What to do if you have suffered a head injury
Head injuries have the potential to cause life changing injuries and can happen in a number of ways, from tripping over in the street or being involved in a car accident to undergoing a medical procedure or operation that goes wrong. For a serious head injury it is important to act quickly to secure the treatment needed to aid recovery. It is also important to claim compensation to help support you financially when the accident which caused the injury was not your fault. Navdip Gill, personal injury specialist explains more.
‘The priority with head injuries that pose a risk to brain function is to begin corrective or rehabilitative treatment as soon as possible’, says Navdip. ‘The earlier intervention occurs, the better the likely outcome.’
‘Speaking to an expert personal injury lawyer can help you to access the treatment you need, along with any funds required to support you if you are unable to work and to pay for the cost of necessary adaptions to your home. In most cases, assistance can be provided under a no win, no fee agreement.’
Get a medical assessment
Head injuries can range from the very minor to the very serious. The difficulty is that it is not always immediately obvious how severe an injury is, particularly where children are involved. This is why it is important to have a medical assessment, both at the time of the injury and regularly afterwards until any long-term implications become clear.
An accident at work involving an injury to your head might initially result in a headache and a feeling of sickness, but this could soon develop into problems with vision and balance or perhaps even a fit or seizure accompanied by blood or fluid leaking from your ear or nose.
Instruct a personal injury lawyer
For any head injury causing more than temporary, superficial bruising you should consider instructing a personal injury lawyer. We can help you to assess the extent of your injuries and determine who was at fault. If appropriate, we can also help you to access treatment and support as soon as possible and begin the process of making a compensation claim.
We can request a copy of your medical records, refer you for independent medical assessment, direct you to rehabilitation and support services, help you secure funding for home and vehicle adaptions and ensure any money you are offered by way of compensation fully reflects the extent of your injuries, your ability to work and any future care costs.
For very serious head injuries which affect your ability to make decisions for yourself, we can also help with applications to the Court of Protection to ensure your money is invested wisely and that decisions about the way you are cared for take account of your beliefs and wishes.
Gather as much evidence as possible
We will need to know how the injury happened and the problems you have suffered as a result. You should collect as much information as possible about:
- where and when the accident occurred;
- what you were doing immediately beforehand;
- what happened afterwards;
- any witnesses;
- whether the police or Health and Safety Executive were notified;
- any treatment administered by first aiders at the scene or by a doctor if you were transferred to hospital or referred to your GP;
- your immediate symptoms and any that have subsequently developed;
- any pre-existing medical conditions;
- any medical specialist you have been referred to see;
- any follow up treatment provided; and
- whether the person you believe was responsible has admitted they were at fault or referred you to their insurers.
We will also want to know whether you are aware of anyone else having suffered an injury at the same place, in the same or similar circumstances.
Receipts for any expenses incurred as a direct result of the injury should be provided, including prescription charges and fuel and parking costs to attend hospital appointments.
Get help if it is available
If the person responsible for the injury has admitted that they were at fault, it may be possible to get some of the compensation you are due paid over straightaway while the final terms of the financial settlement are agreed. This money can help pay for your day to day living costs if you are unable to work. It can also help fund any treatment, rehabilitation or adaptations that are required.
What if the injured person cannot bring a claim themselves?
Where the injured person has suffered permanent brain damage which means they are incapable of bringing a claim themselves, or are in a coma or have died, it is possible for family members to seek compensation on their behalf. The evidence that will be required is broadly similar to that discussed above and is something we can advise you on separately.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may be changed since this article was published.