Making a brain injury compensation claim? Here’s everything you need to know

Published on: 26 April 2018

A brain injury can be completely life-altering and is certainly not something to be dismissed. Brain injuries can be so catastrophic that the victim is left entirely dependent on others and for this reason, many claims are actually made by their families and loved ones on their behalf. A brain injury can have a variety of consequences from the short-term to the long-term, ranging from a period of illness while the brain recovers, to lifelong that require complete changes to the victim’s way of life.

This article aims to guide you as the victim and/or the claimant in the causes, types and consequences of brain injury, as well as the ways in which compensation can help.

Causes of brain injury

 This kind of personal injury can have a variety of causes, but they all tend to be serious accidents. The can include:

  • Serious slips, trips or falls,
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Cycling accidents
  • Accidents in the workplace
  • Sports accidents
  • Medical negligence

Less serious head injuries such as concussion can be caused by more minor accidents but can still have their own particular consequences.

Types of brain injury

There are many different types of brain injury that can arise from the above causes. We’ve listed some of the more usual ones below:

  • Concussion. As mentioned, this is one of the less serious types of brain injury, although can become very serious if treated incorrectly. They can have ongoing symptoms that last long after the accident such as headaches, loss of memory and confusion, or balance, speech and vision problems. The symptoms of a concussion need to be closely monitored as they can also be symptoms of more serious brain injuries.
  • Subdural haematoma. This is a condition where blood pools between the skull and the brain’s surface and the symptoms are similar to a very severe concussion. It can be considered a very serious injury and have ongoing consequences.
  • Subarachnoid haemorrhage. This is caused by bleeding on the brain’s surface and, while it isn’t common, is the cause of around one out of every 20 strokes in the UK. If left untreated, it could cause a stroke which could bring about its own set of long-term health issues.
  • Diffuse axonal injury. This is a devastating brain injury often seen as a result of road traffic accidents where the head gets jolted and the brain moves back and forth inside the skull, resulting in the connections between brain cells being broken.
  • Open-head injury or penetrating head injury. This is an easy-to-spot but horrendous injury, where someone has either hit their head violently enough to expose their brain, or an object has pierced the skull. The consequences of this can vary as it can depend on how badly and where the brain was exposed or penetrated.

Consequences of a brain injury

The consequences of a brain injury can vary greatly depending on the severity and type of the injury. However, they can include:

  • The need for ongoing hospital treatment over a long period – sometimes for the rest of the victim’s life.
  • Loss of earnings. Even a minor brain injury will require a significant amount of time off work and, in the case of catastrophic brain injury, the victim may not be able to return to work at all.
  • Reliance on family, friends or carers for day-to-day living. This often includes family members giving up work to become carers and can impact family income in a serious way.
  • A complete change of lifestyle where the victim has to give up hobbies and interests, adapt their home or move house, give up driving and so on.

There can be further consequences unique to the individual too, depending on their particular brain injury and the lifestyle they carried out before.

Can compensation help?

 Making a successful personal injury claim can’t turn the clock back and undo the injury, but it can make life easier by covering lost earnings, paying for any adaptations that need to be made to support the victim’s day-to-day life, paying for rehabilitation or carers and compensation for the emotional impact.

With this type of devastating injury, compensation claims can be for large amounts, so it can be placed into a personal injury trust so as not to interfere with any benefit claims you may be entitled to make.

Contact Luke Curran Solicitors in Newry to discuss your or your loved one’s brain injury and we can advise as to whether you have a claim. With our extensive experience, we can ensure you the best outcome so call +44 (0)28 302 67134 or email