Types of Brain Injury, Support & Compensation
Types of Brain Injury, Support & Compensation
As the brain is the engine room for most of the body’s vital functions, even a minor injury can have devastating, long-lasting consequences.
From limited movement or psychological problems, all the way through to paralysis and incapacity, victims can spend the rest of their lives overcoming their injuries, attempting to rebuild their lives. This, however, often entails lifelong financial implications, including costs for ongoing medical care and loss of future earnings. As a result, where the brain injury has been caused by the negligence of another, many, rightly, turn to seeking compensation for their injuries.
There are many types of brain injury. Common brain injuries include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries: involving damage to the brain due to a head injury. There are many possible causes of TBIs, including road traffic accidents, assaults, falls and accidents at home or at work.
Where someone has suffered a relatively minor injury, they may suffer a brief period of unconsciousness or feel sick and dizzy. Such relatively minor injuries may be caused by a person banging their head whilst getting into the car, walking into the top of a low door way, slipping over in the street or other similar accidents.
Where someone has suffered a injury of moderate severity, may suffer loss of consciousness for between 15 minutes and six hours, or experience a period of post-traumatic amnesia of up to 24 hours, they may be kept in hospital overnight for observation, and then discharged if there are no further obvious medical injuries. Patients with injuries of a moderate severity may be likely to suffer from a number of residual symptoms.
Where a person has been left in an unconscious state for six hours or more, or suffered post-traumatic amnesia of 24 hours or more, they are likely to be considered to have suffered a severe brain injury. Such people are likely to require care in hospital and receive rehabilitation once the acute phase has passed. Depending on the length of time in coma, these patients tend to have more serious physical deficits.
Further information can be found about categorisation of the severity of brain injuries can be found on the Headway Brain Injury Association website here.
Concussion: may be caused by falls, road crashes, assaults and sports accidents.
Symptoms including dizziness, nausea, confusion or an inability to process or retain information, sensitivity to light, and vision distortion are associated with concussion.
Further information about concussion can be found on the Headway website here.
Stroke: is a serious life threatening emergency medical condition, in which there is a disruption of blood supply to part of the brain.
The brain requires oxygen, supplied by blood, to keep brain cells working. When the supply is disrupted, brain cells are starved of oxygen and they begin to die causing injury to the brain.
There are two types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke: where a blood clot in a blood vessel causes a blockage of blood flow
- Haemorrhagic stroke: where a weakened blood vessel bursts, causing blood to leak into the brain.
There is a related condition that referred to as a mini stroke, which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is temporarily interrupted. A mini-stroke is also called a Transient Ischaemic Attach (TIA).
The symptoms of a TIA are the same as a stroke, but they only last for a few minutes or hours.
For more information about strokes visit the NHS Choices webpage here.
Brain Aneurysm: A brain or cerebral aneurysm is where the wall of an artery or blood vessel in the brain is weakened, causing it to swell into a blister-like shape. As aneurysms grow, they put pressure on the surrounding tissue, which can cause a variety of symptoms.
A brain aneurysm rarely causes any symptoms unless it bursts (ruptures).
Unruptured brain aneurysms occasionally cause symptoms if they’re particularly large or press against tissues or nerves inside the brain.
Brain Haemorrhage: A brain haemorrhage is bleeding in or around the brain either as a result of ruptured aneurysm, known as a haemorrhagic stroke, or following a significant blow to the head.
Brain Tumour: A brain tumour is an abnormal mass of tissue inside the skull, which is caused by cells dividing at an increased speed. There are two types of brain tumour: malignant and benign.
Malignant, or cancerous, tumours often invade surrounding tissue and can spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream or lymphatic system. As malignant tumours often grow and spread rapidly, early diagnosis can increase the chances of survival.
Benign, or non-cancerous, tumours tend to grow more slowly and do not spread, although people can have more than one benign tumour. A benign brain tumour can put pressure on the brain as it grows inside the enclosed space of the skull, and this may compress and damage healthy tissue.
Hydrocephalus: is a condition in which an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) occurs within the brain. This typically causes increased pressure inside the skull.
More information about hydrocephalus can be found on the NHS Choices website here.
Meningitis: is a bacterial, viral or fungal infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
Meningitis can be bacterial, viral or sometimes fungal.
Bacterial meningitis (caused by the meningococcal bacteria) is more serious than viral or fungal meningitis and requires rapid treatment.
What type of support is available for brain injuries?
Rehabilitation aims to help the brain learn alternative ways of working in order to minimise the long-term impact of the brain injury. Rehabilitation also helps the survivor and the family to cope successfully with any remaining disabilities.
There are many rehabilitation services across the UK, run by the NHS or private firms.
- Different therapist may be involved in the rehabilitation process, including:
- Clinical neuropsychologist – a psychologist who specialises in the assessment and treatment of behavioural, emotional and cognitive (thinking) problems.
- Occupational therapist – OTs help people to develop independence in carrying out daily tasks such as dressing, washing, cooking and leisure activities.
- Speech and language therapists – help people to improve their communication skills.
- Physiotherapist – helps people to regain the use of their muscles and joints after injury and helps with balance and movement problems.
- Nurses – help the therapists to implement many of the rehabilitation strategies.
- Social workers – provide practical advice on issues such as benefits, housing, transport and assistance at home.
- Case managers – are responsible for overseeing and managing the overall care of the person with a brain injury and will prepare an individually-tailored care plan or treatment programme for each client.
Residential Nursing Care
There are many residential homes which specialise in caring for people with brain injuries. These units provide long-term rehabilitation services and enable people with brain injuries to continue to maximise their potential for improvement.
This is an integrated programme of therapy and treatment, which usually lasts no more than six weeks. It is designed to support the transition from hospital back into the home environment.
Home Care Services
- Help with bathing and washing
- Help with getting up and going to bed
- Help with shopping
- Help with managing finances
- Help with cleaning, cooking and tidying the house
- Adaptations to the home
- Provision of meals by home delivery or at a day centre or lunch club
- Provision of recreational, educational and occupational activities, such as lectures, games and outings
- Help with transport and costs of transport
- Respite care –
How much compensation can I claim for a Brain Injury?
If you suspect that you, a family member or friend has suffered a brain injury as a result of negligence, it is important that specialist legal advice and support is obtained as soon as possible.
To be able to successfully Claim compensation at Court for a Brain Injury a Claimant would need to be able to prove that their injury has been caused by negligence.
If such a Claim is successful, the compensation that the Court will award will depend on the evidence put before it concerning the Claimant’s injuries, financial losses, expenses and future care and rehabilitative needs. It is therefore very important that anyone contemplating pursuing such a Claim obtains specialist advice and assistance.
Here at Longden Walker & Renney, we specialise in providing high quality legal advice to people who have suffered as a result of brain or head injuries caused by clinical negligence. We have over 30 years of experience successfully winning medical negligence claims and employ a specialist team of solicitors, who have secured millions of pounds in compensation for clients left with life-changing injuries as a result of mistakes by the medical profession.
We understand that reliving a traumatic event can be distressing and our dedicated team are always on hand to offer support and guidance throughout your case. We deal with each case with the compassion and we are sensitive to the needs of our clients. We strive to make the legal side of things as stress-free and straightforward as possible.
Our team takes a sensitive and caring approach while giving you the best opportunity to get the outcome you seek. With the right support, you may be able to obtain compensation that could make a huge difference.
If you’re thinking of making a claim and would like to find out how our process works, you can view our infographic here.
We work on a no win, no fee basis meaning that there is little financial risk to starting a claim with Longden Walker & Renney.
You can contact one of our clinical negligence specialists by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on 0191 5666 500. Alternatively, ask us to contact you at any time of your conveniences by using our short online Enquiry form.