If a member of your family has suffered a traumatic brain injury you are likely to have many questions regarding your entitlement to make a brain injury claim. Below you will find key extracts from our guide to traumatic brain injuries and to instigating brain injury claims.
What is traumatic brain injury?
Unlike acquired brain injury, traumatic brain injuries are caused by external factors only such as a physical assault, a traffic collision, or striking one’s head after a fall.
How do I know if I have suffered a traumatic brain injury?
Obviously, your GP together with a consultant neurologist are the people best placed to advise you on this. The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can vary and may be very obvious in severe cases such as coma, seizures, and headaches. However, more subtle symptoms, particularly cognitive changes may be more difficult to spot. These changes can include memory problems, poor concentration, affected planning and problem-solving capabilities, communication difficulties, etc. One may also suffer fatigue, loss of taste and smell and behavioural changes such as irritability. Naturally, it may be difficult for the injured party to identify these symptoms and they might only be noticed through the observations of friends and family members.
Can I recover compensation if I have suffered a traumatic brain injury?
This depends on the external factor that caused your injury. For example, if you have been involved in a road traffic accident where you believe the driver of the other car (or the driver of the car in which you were a passenger) is responsible then you should investigate a possible claim for personal injuries against that driver. If you are a victim of an assault then you may wish to bring an action against the person who assaulted you and seek compensation from the criminal injuries compensation tribunal.
If you have suffered a brain injury it is advisable that you or a family member on your behalf seek the advice of a solicitor who can advise you on any potential case.
What compensation can I recover?
You will be entitled to recover “general damages” for your pain and suffering and “special damages” for your out of pocket expenses such as medical bills and loss of earnings. Loss of earnings in this type of case can be particularly difficult. Obviously, the cognitive difficulties outlined above can have a significant impact on a person’s performance levels and in turn their employment and career progression prospects. Various tests can be applied to establish a person’s cogitative abilities but the difficulty arises if there is nothing to compare those results against from prior to the accident.
One common way in which this can be done is by comparing academic performance from before and after the accident. For example, if you had been achieving consistently high scores in exams and tests before the accident but those results have diminished since the accident then this could be used to demonstrate the difficulties that you are experiencing.
Once you can establish these difficulties then a skilled actuary will be able to prepare a report illustrating the effect that the injury has had on your earning capabilities.
When should I speak with my solicitor?
While your recovery must be paramount you must always be mindful of the time limits for bringing a claim. Typically speaking this is two years but there are some exceptions and you should speak with your solicitor as soon as possible to establish when time will run out against you. Your solicitor will then be in a position to assist you in stopping time running against you and you can continue to focus on your recovery.
Can any solicitor handle these types of cases?
Technically yes. But these are complex cases as illustrated above in the segment relating to loss of earnings. You are best served by a solicitor who is experienced in handling these claims.
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Further advice on instigating a brain injury claim
If you have any questions relating to a brain injury you or your relative has sustained, our live chat operator is available to help you with any queries you may have at any time or, you can just give us a call on our nationwide Local number 1800 390 555 during office hours. Our brain injury claims solicitors are based at our offices in Dublin and Cork but assist people from across the country, including Limerick, Waterford and Galway.
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