A Guide to Claiming Head Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a head injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a head injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Head Injuries - the statistics

Head injuries range from superficial cuts and bruises to serious forms of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

Acquired brain injuries are those that occur after birth, although head trauma can also exacerbate pre-existing conditions.

Headway statistics show that there were 348,453 ABI hospital admissions in the year 2016-17. There were 155,919 head injury omissions in the same period. The number of unreported head injury accidents is likely to be much greater.

Read more: Can I claim if an accident made an existing medical condition worse?

Assessing the severity of a head injury

Head injury

One major challenge faced by people with head injuries and their solicitors and medical advisers, is how to assess the extent of a head injury.

An initial medical report and prognosis will be carried out at then start of a claim. The medical support provided during a compensation claim can help with ongoing assessment.

This process should ensure that an injured party receives the support, care and full financial compensation they are entitled to.

Do I have a head injury claim?

As a basic rule, you can make a head injury claim if you were injured:

  • within the last three years and,
  • another person was to blame.

Even if these two points don't apply to you, a claim may still be possible.

To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to a head injury claim expert on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. You will never be pressured into making a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

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 a head injury claim on their own behalf.

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

What if the other party denies liability?

If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your head injury. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.

Check my claim

How much compensation can I claim for a head injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your head injury 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 head injury 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

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 a head 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

Head Injury compensation amounts

The following head injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fourteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

Injury Example Amount
Minor Brain injury Minimal injury with full or near-complete recovery £1,760 to £10,180
Less severe Brain injury Good recovery with a return to work and normal social life £12,210 to £34,330
Moderate Brain injury Resulting in a lower degree of dependence £34,330 to £174,620
Serious Brain injury Resulting in serious disability and substantial dependence on others £174,620 to £224,800
Severe Brain injury Very severe with the need for full-time nursing care £224,800 to £322,060
Moderate Facial injuries Multiple fractures of facial bones £11,890 to £19,090
Serious Facial injuries Le Fort fractures of frontal facial bones £18,980 to £29,290
Minor Facial scars £3,150 to £10,960
Moderate Facial scars £7,270 to £23,980
Severe Facial scars £14,320 to £77,580
Show more results

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple head injury 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 severe head injury can be £34,000

For a more minor shoulder injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £5,000.

However, if you have a severe head injury and a more minor shoulder injury, you would typically receive £34,000 + a reduced percentage of £5,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.

What is the average injury compensation for a head 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 a head injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your head injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Find out what your head injury claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated, particularly if you have multiple injuries.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?

If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.

Calculate my claim

How long do I have to make a head injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the head injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your head injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a head injury after 3 years?

For adults, the general rule is no, you cannot start a claim more than three years after a head injury.

However, if you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a head injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Will I still be able to claim for a head injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your head injury 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.

Will I get advice on treatment options?

As part of the head injury claims process, your solicitor can arrange a thorough and independent needs assessment. The assessment may offer advice on treatment, access to treatments and therapies not always available on the NHS and co-ordination with rehabilitation providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists etc

How can head injury compensation help?

One of the fundamental principles of personal injury law is that the law should try to return individuals to the state they would have been in if an accident and injury had never happened.

In respect of making restitution to someone who has sustained a serious head injury, a financial settlement can only ever go so far. The nature of head injury is such that it can have life-changing repercussions for injured parties and their families.

Our network of expert lawyers strive to get the maximum settlement for head injuries:

  • for general damages to cover loss of amenity, including memory loss and loss of faculties
  • to reimburse medical expenses arising from the injury, such as treatment costs
  • to cover ongoing treatment and care costs
  • for other expenses, including travel costs to appointments
  • to cover any lost earnings, and future loss of earnings

How we have helped others

Quittance's specialist solicitors have recovered substantial compensation awards for clients in a wide range of head injury cases, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Injuries resulting in loss of senses, mental faculties or physical ability
  • Concussion
  • Open head wounds, including skull displacement and fractures
  • Minor head injuries, scars and burns

Before embarking on a claim, your solicitor will discuss with you the circumstances of your injury and will explain your options. If there are alternative routes to a resolution other that the formal, legal option, your solicitor will advise you of the possible outcomes of these.

Your solicitor will enable you to put your energy into recovery, offering clear advice throughout the claims process to guide you through to a successful resolution.

If you are helping someone else make a claim, your solicitor will assist with the big decisions, such as when to accept a settlement, offering impartial, considered advice.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

At work

If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Work Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a road accident

If you are thinking of making a road accident claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Road Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)

If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:

Public Place Claims - What you need to know

Medical negligence

According to the latest figures published in 2019, there were over 17,000 clinical negligence claims in the year 2016-17. This increase is largely down to an overstretched NHS.

If you are thinking of making a medical negligence claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Clinical Negligence Claims - What you need to know

Other claim types

Find details on another type of claim:

See list of other claims

No win, no fee

'No win, no fee' means that if your head injury claim is not successful, you won't have to pay any legal fees at all. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is an agreement entered into between you and a solicitor.

Our no win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a head injury claim, even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my head 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 head injury claim?

If your head injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all.

Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

Please note, 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?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Head 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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.

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

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert