At the other end of the scale, the term 'head injury' can equally be applied to minor concussion or a superficial head wound with moderate swelling or skin breakage.
Head injuries can be especially worrying because the symptoms of long term brain damage may not be immediately obvious after the harm is first caused. In some cases, the effects of a head injury will take many years to develop fully.
If you or someone you know has suffered a head injury, it is important to make sure that the symptoms have been fully investigated. In some cases, the injury will resolve entirely in a short period of time. In other cases, the symptoms might get worse and you will need to think about what help you will need in the future to maximise your quality of life.
Causes of Head Injury
Head injuries can be caused by a wide range of different accidents and circumstances. In many cases a head injury will be caused by a road traffic accident, an accident in the workplace, a sporting injury, a criminal assault, or even from a simple fall.
People can also suffer a head injury as a result of medical negligence. For example, a doctor may have prescribed the wrong medication, or the wrong amount of medication, over a long period of time. In some cases, that mistake will have an impact on brain function and can lead to difficulties with memory and motor skills.
Sometimes, mistakes made by doctors during childbirth can lead to the development of a condition called Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a specific kind of brain damage that occurs in children up to the age of 5. This condition usually means that the person affected will need help in lots of different ways, including with feeding, washing and dressing, for the remainder of their life.
Compensation for a Head Injury
If you or someone you know has been affected by a head injury, compensation could be awarded to help deal with medical costs, to account for the loss of earnings and to cover the cost of adaptations you might need to make to your home. There may also be compensation payable to reflect the pain and distress of having suffered an injury that wasn't your fault.
The potential value of a claim for a head injury will depend on the severity of the injury, the recovery time and the lasting effects.
The Morton Fraser Compensation Calculator illustrates the different categories of head injury, and the amount of compensation that may be payable to you, depending on the severity of the injury. These figures are based on previous decisions made by the Courts in Scotland, but the precise value of each case will depend on its own unique facts.
Categories of Head Injury Claims
In the most serious cases, involving significant, lifelong brain damage, the compensation payable may be well in excess of £200,000. That figure will increase significantly if the individual affected is a child, or in cases where the person was employed but had to stop working completely because of their injuries. If there is likely to be a need for professional care services, when that wouldn't have otherwise been the case, the compensation payable may be in excess of £1,000,000.
In other cases, the brain damage may have resulted in moderate or temporary cognitive impairment, meaning that the person affected can still do many things for themselves but occasionally needs help with other tasks they used to be able to do independently. These cases are also likely to result in significant compensation, between £36,740 and £186,890, depending on the particular circumstances of the case and the age of the person affected.
Even in cases where there has been no brain damage whatsoever, compensation may be payable to reflect the pain and distress caused by an injury to the head. Those injuries can include concussion, skull fractures, bruising, bleeding and lacerations. Very often those injuries will be accompanied by psychological distress or trauma and if those conditions are diagnosed, the value of the case will increase. The value of a minor head injury alone, may range from £2,000 at the lowest end of the scale to £36,740 for more serious injuries.
No matter the severity of the head injury or brain damage, there may be additional compensation payable to you because of the unique circumstances of your own case. It is important that you seek advice on this process as soon as possible, as the law in Scotland allows a period of three years from when the harm occurred, during which time a claim must be raised on your behalf.
There are exceptions to this rule if the case is being pursued on behalf of a child, but it is important to seek specialist advice at the earliest opportunity to protect your entitlement to make a claim.
Why Morton Fraser?
Morton Fraser has a successful track record of pursuing claims relating to head injury and brain damage. We are experts at representing people in personal injury and medical negligence cases.
We have a range of funding models available, which allows flexibility in our approach to undertaking investigations on your behalf. Our experience allows us to provide clear advice about prospects of success in a claim and the likely value of the compensation you would be entitled to if the case is successful.