Brain/ Head and Catastrophic injuries

Experience

We have particular experience in dealing with Claimants with brain and other catastrophic injuries. We have particular experience in dealing with several multi million pound claims. These claims need very specialist skills from legal advisers used to dealing with the complex expert evidence involved in the investigation of those claims and the complex issues that arise.

Brain/ Head injury

The impact of brain injury can be very diverse. In some cases the injured person may left with very obvious physical disabilities. However the consequences are often subtle and may not be immediately obvious to others. The injured person may be left with problems of memory, anxiety, loss of temper, organisation or depression and family may find that the injured person is simply not the person they once knew. It is important that these “hidden” disabilities are fully understood to ensure that the injured person is properly compensated and provided with the help and rehabilitation they need.

We are members of the Brain Injury Group (BIG)a national network of specialist brain injury lawyers and support services. BIG seeks to provide a complete package of support for brain injured people and their families.

Loss of limbs

Prosthetics is an area where advances in technology are being made at a rapid pace. It is vital in ensuring appropriate compensation that the range of prosthetic options are properly investigated and costed.  We have the experience in dealing with Claimants with substantial and complex needs following loss of limbs.

Expert evidence

We have experience in dealing with experts from the wide range of disciplines that may be involved in brain and other catastrophic injury cases. These may include experts from disciplines such as:

  • neurology
  • neuropsychology
  • neuroradiology
  • physiotherapy
  • speech and language therapy
  • prosthetics
  • occupational therapy
  • accommodation
  • education
  • employment
  • assistive technology and IT
  • care
  • finance and investment

Interim payments

Compensation claims, especially potentially large or complex claims, may take some time to conclude. In the meantime you will need to pay for rehabilitation, aids or adaptations or additional family expenses. In appropriate cases we can look to obtain interim payment from the Defendant to help fund these expenses.

Practical support

While financial compensation is clearly the key objective of any personal injury claim we are also very aware that practical support with a number of aspects can be crucial in relieving some of the more serious consequences of injury. With this in mind we have established special relationships with other service providers to assist our clients and to ensure that in appropriate circumstances they receive practical and specialist support they need.

Securing support for urgent practical needs

We can arrange for a leading provider of Case Management, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Services to carry out, free of charge, an urgent practical needs assessment and then report on the immediate needs of clients who have suffered brain or other serious injuries.  This report may help identify steps that can be taken to secure therapy to assist rehabilitation or other practical measures to support the injured person and their family. The report may also provide the basis for further negotiations with the Defendant to secure from the Defendant either practical or financial assistance in meeting the needs identified.

Financial Advice

We can also arrange for a leading Financial Adviser to assist in relation to financial and welfare benefits issues. The Financial Adviser will provide a welfare benefits assessment, free of charge, to clients who have suffered brain or other serious injuries and their family. This may assist in identifying the welfare benefits to which they may be entitled. Where appropriate the  Financial Adviser can also assist in the process of claiming welfare benefits from an initial application through (if necessary) to any appeal process.

Case Management

People who have suffered serious injury and their families may need long term support in dealing with a whole range of practical issues. The appointment of a Case Manager can sometimes be vital in providing and securing that support. Case managers may assist by dealing with a whole range of issues such as:

  • Identifying and recruiting appropriate therapy
  • recruiting and managing carers to provide care for the injured person
  • dealing with statutory authorities to secure state funded equipment and services
  • liaising with private therapists and experts to identify and secure equipment and services such as wheelchairs, physiotherapy etc
  • liaising with education authorities in relation to statements of special educational needs
  • taking other steps to ensure the welfare of the injured person.

We can assist you in identifying and recruiting a case manager in appropriate cases.

Future financial loss - Lump sums and periodical payments

Until relatively recently the only option available to the Court when awarding damages for future loss was to award a lump sum calculated using the multiplicand and multiplier approach. In appropriate cases the Court now has powers to order that the whole or part of the award should be paid by way of periodical payments rather than a lump sum.

In those cases the Court will determine the likely level of the Claimant’s future annual loss and order the Defendant to make annual periodical payments (uprated to account for inflation) to compensate for that loss. This approach is likely only to be appropriate in relation to larger awards

There can be disadvantages as well as advantages associated with periodical payments and often the balance between any lump sum element of the award and periodical payments may be crucial. In appropriate cases, it may be necessary to obtain expert financial advice on best balance between a lump sum and periodical payments.

Experience in weighing up the sometimes difficult and complex issues to determine the appropriate balance between any lump sum and any periodical payments can be particularly important in cases involving brain and other catastrophic injuries.

Deputyship and the Court of Protection

In very serious cases the severity of the injuries suffered may be such that the Claimant is not going to have the mental capacity to manage their financial affairs

 “Deputy” is the name given to a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the legal and financial affairs of a person who has lost the mental capacity to do so themselves. A Deputy is required where no Attorney has been appointed by either an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney. The Deputy can be a family member, friend or professional. Once appointed the Deputy must act at all times in the best interests of the Protected Person.

We can assist in advising individuals appointed as Deputies.

Our team also includes experienced professional Deputies. They can be appointed as Deputy where there is no suitable family member or where the family or the Court prefer that a professional be given the responsibility of managing the financial affairs.

Our experience in dealing with clients who have complicated needs arising from brain injury is vital in ensuring their needs are met from any award of compensation and that the cost of meeting those needs is reflected in the size of any award.

Please contact us if you would like any further details of the assistance we can offer.

 

Brighton office

Tel 01273 775533

Eastbourne office

Tel 01323 730543

East Grinstead office

Tel 01342 310600

Forest Row office

Tel 01342 822112

Lewes office

Tel 01273 477071

Seaford office

Tel 01323 891412

Pulborough office

Tel 01798 875358

Storrington office

Tel 01903 743201

Gatwick office

Tel 0800 84 94 101

Primary Contact

John  Lingwood
John Lingwood

Partner

T | 01273 223215
E | email