Schumacher was wearing a helmet, yet suffered serious and potentially life-changing head injuries. Had he not worn one, the consequences would have been even worse. As it was, his headgear did offer some degree of protection – something that not only skiers need to bear in mind.
Even minor head injuries can have major consequences and an injury which seems innocuous can turn out to be fatal – the brain is a delicate organ and medical attention should be sought if an accident occurs. One of the difficulties with this type of injury is that symptoms can be delayed – bruising and swelling doesn’t happen immediately and it may take time for damage to occur, so even if no symptoms (these could be loss of consciousness, balance problems or vomiting) are apparent at first, it’s vital to seek medical help.
This advice applies to any blow to the head – be it after an incident on the ski slopes, on a moped, a quad bike or a bicycle. And while the impact can be minimised in all of these activities by wearing a helmet, there are clearly many other instances – in sport and in life in general – where accidents can happen.
Though precautions can and should be taken, it’s impossible to withdraw all elements of risk and, sadly, at Fletchers we see many people with similar injuries to those sustained by Michael Schumacher. We recognise that these injuries can mean an incredibly difficult time for victims and their family and friends immediately after an accident and while dealing with the short and long-term consequences.
We provide sympathetic support in guiding head injury victims through the legal processes associated with a claim for serious injury, and thankfully support is also available from other organisations which provide a range of services for those dealing with the impact of head injuries.
One such example is Headway, a UK-wide charity that offers a wealth of resources including a helpline and an emergency fund to assist people dealing with the financial implications of a brain injury. It also campaigns and lobbies for better support to be made available to people affected by such injuries, as well as raising awareness of the issue through the media.
Headway’s work includes that which takes place in a network of more than 120 groups and branches, all of which provide physical, cognitive and social rehabilitation and support to individuals and families in different areas of the UK. It also involves directing those affected to sources of legal advice, with the solicitors it lists on its website all having agreed to work within the Headway Personal Injury Lawyers Code of Conduct.
We’re proud that Fletchers is one of these legal firms and of the fact that our connections to Headway extend to working closely with individual branches of the charity. We’d also echo Headway’s message that with the relevant support there can be life after brain injury. Their work in providing that support is immensely valuable and helps people through incredibly tough times – something that we at Fletchers know is vital in assisting victims recover from their accidents.