Types of Serious Injury
Injuries arising from a catastrophic event often include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Serious orthopaedic injuries
- Severe burns and scarring
- Chronic pain conditions
- Injury and impairment to the senses
- Trauma to internal organs
- Psychological injury and past-traumatic stress disorder
Brain injuries vary in severity, with the more minor or moderate injuries resulting in a period of symptoms that may only last a few weeks or months. This still can result in considerable distress, suffering and financial loss as symptoms affecting brain function, even when short lived, can be disabling and restrictive.
The more severe the brain injury, the more likely it is that the consequences will have a life changing effect. The sufferer is more likely to have a penetrating head injury, a period of unconsciousness and a higher risk of permanent brain damage. If the brain suffers significant damage, this will affect cognitive function, personality, mental well-being, behaviours and physical function. Relationships with family, friends and colleagues can be adversely affected. The consequence can be that the individual will not be able to pursue their chosen employment or in the case of a child, complete their mainstream education.
Brain injury rehabilitation has advanced considerably in recent years and much can be done to provide therapy, support and compensatory techniques to help overcome the disability. IBB solicitors can help by obtaining the funding to provide the very best in rehabilitation and then to organise a case manager to support the brain injured person in coordinating their treatment.
Severe spinal injuries are far less common than brain injuries, but the consequences can be just as devastating to the sufferer. A severe spinal-cord injury will have an extremely limiting effect on the individuals physical capacity, with paraplegia or tetraplegic a potential consequence. Paraplegia is where there is a loss or restriction in the function of the lower part of the body whereas tetraplegic results in loss, or partial loss, of function to all the limbs.
- A severe spinal injury is also associated with other secondary injuries including:
- Impairment of bladder and bowel function
- Restriction to sexual function
- Severe muscular and nerve pain
- Breathing difficulties and altered sensation.
In addition, a spinal injury will frequently cause significant mental and emotional upset, often arising from the limitations that the sufferer will now experience.
With the obvious effect on the mobility of a spinal injury sufferer, it is imperative that they receive an early diagnosis and then access to appropriate rehabilitation. This includes aids and equipment such as wheelchairs and other mobility aids, to help maximise recovery and achieve the best possible level of independence.
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are road traffic accidents, severe falls, acts of violence and sporting activities. Of these causes, road traffic accidents account for the highest proportion, with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists particularly vulnerable.
Not every spinal injury results in severe impairment to the lower and upper limbs but other injuries to the neck and back may still cause significant pain and limitation, restricting the ability of the individual to work and limiting their personal life. Severe neck and back injuries, whether arising from a fracture or from soft tissue damage, are a common consequence of road traffic accidents, accidents at work and falls.
Severe Orthopaedic Injuries
Orthopaedic injuries are sustained to the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles of the body. Such an injury can vary greatly in severity from those which require no treatment to severe and multiple fractures that require surgery performed by an orthopaedic surgeon. Fractured bones are a common consequence of trauma, with road traffic accidents, sports injuries, slips, trips and falls being the main causes.
For the less serious orthopaedic injuries, a short course of physiotherapy might be sufficient but in the event of a more serious injury, it may require surgery to unite the fractured bone and in the more serious cases the injured person could require joint replacement, the insertion of metalwork, follow-up surgery and long-term treatment.
One of the adverse consequences of a severe orthopaedic injury is the risk of arthritis brought on by the trauma. It is not unusual for a severe fracture to result in an increased risk of arthritis in later life, resulting potentially in a later deterioration in the injured person’s physical capabilities. If this coincides with the later years of their working life, it can result in early retirement or a need to find alternative, less physically demanding, work.
With our team of medical experts, IBB solicitors will ensure that such risks are taken into consideration when pursuing a claim for compensation. We will ensure that where there is a risk to our client’s employment in later life, compensation will be sought to allow for any shortfall in earnings.
Severe Burns and Scarring
IBB solicitors have represented many clients who have been unfortunate enough to suffer severe burns and scarring because of the negligence of a third party. Our experience tells us that these types of injuries are regularly suffered at work by those who are exposed to machinery, cutting equipment, chemicals and electricity. We have worked with a number of expert plastic surgeons to ensure that our clients receive the best care and treatment for their injuries, helping finance surgery, where possible, and recovering the maximum levels of compensation. We are sensitive to the fact that such injuries are very distressing and are often associated with severe psychological consequences.
Chronic Pain Conditions
Chronic Pain Syndrome is difficult to define and often just as difficult to diagnose. It is usually used as an all-encompassing term to include a number of conditions that causes the sufferer long-term, debilitating pain. These conditions include:
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Somatoform disorder
- Neuropathic pain
- Chronic back Pain
A chronic pain condition can be brought on by trauma, where the individual experiences an initial injury, such as following a road traffic accident, but despite the physical injury healing, the pain persists long-term. This is often why it is thought that there is a psychological component to the cause of a chronic pain condition although this does not mean that the experience of pain for the sufferer is any less real.
Chronic pain syndrome is usually extremely debilitating as the pain will often be relentless and severe. Unfortunately, it can be resistant to treatment. The sufferer will often be under the care of a Pain Consultant or Consultant Rheumatologist. Treatment will take the form of managing the pain through the use of painkilling medication, injections and other types of therapy.
Accident at Work
Serious injuries in the workplace are quite unusual but it is unfortunately the case that major accidents still arise as a result of failures by the employer or fellow workers.
All employers have an obligation to comply with health and safety legislation and this includes the requirement for the employer to take reasonable care for the safety of their employees. The employer must take account of the likely risks to which their employees will be exposed and then to take reasonable steps to reduce these risks to the lowest possible level. This may require the employer to:
- Provide appropriate training to ensure employees can work safely,
- Provide employers with suitable and safe equipment,
- Ensure that the workplace itself is safe
- Devise systems and work procedures that are safe.
The employer also has an obligation to ensure that fellow workers are suitably skilled and experienced. If a colleague causes an injury whilst in the course of their employment, a claim for compensation can be brought against the employer directly.
Certain types of employment naturally carry greater risk than others due to the nature of the work involved. For example, those workers who are required to undertake heavy lifting as part of their employment are at greater risk of severe muscle strains, whereas those who work in the construction industry are at risk not just of accidents relating to lifting but also from falls from height, injuries from falling objects and faulty equipment.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, the most common kinds of accidents at work are
- Slip, trip or fall on the same level
- Lifting – manual handling accidents
- Struck by an object
- Falling from height
- Act of violence
- Caused by machinery
All the above types of accident may result in a claim for compensation if it can be proven that liability rests with the employer.
Road Traffic Accidents
Many of us will have been involved in a road traffic accident but fortunately, the vast majority result in no injuries or very minor injuries from which a full recovery is made within a few weeks.
There is a minority of road traffic accidents that result in severe and life changing injuries. These accidents resulting in serious injury will often arise from high-speed collisions, which often take place on motorways dual carriageways and can involve multiple cars and large commercial vehicles.
IBB solicitors have considerable experience in representing motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians who have been the innocent victims of a road traffic collision. We specialise in representing clients who have suffered serious or catastrophic injury caused by the negligent driving of a third party.
At IBB solicitors, we have supported victims of major catastrophic events and have obtained compensation for the physical and psychological trauma, in addition to the financial losses that have been incurred as a consequence. Examples of catastrophic events would include major transport disasters, fires, industrial disasters and major accidents at public events.
In the case of an adult, it is a legal requirement for legal proceedings to be commenced within three years of the incident or event that caused the injury. For children, the three years does not start to run until their 18th birthday, meaning that legal proceedings must be brought by the time of they are 21 years.
In nearly all cases, we would recommend bringing the claim at the earliest reasonable opportunity. Please contact one of our solicitors on 0333 123 9099 if you wish to consider bringing a claim but are unsure about time limits.
Why IBB Solicitors
If you have suffered a serious or catastrophic injury and wish to consider making a claim, please contact us today on 0333 123 9099.
Our team of specialist personal injury solicitors have a track record of supporting their clients through distressing and challenging times. Our aim is to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve and that they are supported in the other areas of their life that are affected by their injuries.
IBB Solicitors understand that access to comprehensive treatment and money is vitally important to our clients following a major accident and we will take every step possible to secure interim payments and funding for treatment, where required.
IBB Solicitors offer our client’s a “no win, no fee” agreement and will ensure that our clients protected against all financial risks of bringing a claim.
If you would like further information about making a claim, please call our specialist lawyers on 0333 123 9099, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete an enquiry form.