Brain and head injuries- how the legal process can help

28 April 2021

As a solicitor in the Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury team, I work on many complex cases involving brain injuries. The brain itself, being the ‘all powerful’ machine that it is, has always interested me. The ability and function of the brain is incredible, yet as powerful as it is, it can be very vulnerable and sensitive to injury, something which I previously explored in my blog “The Almighty Brain- or is it?”. When we do take on a new brain injury case, our first task is to understand just how the injury has affected our client.
 

Recent research from Headway shows that admissions for all types of acquired brain injuries (ABI), head injuries and strokes in the UK are increasing. In males, this has increased by 5% and in females there has been an increase of  18% - an across the board increase of 10% between 2005 and  2017. In terms of numbers that amounted to approximately 30,000 extra cases during that period.

The cases that we handle reflect those statistics.   Some are personal injury claims – for example traumatic brain injuries caused in road traffic accidents or workplace injuries.  Others are clinical negligence claims, such as hypoxic brain injuries as a result of deprivation of oxygen at birth, and delays in treating stroke symptoms.

With all of our cases, we assess the immediate and lifelong needs of our client. We look at their daily living which may have been affected by the injury and question how to improve this. We think about whether our clients need carers, physiotherapy or occupational theory, and specialist aids and equipment such as wheelchairs, or assistive technology. We also consider whether their current home is suitable to meet their needs or if they require more suitable accommodation.

To help us in this task, we instruct various experts to produce reports that analyse our client’s needs and provide financial costings.     We also look at our client’s long term prognosis so that we can cost the special needs into the future – for a lifetime if necessary.    We present the costings in a detailed Schedule of Special Damage and Future Loss.  This document forms the basis of settlement negotiations, and if they are unsuccessful, is used at trial. 

Every case is unique, and with every client the aim is to achieve a settlement which not only compensates them for their injury, but also funds their special needs going forward, and gives them financial security for as long as they need it.

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you would like any further information or advice about the topic discussed in this blog, please contact Satvir Sokhi or our Medical Negligence and Personal Injury team.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Satvir Sokhi joined Kingsley Napley in 2016 and works as an Associate in the Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury team.

He has experience of working with clients who have sustained a range of injuries, including brain injuries, injuries arising from birth, orthopaedic injuries and gastrointestinal injuries. Sat also advises on complex quantum issues (for example, future accommodation and care claims). 

 

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