Diffuse Axonal Injury Compensation Claims

If you have been affected by a diffuse axonal injury, 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

Introduction

Diffuse axonal injury is one of the most common types of head injury, diagnosed in around half of all severe head injury cases. It is also one of the most devastating. Patients with diffuse axonal injury or DAI invariably will suffer short-or long-term concussion; many will enter a coma. Approximately nine out of 10 patients with a severe DAI will not regain consciousness.

If you have suffered diffuse axonal injury or any other type of brain injury at the fault of others, you may be entitled to compensation. Family may claim for compensation if the affected person is in a coma or has died.

Head injury

Do I have an injury claim?

As a basic rule, you can make an injury claim if your injury happened:

  • within the last 3 years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

Do I have a claim? - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I make a diffuse axonal injury claim right up to the three-year limit?

Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a diffuse axonal injury claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

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

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

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
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Diffuse axonal injury compensation amounts

The following diffuse axonal injury 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.

Example Amount
Brain injury
Minimal injury with full or near-complete recovery £1,760 to £10,180
Good recovery with a return to work and normal social life £12,210 to £34,330
Resulting in a lower degree of dependence £34,330 to £174,620
Resulting in serious disability and substantial dependence on others £174,620 to £224,800
Very severe with the need for full-time nursing care £224,800 to £322,060

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious head injury can be £30,000

For a less severe shoulder injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,500.

However, if you have a serious head injury and a less severe shoulder injury, you would typically receive £30,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,500.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

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.

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:

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How long does a diffuse axonal injury claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation for a diffuse axonal injury can vary considerably.

A straightforward liability accepted injury claim can settle in a couple of months. If liability is denied, the process might take longer. Typically, an injury claim takes between 4 and 9 months. For more information, see: How long will my claim take?

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.

What is diffuse axonal injury?

Diffuse axonal injury occurs when the fibres that connect the cells in the brain are damaged or torn. This disrupts the electrical signals in the brain affecting movement, sensation, speech, memory and consciousness.

The condition is known as "diffuse" axonal injury because, unlike most other brain injuries, a large area of the brain is affected. This means that the injury is difficult to diagnose and may be more severe than first appears on a conventional brain scan.

What are the causes of diffuse axonal injury?

DAI is caused by a sudden jolt to the brain within the skull. The skull itself is not fractured, but the violent jerking or shaking movement causes pressure to build up in the brain which, if not stabilised, can have severe or fatal consequences.

The most common cause of a diffuse axonal injury is a high-impact road traffic accident. Other causes include falls from height, violent crime, sports injuries and shaken baby syndrome.

It is also important to note that DAI can occur without a direct blow to the head occurring. Any hard or repeated shaking action may be enough to cause the brain to move back and forth in the skull.

What are the symptoms of diffuse axonal injury?

Symptoms range from mild to severe and include:

  • Long-term loss of consciousness
  • Temporary or repeated short-term loss of consciousness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and nausea.

The type of symptoms will depend on the seriousness of the injury and the part of the brain that has been affected.

Treatment and prognosis

The immediate priority is to stabilise the injury and reduce the swelling of the brain. As with all brain injuries, early medical intervention is essential to prevent permanent loss of brain function and provide the best outcomes for the patient.

In many cases, a full recovery is unlikely. It is not possible to surgically repair damaged or disconnected brain fibres, so the focus is on rehabilitation. Therapies may include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and counselling. Some patients may need to use mobility aids and other adaptive equipment to support their daily function.

Compensation for diffuse axonal injury

For the majority of patients, DAI is a life-changing condition. The level of brain damage associated with the injury usually makes it difficult for patients to return to work, and many will need 24-hour support and personal care.

Often, occurrences of DAI are due to the negligence of other individuals or companies. If it can be shown that another person is legally responsible for the accident that caused the injury, a claim for compensation may be brought. Each case will be determined on its own merits by reference to the seriousness of the diffuse axon injury. However, due to the irrevocable nature of brain damage, the amount of compensation can be substantial.

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.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

How does no win, no fee work?

With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.

No win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is 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%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee 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 do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. 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:

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Injury 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.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

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.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor