Of all the personal injuries to suffer, a head injury can be the most life-changing. The human brain is the most sophisticated computer we possess, and even minor damage can have long-term consequences.
If you have suffered from a mild to severe brain injury because of another’s negligence, you may be wondering how much compensation you could claim. Rehabilitation for brain injuries is expensive. Most who suffer head trauma require time off work to recover; some are never able to return to full-time employment. This can cause severe financial pressure on families. It is little wonder then that the issue of how much compensation can be claimed becomes such a pressing issue.
However, as we shall see, compensation in head injury cases can vary greatly for several reasons.
Different types of head injuries
One reason it can be hard to estimate damages for moderate to severe brain injuries is the vast range of consequences that can result from head trauma.
Take the tragic case of actress Natasha Richardson. In 2008, she died after a small fall on a learner ski field caused a bump to her head. She got up and laughed about the incident, refusing all calls for an ambulance.
She seemed fine.
In 24 hours, she was dead. The cause of death was cited as an epidural hematoma due to a blunt impact to the head.
The tragic story is a reminder that even minor blows to the head can lead to devastating bleeding potentially causinga stroke or damaged brain tissue. Blows to the head can sometimes cause “talk and die” syndrome. Thisis due todelayed bleeding between the skull and the brain stem, which sits at the top of the spinal cord and regulates consciousness, breathing, and the heart and connects the brain to many of the body’s sensory and motor nerves. Tears to the inner lining of brain arteries can result in blood clots.
Personality changes can also be caused by moderate head injuries. For example, when Grand Tour presenter, Richard Hammond suffered a car crash that nearly killed him, his recovery appeared to be quick and straightforward. But this was not the case. Hammond described to The Guardian how, after the accident, he was, “prey to every single emotion that swept over me, and I couldn’t deal with it.”This is a common symptom of traumatic brain injury, and it happens because the brain’s neural pathways have been damaged.
“In a traumatic brain injury, the front of the brain, which governs self-awareness, often takes the impact,” Steve Shears, brain injury counsellor at Headway, the Brain Injury Association, told the Guardian. “Shockwaves then bounce backwards and forwards around the brain, and other normal neural pathways are disrupted. Brain cells die, a bleed may deprive the brain of oxygen, there may be swelling, and since there is not much room inside the skull, this may restrict the blood supply. There is also a cascade of chemical reactions that can destroy brain tissue.”
For a person suffering severe brain trauma, depression, anxiety and memory loss can also prove debilitating.
Compensation for mild to severe head trauma vary, but the figures below can provide a rough guide:
Very serious brain damage
£225,000 – £325,000
£175,000 – £225,000
£34,000 – £175,000
Mild head injury (minimal brain damage)
£1,500 – £10,000
£8,000 – £120,000
An experienced personal injury solicitor can advise you on the chances of your compensation claim succeeding and the amount of compensation you could receive. They can also increase your chances of success by instructing expert witnesses to help verify the extent of your brain injury and the short and long-term impact it will have on your life.
The road to recovery after a head injury can be arduous. Compensation can help take away the financial stress impacting on you and your family, allowing you to concentrate on making a full recovery.
Free Claim Assessment
At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have received a head injury and would like a free claim assessment so that you can understand your rights, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.