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Child Head Injury Claims
Your child suffering a brain injury will no doubt be a traumatic and upsetting experience, and something that affects the entire family. Coping with the life-changing nature of this type of injury can be taxing for both the child and the family, and this emotional upheaval will doubtless be magnified if the incident which led to your child sustaining their injury was down to someone else’s negligence.
The personal injury team at JMW understands the impact that a child’s brain injury has on theirs and their family’s lives, and it is our job is to ensure families are well informed and well equipped to handle the difficult times ahead.
One of the ways we do this is by helping families to claim compensation, which can go a long way to assisting with recovery from an injury. If your child has suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, speak to a solicitor at JMW today. Simply call us now on 0800 054 6078 or fill in the online enquiry form and we will get back to you.
If your child has suffered a serious brain injury due to medical negligence, our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will be able to help you.
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How JMW Can Help
When your child has had an accident that has resulted in a brain injury, it is your right to make a claim. Doing so can help you pay for the treatment that will be necessary for their recovery, as well as provide support so they are able to live their life as they did before, or as close to it as possible. Our team is vastly experienced in helping families deal with the fallout from an acquired brain injury. We work with injured children and their families sensitively and respectfully, helping them come to terms with the situation and understand the legal issues involved in this complex area of litigation.
Broadly, our services include:
- Arranging an early immediate needs assessment to ensure an appropriate rehabilitation/treatment package is in place for your child
- Information on parents’ employment rights when taking time off work to look after a child
- Advice on how to make a personal injury claim for compensation
- Assistance in securing an interim payment, which will help to meet financial outlays, such as medical expenses and care support
- A Court of Protection team, who can assist in the event your child may lack capacity throughout their lifetime
- A Personal Injury Trusts team, who is able to secure appropriate provision of the compensation across your child’s lifetime
- A Wills team that can create and/or amend a parent's will to make sure that children are appropriately provided for
- Financial advice, including benefits advice and support when it comes to planning for the future
We can also assist with swift access to specialist medical care, such as neuro-physiotherapists and speech and language therapists, as well as planning and implementing the child's rehabilitation including securing case managers. The team can also provide advice to help pave the way for the child to integrate back into school.
Making a claim for compensation may not be at the forefront of your mind after a child has suffered a brain injury; however, it can help to improve your current situation so you can focus on looking after your child. To offer more insight into the importance of making a claim and the areas in which our solicitors can offer assistance, JMW and the Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT) have produced a support booklet. You can also read more about our partnership with CBIT here.
Common Accidents Resulting in Child Brain Injuries
There are several common scenarios where an accident has resulted in a brain injury to a child. We have helped many families of children who have suffered a brain injury make a claim for the following types of accidents:
- Road accidents
- Accidents at school or nursery
- Medical negligence before, during or after birth
- Cycling accidents
- Sporting accidents
Several contact sports, by their very nature, place participants at greater risk of injury, no matter how old the participant is. Rugby is considered to be one such sport that could place a child at risk of a brain injury, due to the nature and amount of physical contact in the sport. Our blog post on this topic provides further information on the risks rugby may pose your child as a contact sport, and some of the steps to take if you feel your child may have been affected if they’ve been injured whilst taking part in the sport.
How Child Brain Injury Affects a Family
We know how far-reaching the effects of a brain injury suffered by a child can be, and they can be particularly tough on close family members, such as siblings and parents. If the child has a young brother or sister, it can be especially difficult for them to understand and absorb what has happened, and to accept the big changes taking place in their lives.
Some of the ways a child may behave differently include:
- Communication problems
- Memory issues
- Increased tiredness
- Problems with concentration
Our educational storyboard, created in collaboration with the Child Brain Injury Trust, offers guidance to primary school children coming to terms with their brother or sister suffering a serious head injury, and the serious implications of such an event.
Why should I make a claim for my child's brain injury?
Your concern at this stage will rightly be on your child’s recovery. However, pursuing a claim can help you access rehabilitation that may not be readily available on the NHS. We have access to a network of specialists who can aid your child’s recovery, including occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, neurotherapists and support workers, whose intervention at an early stage can make a huge difference to your child’s recovery. By making a claim, we can also secure further support for your family, such as funding travel expenses to see your child in hospital.
When should I make a claim for a child brain injury?
It is always in your child’s best interest to pursue a claim as soon as possible, as it enables us to make sure that a wide support network of relevant medical and financial experts is easily accessible to both your child and family, which in turn will help with the recovery process. It also means we can get early access to evidence about your child’s accident gathered at the time of the incident, such as police reports, photographs of the accident scene or witness details - being able to access this evidence closer to the time of your child’s accident can assist in strengthening your claim.
With that in mind, we would advise you to get in touch with us as soon as possible, However, a claim for an injury suffered by a child as a result of an accident can be pursued up until the child’s 21st birthday, giving you scope to decide when it is right for you and your family to make a claim.
How does the claims process work?
While this varies depending on the individual circumstances of your child’s accident and precise nature of their injury, there are some common features in child brain injury cases. For example, working with an independent care expert, we are able to ensure that an immediate needs assessment is carried out on your child’s behalf, and put a care package in place so your child has access to necessary treatment as quickly as possible after you get in touch with us.
In all cases, once the claims process is underway, we will contact the party responsible for your child’s accident (the defendant), and ask them to admit liability. They will be given a period of time to investigate events and consider whether or not they feel they are liable, before responding to us.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident and injuries, as well as the defendant’s position on liability, some cases may require substantial amounts of investigation and supporting evidence before your solicitor will suggest it is suitable for you to consider settling the case. We may also need to wait for your child to make their fullest recovery before settling the case, a process that may take some time and require additional support systems to be put in place.
Your lawyer will make a full assessment of how the injury will affect your child throughout the rest of his or her life, and they will prepare a document known as a ‘schedule of loss’. This document, as well as taking into account the pain and suffering your child has been caused by their injury, will consider all costs, including:
- Medical treatment
- Loss of earnings
- Future care and therapies
- Accommodation requirements for your child throughout their life
This provides us with a basis from which to seek an appropriate settlement on behalf of your child. This will ultimately be submitted to the defendant, who will in turn prepare a counter schedule of loss, highlighting what they feel these areas are valued at. This will enable both sides to push forward with settling the case.
Settlement may take place either by negotiation, a round table settlement meeting or assessment by the court. In any event, when dealing with a child or an individual who lacks capacity as a result of brain injury, the settlement must be finally approved by the courts, who usually appoint a deputy to manage matters on behalf of the injured person. Though a final settlement can take years to be reached, regular interim payments could be negotiated while your child’s recovery needs are established. These payments typically contribute to the cost of medical treatment and other needs your child may have as a result of the accident.
How do I choose a solicitor with the right expertise?
Child brain injury cases are complex, can carry on for many years and require a specific set of skills that will not be possessed by every solicitor. When looking for a solicitor, you should:
- Seek a firm that is approved by Headway or CBIT
- Check the law firm's profile in the Legal 500 or Chamber and Partners' guide to the legal profession.
Do not be afraid to ask your solicitor how many cases of this nature they have pursued and how much compensation they have gained for families in the past.
Talk to Us
If your child has suffered a serious head injury, we can help you get the compensation you deserve and provide the guidance you need at such a difficult time. Simply call us on 0800 054 6078 or complete the online enquiry form and one of our team will call you back at a time convenient to you.