How to Make a Brain Injury Claim on Behalf of a Dependent

Posted on: 4 mins read
Melanie Burden

Partner, Head of Employer's Liability - Serious Injury

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If your friend or relative sustains a brain injury, the effect can be devastating both for them and their loved ones. Sadly, people who sustain these injuries are often left with lasting damage and sometimes lack capacity to make their own decisions. If you have a child that has sustained a brain injury, then they of course will need another person to act for them in order to make a claim for the brain injury. In this article, we’ll tell you what you can do to help them claim for damages, which can be used for much needed care and support.

There are many reasons why someone may sustain a brain injury and it doesn’t always have to be from something like a fall. For example, they can result from:

      • A stroke
      • Medication errors
      • Doctors failing to act when there has been a build-up of fluid on your brain
      • Cardiac arrest
      • Meningitis
      • Brain tumour
      • Birth trauma

This list isn’t exhaustive, so don’t be deterred from taking legal action if the reason for your loved one's brain injury isn't mentioned. If they acquired a brain or head injury through no fault of their own, you could be entitled to claim for compensation on their behalf which could help with their ongoing treatment.

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What are the signs of a Brain Injury?

The effects of a brain injury can vary substantially. Sometimes it may be obvious something isn’t quite right, but at other times the symptoms are less apparent. Some things to look out for are:

      • Dizziness
      • Visual disturbances
      • Communication difficulties
      • Difficulty in performing routine tasks
      • Memory problems
      • Concentration issues
      • Sleep disturbance

If a loved one has been diagnosed with a brain injury, you can contact our team of Specialist Personal Injury Solicitors who will assess your case for free. We can visit you and your loved one, either at home or in hospital. If we think you have a case for compensation, we may be able to deal with it on a No Win No Fee basis.

What if the Injured Person is Unable to Make their Own Decisions?

If the person who has acquired a brain injury is unable to make a claim for themselves, either because of their medical condition or because they are under the age of 18, then you can do it on their behalf by becoming a Litigation Friend. The claim will be made in the same way it would if the person was making the claim themselves. The difference is that the Litigation Friend will give the instructions to the Solicitor, not the injured person.

Are There Time Limits on When I Can Make a Claim?

Yes, there’s a three-year time limit from the accident which caused the injuries or the date of diagnosis.

If you're making a claim on behalf of a child, a claim can be started at any point until their 18th birthday. At this point, the three-year limit will then start.

If the brain injury happened as a result of a violent crime, you can make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. If you use this method, then you only have two years to make your claim.

What Evidence do I Need?

When it comes to brain injuries, medical evidence is absolutely crucial. If the injury was caused by an accident, try and get any witness statements, photos or videos from the scene. Make sure that the accident is reported either to the police or to the company where it took place. Companies have a legal obligation to record any injuries on their premises in an accident report book. Your copy of this entry would make it almost impossible for them to deny the incident took place.

How Long Does a Claim Take?

This depends on many different factors, such as how quickly we can gather evidence and medical reports, and whether the person responsible for your injury admits liability straight away. If they do, then we may be able to apply for you to get interim payments, to help with any ongoing costs until the final settlement is reached.

How Much Compensation Could you Get?

This depends on the circumstances of each individual case. We’ve helped many people win compensation for these types of injuries, which can be used for ongoing care and rehabilitation (sometimes lifelong). Compensation can also account for loss of income or a person’s inability to pursue their career due to the limitations they now face. In some cases this can be in the millions of pounds depending on the severity.

When calculating the claim, we’ll also address any costs that have already been paid. For example travel costs to appointments, adaptations to the person’s home or private care costs, where a family member may have looked after them free of charge.

What Should I do Next?

The law around Brain Injuries can very complex, but our Serious Injury Solicitors have the experience and knowledge to help the person you represent get the right result. We have links with organisations such as Headway and the Child Brain Injury Trust, who are also specialists in this area.

We can help get the best treatment and support to help the injured person continue to live their life as normally as possible. For a free assessment of your case contact our team today.

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