A guide to making a No Win No Fee head injury claim
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 result in the symptoms of pre-existing conditions to become worse.
The charity Headway report that over 160,000 people were admitted to hospital in the year 2013-14 after sustaining a head injury. The number of unreported head injury accidents is likely to be much greater.
The NHS report that head injuries can often be difficult to predict or avoid, but recommend steps to take to mitigate the risk of an accident. Where this risk was ignored and injury resulted from the negligence or actions of another party, whether the accident happened at home, at work, on the roads or while playing sports, it should be possible for the injured person to claim compensation.
Assessing the severity of a head injury
One major challenge faced by solicitors, medical professionals and injured people themselves involves assessing the extent of a head injury.
The medical support provided during a compensation claim can help with this assessment. This ensures that an injured party receives the support, care and full financial compensation they are entitled to.
How much compensation can I claim for a head injury?
Head injury compensation payouts reflect the life-changing impact such injuries can have. Facial injuries like jaw or cheekbone fractures may range from around £2,000 to over £20,000. Head injuries affecting the brain, resulting in long-term symptoms, are valued higher, ranging between £32,000 and £300,000 for very severe damage.
Table 1. Head injury compensation amounts
|Injury Type||Compensation Amount|
|Minor head injury||£1,675 to £9,700|
|Nose fracture||£1,925 to £3,875|
|Cheekbone fracture||£1,775 to £12,000|
|Jaw fracture||£4,900 to £23,175|
|Epilepsy||£41,675 to £114,100|
|Brain damage (moderate to severe)||£32,725 to £307,000|
Please note that these compensation amounts for head injuries list general damages and may not reflect the total settlement, including treatment costs and other expenses that a Claimant is entitled to recover.
Find out how much you could claim for a head injury using our detailed injury compensation calculator:
How the Courts calculate head injury compensation
Injury compensation guidelines are recommended by the Judicial College. These figures are assessed in relation to the type and extent of the injury, and in consideration of recovery prospects. In the Judicial College guidelines, compensation is laid out in the form of upper and lower recommended amounts awarded for specific types and degrees of head injury.
Can you claim if an existing head injury or condition gets worse?
You could claim for existing conditions or earlier injuries if they have worsened due to the accident or illness, such as an increased frequency in epileptic seizures following a head injury, however minor the physical damage appeared to be at the time of the accident.
Are you eligible to make a head injury claim?
You may be entitled to make a claim for a head injury provided that the accident happened within the last three years and was caused by another party. Claims have been brought against employers, drivers, local authorities and reckless sports people.
Your lawyer must demonstrate that the injuries you have sustained were due to the accident and the Defendant can be held legally accountable for the accident to succeed in a claim.
Can someone claim if they are partly responsible?
If both the Claimant and the other party bare some responsibility, compensation may still be received in proportion to the apportionment of blame. Matters are concluded in this way with what are referred to as split-liability agreements.
This scenario can arise in head injury cases where an employee was supplied with headgear, but chose not to wear it, or where a cyclist does not wear a helmet. The injured Claimant may not be responsible for the accident that caused the head injury, but compensation for their injuries may be reduced on the basis that they could have done more to reduce or mitigate the extent of their injury.
Can you make a head injury claim on behalf of another party?
Friends or family members can act as ?litigation friends' on behalf of those too seriously injured to pursue their own claim within the set time limits.
The litigation friend will be responsible for corresponding with solicitors and for making decisions in respect of the injured party's claim.
Find more information about making a claim on behalf of someone else here.
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 a head injury on behalf of their clients:
- 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
- for other expenses, including travel costs to appointments
- to cover any lost earnings, and future loss of earnings
What has Quittance's panel of solicitors done to help those affected by head injuries?
Helping those affected by the negligence of others successfully claim compensation for head and brain injury, Quittance's specialist solicitors have acted for clients in a wide range of cases.
Settlements and Court awards have been successfully negotiated for head injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Injuries resulting in loss of senses, mental faculties or physical ability
- 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.
As a Claimant, 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.
Most Claimants never need to go to court.
How long does it take before you receive compensation?
Claims for simple injuries such as broken arms or legs are generally straightforward. As a result, appropriate damages are usually agreed and paid in a relatively short time frame. However, due to the serious nature of many head injuries and the potential for long-term consequences, the claim may take longer to resolve.
In some cases it can benefit the Claimant for the process to take longer, so that the full extent of the injury and its impact can be understood, and appropriate treatment and care determined. The cost of any such care and treatment will be factored into the total compensation amount.
What is the likelihood of a head injury claim being successful?
It needs to be proven, on the balance of probabilities, that the accident caused the head injury. In turn, it must be shown that this accident was the result of an act or negligence by the party being held responsible.
The claim has a good chance of success if the other side has acknowledged their responsibility for the accident or illness. If the other side has not admitted liability, or argues that you were partly to blame for your injuries, you may have a lower likelihood of success or may receive less compensation.
Your solicitor will help collate all of the evidence with a view to putting together the strongest case. If the accident occurred at work, you are advised to report the incident to the appropriate authorities and make a note of it in the accident book if your workplace has one.
Even if the symptoms of the head injury seemed minor at the time of the injury, it is very strongly recommended by both solicitors and medical professionals that you seek a medical examination as soon as possible. A number of serious brain injuries can remain undetected for a time and medical attention could protect you from further harm.
No Win, No Fee arrangements with head injury compensation claims
No Win, No Fee injury claims begin once an injured Claimant agrees a Conditional Fee Agreement (or CFA) with their lawyer.
Your Conditional Fee Agreement defines a contract between you and your lawyer.
The agreement sets out the work the solicitor handling your case provides as well as a percentage success fee. The "success fee" will be the fee that will be taken from the total compensation after your case is won.
Get peace of mind with the knowledge that that there will be nothing whatsoever to pay up front. There will be absolutely no hidden fees when using a Quittance personal injury solicitor.
Get a free Compensation Claim Report
Like many people thinking about claiming compensation, you may be undecided about speaking to a solicitor. If you are acting on behalf of someone else, it can be difficult to know where to start.
A Compensation Claim Report (CCR) will calculate the amount your claim could be worth but also offers an assessment of your claim's key issues without the need to discuss the case in detail with a solicitor yet.
Specifically, your CCR will assess:
- the time the process could take to complete
- the size of the compensation award or settlement
- the likelihood of making a successful claim
Your Compensation Claim Report much more detail on the key points of your head injury claim. Get a Report online now.
For more information regarding making a claim for head injury compensation, whether it is for your own injury or on behalf of someone else, call Quittance on 0800 612 7456. Alternatively you can arrange a callback at a more convenient time of a confidential, no-obligation consultation.