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If your child suffers a brain or head injury it can have serious consequences that can sometimes be life-changing.
As specialist child brain injury solicitors, we understand the pain and anguish you can feel if your child has sustained a serious injury that could have been prevented. Perhaps your child will need specialist treatment and may need long-term care and support or you are worried they may never be able to live independently in the future.
Our team has years of experience helping children, young people and their families who’ve suffered a severe brain or head injury, through no fault of their own, to make a compensation claim. We have experience supporting children who have sustained serious brain injuries due to:
- Road traffic accidents
- Falls from height
- Accidents in public places (including schools and playgrounds)
- Medical negligence
- Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- Birth injuries
- Sports accidents
- Horse riding accidents
- Cycling accidents
If your child has sustained a serious brain or head injury, our team of specialist brain injury solicitors has the experience and expertise to help you and your child achieve the best possible outcome when making a brain injury compensation claim.
What are the effects of brain injury on a child?
When a child suffers a brain or head injury, it is often difficult for medical experts to give a definite assessment of the effects because all children develop at different rates, so assessing what is ‘normal’ and what has been caused by the brain injury can be challenging. In addition, sometimes the full extent of a child’s brain injury will only become more evident as the child gets older. In general, serious brain injury effects vary widely. Physical problems may include paralysis; weakness, fatigue and epilepsy, there may be cognitive issues such as memory loss, speech problems and learning difficulties as well as behavioural issues.
If your child has suffered a serious brain or head injury in a major incident and there are calls for a public inquiry or inquest, our specialist solicitors have the experience and in-depth knowledge to represent you and your family.
No matter how complex or high profile the public inquiry or inquest is, our expert team will work tirelessly to support you to help ensure you get the answers you need and that lessons are learned.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know the thought of talking to a personal injury solicitor about making a child brain or head injury compensation claim can be daunting. But it could be the first step you take to supporting your child’s recovery, and to a more financially stable future for them.
If your child has suffered a brain or head injury, as their parent or legal guardian, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim on their behalf.
How to start a claim:
- The first step is to get in touch with us. Call our specialist brain injury team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no obligation chat.
- We will ask for the details of your child’s injuries and how they were sustained. Based on this information, we will assess their case and advise if we believe there to be a reasonable prospect of success. As experts in this area, we can often help even if you’ve been turned down by other law firms.
- We will gather evidence on the circumstances of your child’s injury to identify who the claim should be brought against. We will also investigate the extent of your child’s injuries, the impact on their life and their immediate needs. This will include liaising with healthcare providers and teachers to access their medical records and school reports.
- After we have investigated your child’s claim and obtained appropriate expert evidence we will contact the insurers of those responsible for your child’s injury and put the claim to them. If negligence is admitted, then it is likely we’ll be able to settle the claim.
- We will arrange for an independent medical professional to assess your child’s injuries and advise what treatment, rehabilitation or care and support they need. This will help us to accurately calculate the level of compensation required. Sometimes this means waiting until your child has grown, to accurately assess the full extent of their injuries and the level of compensation they require. It is also likely that the defendant’s solicitor will request your child sees independent experts they’ve instructed to make their own assessments. We will be there to guide and support you and your child at every stage of the process.
- To support your child during their claim, we will work to secure interim payments so they have access to vital rehabilitation including medical treatment, care and support while their claim is ongoing. We work with leading rehabilitation specialists, case managers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, care providers and education support to aid your child’s recovery and make daily life easier.
- If liability is not accepted, we may have to go to court and a judge will decide the outcome. Even if your case does go to court, many claims settle before the trial begins. If court proceedings start, our expert child injury team will be with you every step of the way and will work hard to secure maximum compensation. We will keep you updated throughout the compensation process and explain every stage as it happens.
The amount of compensation your child will receive depends on the severity of their injuries and the impact on their life both now and in the future. It is likely that significant, life-changing injuries will result in increased awards to provide funding for medical treatment, rehabilitation, care and support, adaptations to the home and other financial losses such as loss of earnings and pension. Click here to read more about compensation.
If your child’s claim is successful, before they reach the age of 18 their compensation will be paid into the court to be held on trust where it will be invested on their behalf until they turn 18. As the child’s parent or legal guardian, it is possible to apply directly to the court to release money to pay for things such as medical treatment or education support which will only be authorised if the court is satisfied that it is necessary. Any amount awarded to your child has to be approved at an infant approval hearing, before any amount can be paid out. Your child may need to attend this hearing or you may be able to attend on their behalf, depending upon their age and the severity of their injuries. Click here to read more about infant approval hearings. If your child has the capacity to make their own decisions, once they reach the age of 18 they and their money has been invested in the court they will be paid their compensation in full together with any interest that has accrued over time as they are deemed to have maintained majority.
If they lack capacity to manage their finances, their funds will be managed by the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection is a legal body dedicated to helping those who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions. The Court of Protection will appoint a ‘Deputy’ who will manage the compensation that has been awarded to your child, to make sure their finances are properly taken care of and the award lasts for their life time. Parents and family members can be Deputies for their children but often professional Deputies are appointed to provide expert and dedicated support to the individual. The cost of a Professional Deputy can be recovered through the claim.
When dealing with such claims we frequently partner with our sister firm Hyphen Law, which specialises in helping to manage the property and financial affairs of those whose lives have been affected by a brain injury or similar impairment and lack the capacity to make their own decisions. They can offer Professional Deputyship services as well as advice on other ways to protect your child’s compensation, such as personal injury trusts. Click here to visit Hyphen Law’s website and learn more or, alternatively, contact us on FREEPHONE 0800 884 0777. One of our team will be able to provide you with more information.
Yes. The general rule is that you have three years from the date of your child’s injury to make a claim or if you are an adult retrospectively claiming for an injury, the date you realised that the injury you sustained as a child may have been caused by someone else’s negligence.
If you are claiming on behalf of a child, you can claim at any time until the child turns 18. When the child turns 18 they are deemed to reach maturity so they can make their own claim. They have three years for court proceedings to be issued.
If you’re claiming on behalf of a child who died due to a head or brain injury, you have three years from their date of death or three years from the date you realised that their death may have been caused by someone else’s mistake or negligence.
There are exceptions to this rule. For example, there is no time limit for people who don’t have the mental capacity to make legal decisions and different time limits apply for some injuries or illnesses sustained abroad.
Time can be a critical factor in compensation claims, so it’s important to get in touch with our specialist medical negligence team as soon as possible for expert advice.
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If you have a question that is not listed above, please visit our FAQs page. Alternatively, please call our specialist team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation chat.