an injury to the brain.
What is a brain injury?
A brain injury is an injury to the brain, either by way of a penetrating injury to the brain, of an object, perhaps a knife entering the brain, or a closed injury, where the brain suffers injury as a consequence of the head being struck or shaken, most notably seen when a passenger or driver is thrown within a vehicle, or where a pedestrian is thrown following impact with a car.
What is brain injury rehabilitation?
Brain injury rehabilitation is the delivery of healthcare services designed to improve, maintain, restore and compensate physical, cognitive, behavioural, social and psychological recovery. Brain injury rehabilitation is frequently provided by multidisciplinary teams of health professionals, along with family members, friends and colleagues, who may work on a interdisciplinary basis.
What are the range of emotions that a brain injury survivor experiences during their recovery?
Brain injury survivors face a range of symptoms and in respect of psychological reaction and adjustment to the injury, the survivor is likely to go through varies stage of recovery, starting with shock, and moving through stages of anger, denial, apathy/depression, acknowledgement, reflection and, finally, acceptance. The timing of such moods and symptoms and their duration will vary in each case but it is likely the survivor will require support during the process.
What is cognition?
Cognitive impairments are the ability, or rather inability, to process data, retain and recall information, loss of initiation, planning and organisational skills.
Why choose IBB solicitors?
IBB have a dedicated team of brain injury specialists, independently recognised by a number of organisations, including headway, the brain injury charity, and the Law Society personal injury accreditation scheme. Malcolm Underhill, partner, is lauded as an accredited brain injury specialist by the Association of personal injury lawyers. Malcolm Underhill and Simon Pimlott have both completed an academic period of learning, studying brain injury and its consequences with Headway (the brain injury charity), in partnership with Northampton University.
Many solicitors will offer to act on a "no-win, no fee" agreement, but still take up to 25% of some parts of the brain injury compensation. However, at IBB claims, when we act for someone who spent at least 21 continuous days in hospital following an incident leading to a brain injury, we do not take any of the compensation. At IBB Claims we believe that those who suffer a serious brain injury should be able to keep 100% of their compensation with no deductions. For that reason, we do not expect you to pay our legal fees from your compensation.
How long will my case take?
Every brain injury is different and the consequences unique to the survivor of the injury. Therefore, there is not a specific timescale to settling the claim. The time to settle the claim is either when the individual has completely recovered from their brain injury or, more likely, when the recovery has reached a plateau.
At that point, when the health professionals indicate recovery has reached its maximum, it is possible to determine the survivors requirements for the future. Once it is known what the brain injury survivors’ needs are for the future, the value of the brain injury compensation claim can be calculated.
An important aspect of settling a serious brain injury case is to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is recovered, so there are sufficient funds to meet the brain injury survivors needs for the rest of their life.
Can I bring it brain injury compensation claim on behalf of a member of my family?
Yes. It is often the case that in the first few weeks or months following a brain injury, the individual is not well enough to meet a solicitor. It is therefore quite frequently the case that a family member makes enquiries on their behalf, to pursue a brain injury compensation claim. A claim can be made by a family member. We frequently act on behalf family members, where the brain injury patient is unable to take instruct a solicitor.
Are you prepared to visit me in hospital?
Yes. We frequently visit brain injury survivors and their families in hospital, during the day, evenings and at weekends. We will meet you at a time most convenient to you and your family.
Will you keep in regular contact with us? How will this be done?
We will keep in regular contact, advising on the progress of the case and identify milestones. We will set out what we have to do to win the case and keep you informed throughout. We will have meetings, speak at the telephone, write, whether by email or letter. We will also have regular meetings.
Do you have links with your local headway groups?
We are actively involved with Headway. We have raised money for local Headway.
Do you have experience working with brain injury professionals?
Yes. We work with brain injury case managers, neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuropsychologists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, and others. We actively work with rehabilitation experts. We also, when necessary, instruct specialist barristers who are similarly skilled in acting for those who have suffered a brain injury.
Would you be happy for us to take up a reference in relation to your ability to handle my brain injury compensation claim?
Yes. Let us know if you would like a reference and we will provide details of a client for you to contact, as well as a brain injury case manager and barrister.
How much compensation will I get?
There is no set tariff for brain injuries.
Each case is calculated by reference to the consequences of the brain injury and the needs of the injured individual. Full account is taken of individual circumstances. Serious brain injuries often result in the survivor recovering £1 million and in many cases multi million pounds, to reflect their lifelong needs.
Is there a time limit for bringing a claim?
The general rule is that a brain injury compensation claim should be brought within three years of the injury having occurred. However, it is sensible to bring the claim as soon as possible, after injury, obtain interim payments of compensation, to meet the survivors ongoing needs, including loss of earnings arising out of their inability to work due to the brain injury.
Although the general rule of law is that brain injury compensation claims should be brought within three years of the injury, the clock does not run against children until they reach their 18th birthday. Therefore, they have until they reach age 21 to bring a brain injury compensation claim. Although they have much longer to bring a claim it is strongly recommended that they too bring a claim as soon as possible, through their parents, to achieve the best possible outcome of the compensation claim.
It is important to bring a claim as soon as possible as delay may reduce the prospects of success. This can come about when witnesses can no longer be traced. Even if all witnesses can be traced, the recollection of events are likely to fade over time. Therefore, promptly making a claim can improve the prospects of success and also the recovery of interim payments of compensation to help with the recovery.
If I bring a compensation claim, will I have to go to court?
The vast majority of brain injury compensation claims, well over 98%, settle without having to ask a court to decide on the level of compensation to which the survivor is entitled. This is because brain injury compensation claims are frequently negotiated to achieve a satisfactory outcome.