Acquired Brain Injury Claim
If you, or a member of your family, have experienced an acquired head or brain injury, or if a brain injury is sustained following birth, medical or surgical procedures, you should consult one of our experienced Brain Injury Solicitors at the earliest possibility.
What is an acquired brain injury?
An Acquired Brain Injury is a sudden damage to the brain which occurs when an outside force is applied to the brain or body that affects the brain’s functioning. Common causes include assaults, falls, car crashes, birth injuries, and sports injuries. The injuries range from mild concussions to severe permanent brain damage. Traumatic brain injury can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Consequently, each person is affected in different ways.
Symptoms may appear directly after the traumatic event or may manifest in the following days and weeks. A GP and/or Consultant Neurologist will diagnose the existence and extent of the injury.
Types of brain injury claims?
1. Acquired Brain Injury
A brain injury that happens after birth and is not hereditary, congenital, or degenerative. Acquired brain injuries can be traumatic or non-traumatic.
The consequences of an acquired brain injury
The long-term effects of an acquired brain injury can be difficult to predict. The manner in which it is presented will be different for every person; symptoms can range from mild to profound. They will depend on factors such as the nature, severity, and location of the injury. They will also depend on the person’s abilities and personality prior to suffering the injury. It may take some time after an accident to recognise the presence of an acquired brain injury, particularly where there is no visible external injury.
Common Changes: Often people with an acquired brain injury will have increased mental and physical fatigue as well as some slowing down in the manner in which they process information. They may also experience behavioural and personality changes as well as physical and cognitive changes
Examples of acquired brain injury
- Stroke: A type of ABI caused by disruption of blood flow to the brain. Symptoms may include paralysis, difficulty speaking or understanding language, and loss of cognitive abilities.
- Anoxic brain injury: An ABI caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can be caused by drowning, suffocation, or other events that limit oxygen supply. Symptoms may include memory loss, confusion, and difficulty with movement.
- Brain tumor: An ABI caused by the growth of a tumor in the brain. Symptoms may include seizures, headaches, and changes in mood or behavior.
2. Traumatic brain injury
A traumatic brain injury is a sudden damage to the brain which occurs when an outside force is applied to the brain or body, that affects the brain’s functioning. Common causes include assaults, falls, car crashes, and sports injuries. The injuries range from, mild concussions to severe permanent brain damage.
Examples of traumatic brain injury
- Concussion: A type of mild TBI commonly caused by a blow to the head. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and memory problems.
- Contusion: A more severe form of TBI caused by a direct impact to the head. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness, cognitive impairments, and physical disability.
- Penetration injury: A TBI caused by an object penetrating the skull and damaging brain tissue. Symptoms may include seizures, paralysis, and cognitive impairments.
3. Non-traumatic brain injury
A non-traumatic injury is not a result of an external physical fore. Instead it can be caused by an illness or condition within the body, these include metabolic disorders, heart attack, tumours, aneurysms, hydrocephalus, hypoxia etc. A non-traumatic injury may also be caused by medical negligence.
When choosing a solicitor to deal with brain injury claims, it is very important to choose one who is a specialist in the area with extensive experience in these types of claims.
Brain injury claims are more complex than most other injury cases and require your solicitor to work with you and your family to establish the exact nature and extent of your injury and how it affects your life. The advice given to you will be tailored to your specific circumstances, and your solicitor will instruct the right experts to access and value your claim. Your solicitor will guide you through every step in the process.
Immediate steps to take
1. Contact a Solicitor
There is generally a time limit of two years less one day from the date of the injury within which you must bring this type of claim, if you are over 18. If the injured party is under 18, their parent or guardian can bring a claim for them. So, it is important to contact a solicitor at the earliest opportunity once you are medically able to do so.
2. Record all Details of the Incident
It is very important you make a comprehensive note of everything you can recall as to how the injury incurred. It may be hard to do this following an injury of this nature and therefore it might be necessary to have the assistance of a family member or friend. Having a detailed record will greatly assist your solicitors when dealing with your case.
Things to include in the record are
- How the accident happened?
- Where the accident happened?
- What you were doing at the time of the accident?
- Who you were with at the time of the accident?
- What medical treatment you received immediately following the accident
- Any other information you feel is relevant
Coleman Legal LLP will assist you in obtaining your medical records.
3. Get copies of your medical records
You will need to obtain all test results, radiology reports, doctors notes, nurses notes and all other reports from the hospital you attended at the time of the accident and any subsequent hospital or rehabilitation facility you have attended. You will also need to obtain all medical records maintained by your GP. Having access to these records will assist in progressing the preliminary stages of your case.
Can I recover compensation?
It is possible to recover compensation; it will, however, depend on the manner in which the injury was inflicted. For example, if the injury was a result of an assault, a victim can bring an action against the perpetrator and also seek compensation from the criminal justice compensation tribunal or if the injury was a result of a road traffic accident, there may be an option to bring a claim for personal injuries against the driver (of the other car or the car the victim was a passenger in). A solicitor will be able to advise as to the nature of the claim that can be brought.
How much compensation you receive for a brain injury claim is dictated by two legally binding documents known as:
The “Book of Quantum” and
The recently published Personal Injuries Guidelines by the Judicial Council of Ireland.
The Book of Quantum dictates how much compensation you are owed if your Authorisation was received from PIAB prior to the 21st of April 2021. In all other cases, compensation in respect of general damages is assessed with the aid of the Judicial council’s Personal Injuries Guidelines.
The Book of Quantum sets out general guidelines as to the amounts that may be awarded or assessed in Personal Injury Claims. The guidelines are divided into sections depending on what category of injury was suffered, e.g., head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries and spinal fractures, upper limb injuries, lower limb injuries, and body and internal organs. The Book of Quantum sets out 4 steps to assess what compensation is appropriate for the suffered injury. These steps are as follows:
- Identify the category of injury
- Assess the severity of the injury (through medical reports and records)
- Research the value range
- Consider the effect of multiple injuries
The Personal Injuries Guidelines were adopted by The Judicial Council on the 6th of March 2021. Similar to the Book of Quantum, this legal document sets out guidelines for assessing compensation in respect of general damages. The general principles for this assessment centre on three criteria:
- Awards of damages must be fair and reasonable to both the claimant and the defendant(s)
- Awards must be proportionate to the injuries sustained
- Awards must be compared on a scale of injuries that are both of a lesser and greater magnitude
One of the most substantial differences brought about by this update is that the average level of damages awarded has been reduced. The new guidelines have, however, provided more detail and more explanation for claimants, which is overall a welcomed change to the process of making a personal injury claim.
Statute of Limitations
You have two years from the date of the accident within which to issue proceedings. If you are under 18, a separate set of rules apply, and we would recommend you contact our solicitors to discuss these. To learn more about the statute of limitation for a acquired brain injury claim, click here.
Headway Ireland provides services and support for people affected by Acquired Brain Injury in Ireland. We aim to maximise potential and quality of life. Learn More
2. Acquired brain injury Ireland
We help rebuild lives after brain injury through neuro-rehabilitation. Our mission is to enable people with an acquired brain injury to live as independently as possible with choice, respect, and the opportunity to contribute Learn More
If you have been involved in an accident or suffered an injury at the hands of another person, we would advise all persons to contact our brain injury claim solicitors at the earliest available opportunity.
We represent clients in a variety of personal injury claims; road traffic accidents, workplace injury, serious injury, medical negligence, and public liability claims. Please take some time to browse our website to learn more about the services we offer as a personal injury solicitors practice in Dublin.
If you want to take legal action over a personal injury, you should consult our injury solicitors, who are members of the Law Society’s injury accreditation scheme and clinical negligence accreditation scheme. Contacted us at:
Coleman Legal LLP
84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
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