Brain Tumour Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a brain tumour we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a brain tumour and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
brain tumour compensation:
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 brain tumour will depend on:
- the extent 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 brain tumour has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
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 a brain tumour? (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 a brain tumour claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a brain tumour will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your brain tumour 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.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Will I have to pay tax on my brain tumour compensation?
If you receive financial compensation following a brain tumour injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.
Calculate my brain tumour compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a brain tumour 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 brain tumour claim could be worth now:
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, however, 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: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your brain tumour claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.
No win, no fee, no risk
No win, no fee removes the risk from making a brain tumour 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 a brain tumour 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 brain tumour 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 brain tumour claim?
If your brain tumour 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 can Quittance help?
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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Brain tumour FAQ's
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 was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
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 a brain tumour claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the brain tumour to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your brain tumour claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a brain tumour 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 brain tumour compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a brain tumour claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
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.