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Compensation claims for head injury

Making a Compensation Claim for a Head Injury

Probably one of the most frightening injuries to sustain is a head injury and there is always the worry that it may result in internal bleeding, a fracture or even brain damage.

However, individuals who have suffered a head injury as a result of an accident which wasn’t their fault may be able to make a claim for compensation. Whilst compensation won’t make up for the damage endured it may help to make the victim’s life a little more comfortable.

Head injuries can be sustained through a number of ways including trips and slips, assaults, being struck by falling objects, falling from a height, perhaps from scaffolding on a construction site or a climbing frame in a children’s playground, but one of the most common causes of head injuries are road traffic accidents. Below we take a look and some of the different types of head injuries which can be sustained from a road traffic accident.

Concussion

Concussion is a minor injury to the brain which occurs when the brain is shaken within the skull. Symptoms of concussion can include loss of consciousness, blurry vision, confusion and disorientation, although some instances of concussion may also result in seizures.

Although concussion doesn’t generally result in serious damage to the brain the neurons do undergo a biochemical change which lead to physiological changes in the synapses and, in turn, can alter the way in which the brain functions with the brain possibly becoming less efficient in time.

Epidural Haematoma

An epidural haematoma is when a blow to the head causes the brain to bash against the side of the skull causing haemorrhaging of the small vessels.

As the bleeding continues the blood, having no where to drain away, builds up creating pressure on the brain.

To release the pressure a small hole is bored into the skull to allow drainage and then the damaged vessels are repaired. This can be an incredibly complicated procedure which must be carried out with the utmost precision.

Subdural Haematoma

A subdural haematoma is similar to an epidural haematoma but instead of small vessels being ruptured an artery is ruptured which leads to the very fast build of pressure on the brain.

Generally, under these conditions, the victim will lose consciousness and, if surgery isn’t performed to relieve the pressure immediately, the victim could die.

With a subdural haematoma the affects can be permanent and may lead to physical disabilities, mental disabilities or even both.

Intraventricular Haemorrhage

An intraventricular haemorrhage is when blood enters the inner chambers of the brain where the cerebrospinal fluid is produced.

Symptoms can include the inability to walk and think properly, continual headaches and the inability to control urination.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

Diffuse axonal injury occurs when the head is rapidly accelerated and decelerated or rotated resulting in the shearing of a large number of nerve fibres and the stretching of the blood vessels in the brain.

Most DAI victims end up in a coma and, sadly, around 90% of those with severe diffuse axonal injury never regain consciousness. Those who do are likely to suffer significant brain damage.

Making a Claim

When an individual decides to put in a claim for compensation for their head injury, their case, as with most personal injury cases, will usually be handled on a no win no fee basis.

Possible Compensation Pay-Outs for Head Injuries

  • For a minor head injury a claimant can expect to receive anywhere between £1,300 and £7,500
  • For minor brain damage a claimant could expect to receive somewhere in the region of £9,000
  • For severe brain damage the claimant would be looking at a pay-out somewhere in the region of £165,000

It should be noted that these figures will vary depending on the severity of the injury, the symptoms experienced and the individual’s personal circumstances.

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