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Brain Injuries Through Medical Negligence
If you, a friend or a member of your family have sustained a brain injury while in the care of a health care professional, you may be able to make a medical negligence brain injury compensation claim.
The solicitors at JMW are highly experienced in helping people to successfully secure compensation for the repercussions of brain injuries and brain damage and we can provide the guidance you need during what can be an extremely difficult time.
Our team is sympathetic to your needs and will deal with your case with the understanding and sensitivity it deserves. To speak to one of our solicitors today, simply call us for free on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and we will call you back as soon as we can.
If you have suffered a head injury that was caused by an accident that was somebody else's fault, you may be able to make a claim with JMW's personal injury team. Find out more here.
What Our Clients Say
How JMW Can Help
We have years of experience in making successful medical negligence claims and employ a specialist team of solicitors who have secured millions of pounds in compensation for clients left with life-changing injuries as a result of mistakes by medical professionals. Our clinical negligence solicitors are professional and understanding, meaning we take a sensitive and caring approach while giving you the best opportunity to get the outcome you are after.
With the right team in your corner, you can claim the compensation that will make a huge difference as you face the challenges ahead. We have experience of securing compensation for:
- Tissue damage
- Serious brain injury requiring long-term medical care
- Loss of speech/movement
- Mismanaged infections or illnesses
- Memory problems
Each case is handled with the compassion it deserves and we are sensitive to your needs throughout the process. We know how difficult it can be to go through something like this and this is why we aim to make the legal side of things as stress-free and straightforward as possible.
Headed by leading solicitor Eddie Jones, our medical negligence team includes members of the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence solicitors and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel. The stringent criteria for membership on both panels ensure a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in the area of clinical negligence.
A brain injury caused by the negligence of a medical professional can be truly devastating and can have catastrophic consequences for the patient, including a detrimental impact on their quality of life. Making a claim can help you to better cope with the injury and enable you to pay for any assistive equipment and technology you may need, as well as the costs and additional living expenses you may have incurred as a result of medical treatment and being unable to work.
The brain controls our mobility, how our body functions and our moods and emotions, and is incredibly sensitive to injury. In the most severe cases, trauma to the brain can lead to loss of function, such as mobility or the ability to speak. It can also result in a drastic change in personality. However, any type of injury to the brain can have a significant impact, so it is vital that the victim, or their family, seeks specialist legal advice if it has been caused by medical negligence.
Brain injury can affect anyone at any time; and while the severity of the injury can vary greatly, it can often lead to a range of physical and mental disabilities. Some people will suffer milder but equally devastating effects, such as mood swings and memory loss. Others, such as babies who develop cerebral palsy, might never be able to walk and talk and will rely on others for their care 24 hours a day.
For people who have suffered an acquired brain injury, for example, after having a stroke, the brain can recover to a degree with a long period of rehabilitation. Despite this, it is likely that there will be some lasting effects that the victim and their family will need to learn how to manage.
However, the needs of children who have suffered one of several catastrophic brain injuries will be more complex. The impact will be felt by the whole family, who will have to come to terms with their child's long-term disabilities, meaning it is crucial they get the right support.
Other examples of brain injuries we have handled claims on include:
- Bleeding on the brain
- Head trauma resulting in loss of consciousness
- Skull fractures
- Facial injuries
- Scalp lacerations and injuries
We deal with the entire spectrum of brain injuries and will always work towards the fastest resolution and the maximum compensation possible.
Cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence is an issue the solicitors at JMW specialise in. Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term referring to motor conditions that can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain or the mismanagement of illness in the newborn baby.
Most cases of cerebral palsy can be diagnosed by the time a child is 18 months old. If your child has cerebral palsy that was caused by mistakes made during their birth, or by poor medical care after delivery, call us now.
Children with cerebral palsy will often require special care for the rest of their lives, so if it was caused by medical errors it is vital that their parents pursue a claim for compensation to fund this. Visit our dedicated page to read more about cerebral palsy.
When a brain injury first occurs, it can be a lonely time for the individual and their family who are full of questions and worry about the future will hold. However, there is an extensive network of support that can help to lighten the burden, including emotional support, advice on benefits, educational needs, support with physical disabilities, and legal advice.
A great first port of call is a brain injury charity, which can be found through a simple online search. A list of the main brain injury charities include:
- Headway, which is dedicated to helping people with brain injuries on a local and national scale. The charity runs a network of groups and branches throughout the UK, and offers many excellent services, including rehabilitation programmes, carer support and respite care.
- BASIC, which is a Manchester-based charity that offers rehabilitation services for people who need help once they have been discharged from the hospital.
- Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Development (BIRD), which provides treatment for people with brain injuries and learning difficulties to help improve their quality of life.
- Cerebra, which provides support services and practical help to improve the quality of life for children with neurological conditions and help their families.
- The Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT), which supports children who have suffered an acquired brain injury. JMW has supported since the charity since 2012.
What are the types of brain injury?
Brain damage is an injury that results in either the deterioration or destruction of brain cells. Brain injuries are classified as either:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is an injury caused by a blow to the head or by another external force. The brain is damaged when the force causes it to move inside the skull.
- Acquired brain injury (ABI), which occurs on a cellular level and typically relates to pressure being exerted on the brain, whether through a tumour, neurological illness, or a similar condition.
- Congenital brain damage, which is caused by birth trauma or due to genetic reasons.
What are the symptoms of a brain injury?
Brain damage can vary in severity, depending on the type of brain injury. Symptoms of a mild brain injury might only be temporary and can include:
- Memory issues
The same symptoms may also be apparent for moderate brain injuries, although, they are likely to be more obvious and will last for a prolonged period. If you have sustained a severe brain injury, you may suffer from:
- Physical disabilities
- Cognitive disabilities
- Behavioural disabilities
How are brain injuries diagnosed?
Diagnosis of any brain damage or brain injury is usually made using a computerised tomography (CT) scan or a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). A CT scan produces a detailed image of the inside of a person's head to determine the extent of an injury to evaluate how and why the injury might lead to further complications. The scan is used to demonstrate whether or not there is any swelling or bleeding of the brain.
The GCS assesses severity by providing a score to determine whether the injury is minor, moderate or severe. It scores on:
- Physical movements
- Whether or not you are able to make any noise
- Whether you are able to open your eyes with ease
What rehabilitation is available for brain injuries?
Rehabilitation needs will vary depending on your individual requirements. It can be a very difficult time for the brain-injured person and their family, but it is vital that the right choice of rehabilitation is made to ensure they receive the best possible care.
When a person who has sustained a brain injury is ready to leave the hospital, their care may continue at home or in a residential care unit. For those with long-term residential care needs, a specialist brain injury care unit may be the best option. Government funding for this service is means-tested, so relatives may be asked to contribute to the cost.
People who don't require long-term care may be able to secure NHS funding for intermediate care. This option provides therapy and treatment in a patient's own home, usually by an occupational therapist, and is designed to help those with a brain injury to the transition from the hospital.
An occupational therapist can be supplied from either a hospital or social services, and carers should make enquiries if they have not already been approached. The occupational therapist will be able to assess what care requirements and house adaptations are needed in order to care for the patient at home. If adaptations are necessary to ensure the safety and security of a brain-injured person, the Disabled Facilities Grant will contribute to the cost - speak to your local council for more information.
For more information on rehabilitation, visit the Headway website.
What can I claim compensation for?
If a brain injury is found to be the result of medical negligence, sufferers and their families are entitled to significant compensation for the pain and suffering caused, any loss of income and the costs of any care and assistance required.
- Pain and suffering - These claims can relate to matters such as loss of independence or the worry caused to family members as a result of negligence
- Loss of income - If a household loses a substantial portion of its income due to brain damage caused by negligence, it is reasonable to expect compensation
- Care and assistance - Any care costs necessary following the injury can also be claimed for, including adaptations to the home
You may also be in a position to make a claim for transportation costs, as well as a range of other miscellaneous expenses.
Is there any other financial help available?
Most people affected by a brain injury will need to take some time off work; some may never be able to return to employment. Meanwhile, some youngsters who have suffered congenital brain damage may never achieve employment, requiring round-the-clock care.
This effect on a person's earning potential, together with the additional costs associated with providing the care they need, can create a huge financial strain. However, there are schemes and benefits available that may be able to provide financial help to brain injury sufferers and their families.
People who have been left with a physical disability due to their brain injury may be eligible for a Disability Living Allowance, and if their ability to work has been affected, they may be entitled to Incapacity Benefit. Carers charged with the looking after a person with a brain injury may apply for a Carers Allowance.
Additionally, those on a low income may be able to claim Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and/or Working Tax Credit. For more information about the benefits available to you and your family, call the Benefits Enquiry Line on 0800 88 22 00 or visit the government website.
There are also a number of grants and loans available to help disabled people and their carers if times get really tough, money is needed urgently for basic needs, or a carer needs to ensure a disabled person's safety. However, they all have strict criteria that must be met when applying. Grants and loans include:
- Community care grants
- Crisis loans
- Budgeting loans
- Family Fund grants
- Disabled facilities grants
- Independent living funds
The Citizen's Advice can also provide free and impartial guidance for anyone who is struggling financially.
Talk To Us
If you or a loved one have sustained a brain injury as a result of medical negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation to help cope with your disabilities. By taking legal action, sufferers and their families can often find out what went wrong and help to improve safety standards for other people. Speak to one of our legal experts for a free, no-obligation chat by calling 0345 872 6666, or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you at a convenient time.