Brain Tumour Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a brain tumour, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
Although less common than many other cancers, information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows there has been a steady increase in brain cancer incidence in the UK over the last 32 years - by 23% for men and 25% for women.
Cancer Research UK's figures state that as many as 26 people per day may be diagnosed with brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumours.
What are brain tumours?
Masses of cells that can be benign or malignant, brain tumours are graded from 1 to 4, with grade 1 and 2 tumours being classified as benign - slow growing and unlikely to spread.
Grade 3 and 4 tumours are likely to malignant - the majority caused by secondary cancers - i.e. those that started somewhere else in the body and spread to the brain, through the bloodstream.
Although benign brain tumours are not cancerous, they are still serious and may be life threatening. Primary brain tumours, although less common than secondary, may be a consequence of benign tumours that were misdiagnosed or not treated properly.
Who is at risk of developing a brain tumour?
Despite substantial research, the causes of brain tumours are not well understood and so far links to major lifestyle or other risk factors have only been established in less than 1% of cases.
People of all ages (including children) may be affected. Risk increases with age, with most tumours affecting people over 50. Brain tumours associated with certain genetic conditions tend to develop in childhood or early adulthood.
Previous radiotherapy treatment to the head may increase the risk of a brain tumour developing later in life.
Although it is reported that the use of mobile phones may relate to higher risk of developing brain tumours, the evidence is unclear.
What are the symptoms of a brain tumour?
Symptoms are caused by pressure on the brain from the tumour and by it preventing specific areas of the brain from functioning properly. They depend on its size and location and may include:
- Severe, persistent headaches - typically worse in the morning or when bending over or coughing
- Seizures (fits) - which may affect the whole body or just involve a twitch in one area
- Persistent nausea, vomiting and drowsiness
- Mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality
- Progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, or speech problems
- Vision problems - such as blurred vision, floaters and loss of vision that may come and go
Slow-growing tumours may not cause any symptoms at first.
What happens if a brain tumour is suspected?
Anyone suspecting they may have a brain tumour should see his GP immediately. The GP should assess the patient before referring him to a specialist.
The specialist will conduct further tests to examine the nervous system for any abnormalities. These may include tests on:
- Hearing and vision
- Balance and co-ordination
- Mental agility such as simple arithmetic
These should be followed up with advanced scans - such as CT (computerised tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and EEG (electroencephalogram).
If a tumour is found then a biopsy may be performed to remove tissue for analysis to establish the type of tumour and the best method to treat it.
For the best possible prognosis is it vital to treat a brain tumour as early as possible.
What happens if the tests are not conducted?
Where symptoms are ignored or dismissed as having another cause (such as migraine for instance), and tests not carried out, the tumour may be undiagnosed and therefore not treated.
Delays are particularly significant when dealing with benign tumours. The prognosis is improved when tumours are small and more easily removed. If a surgeon is only able to partially remove a more deep seated tumour, the remaining tissue may cause a recurrence.
An undetected benign tumour may become malignant and spread to damage other parts of the brain and spinal cord.
Can I claim for medical negligence for a brain tumour misdiagnosis?
Where a doctor has failed to investigate, diagnose (or misdiagnose) or correctly treat a brain tumour, the delay in treatment may cause undue suffering to a patient.
To bring a successful claim for clinical negligence it is necessary to show that the delay in diagnosis has resulted in a worse outcome.
Sometimes a patient may be incorrectly diagnosed with having a brain tumour, when his illness is something less severe. A claim for misdiagnosis may be brought where the patient has sustained the psychological stress of believing themselves to have cancer. There may also be financial losses incurred due to time off work for tests and treatment.
Other reading: Report highlights unacceptable delays in cancer diagnosis
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Brain tumour compensation amounts
The following brain tumour payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Brain injury||Minor||Minimal injury with full or near-complete recovery||£1,760 to £10,180|
|Brain injury||Less severe||Good recovery with a return to work and normal social life||£12,210 to £34,330|
|Brain injury||Moderate||Resulting in a lower degree of dependence||£34,330 to £174,620|
|Brain injury||Serious||Resulting in serious disability and substantial dependence on others||£174,620 to £224,800|
|Brain injury||Severe||Very severe with the need for full-time nursing care||£224,800 to £322,060|
|Epilepsy||Moderate||Less severe epilepsy||£8,480 to £10,950|
|Epilepsy||Serious||Established Petit Mal||£43,710 to £104,660|
|Epilepsy||Severe||Established Grand Mal||£81,310 to £119,650|
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I get an interim payment?
Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.
Can I claim for prescription costs?
Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the brain tumour injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
- Instant accurate calculation
- Checks your right to claim
- Confirms No Win, No Fee eligibility
How long does a brain tumour claim take?
The length of time needed to process a brain tumour claim can vary considerably.
A straightforward liability accepted injury claim could be completed in a few weeks. If liability is denied, a compensation claim can take significantly longer. Usually, an injury claim will take 4 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read more:
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee, no risk
No win, no fee removes the risk from making an injury claim. If you do not win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
No win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.