Serious Injury

Brain injury lawyers: How we handle TBI cases

February 27, 2024
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The effects of a brain injury can be devastating to a person’s life and future. You may be eligible for compensation for your injury, if it was caused by someone else’s negligence. 

According to Headway, The Brain Injury Association, someone in the UK attends a hospital with a brain injury every 90 seconds. While some brain injuries only temporarily impact people’s lives, other brain injuries affect the course of the rest of another person’s life. 

For 30 years, the serious injury solicitors at Fletchers have helped clients with brain injuries get the compensation they deserve. In this article, we look at the different types of brain injury individuals can suffer from, what a brain injury lawyer does, and how we handle your case. 

Defining TBI, ABI and Cerebral Palsy 

TBI, ABI and Cerebral Palsy (CP) describe different medical conditions. Here’s a quick summary of what they mean: 

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): TBIs are caused by events, whether your head hits something with force, or something external hits your head. This can happen during a slip, fall, vehicle collision, assault, road traffic accident or when playing sports. TBIs can be responsible for a range of symptoms, from mild concussions to life-long impairments; like cognitive deficits and behavioural changes.  
  • Acquired Brain Injury (ABI): ABIs occur when something inside the body happens, like a stroke or anoxia. ABIs can lead to conditions like memory loss and impaired motor skills. In some cases, they can even alter your personality.  
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP): All cases of CP occur during or shortly after birth. Cerebral Palsy symptoms include movement and coordination difficulties, muscle stiffness and developmental delays. The condition is impacted by oxygen deprivation, whilst in the womb or during childbirth.  

When making a compensation claim, your or your child’s condition must be accurately defined following a medical assessment. This is important when determining what legal approach to take for your case and deciding what an appropriate financial settlement should be. 

The role of a brain injury lawyer 

A brain injury lawyer specialises in all aspects of brain injury, including Traumatic Brain Injury, Acquired Brain Injury or Cerebral Palsy.  

The lawyer will always represent the interest of the injured client, but it may be necessary to involve a Litigation Friend should there be any issues as to mental capacity, or if the client is a child.  

The role of the solicitor is to investigate whether negligence or malpractice was a factor in their client’s injury. In other words, they find out whether the actions or inactions of another person, group of people, business or medical establishment were among the prime reasons their client experienced a brain injury. 

Sometimes, a client may be partly responsible for their injury. When that’s the case, their job is to negotiate the best possible settlement that takes into account the liability split on both sides.  

When working with Fletchers, your solicitor’s help extends beyond the legal process. While getting the proper financial compensation for you is key, we also work closely with a network of experts and healthcare professionals, who will help you from a more holistic perspective. Whether your injury means that you would benefit from adaptations to your home, ongoing rehabilitation or lifelong support with day-to-day matters.  

How we handle your case 

We approach each case individually, but our approach has essential differences depending on whether you have a TBI or ABI. For parents whose children have Cerebral Palsy following their birth, we have a specific and focused approach. 

Let’s look at how we approach the five different stages we need to navigate so you get the compensation you deserve. 

How do we determine the at-fault party? 

When you first become our client, our first job is determining who is responsible for your TBI, API or your child’s CP.  

Below, we explain how we determine who’s at fault depending on the type of brain injury: 

  • TBI: We need to know who or what caused your injury. That could be the other driver in a car accident, the council responsible for the unsafe public space where you had your accident or an employer whose working conditions weren’t up to the required standards. We gather evidence about what happened to you and then begin figuring out who failed in their responsibility to keep you safe. 
  • ABI: Acquired brain injuries are different and usually happen as the result of a medical issue like a stroke, a tumour or a disease of the brain like meningitis. Here, we examine the medical care you were provided with; either during the diagnosis stage of your condition or thereafter. We look for evidence that a doctor may have missed something in the run-up to your injury, like failing to follow standard medical procedures. Your injury may have been caused or made worse if you were subject to a delay in treatment. Our focus here is on uncovering any lapse in care that contributed to your injury. 
  • Cerebral Palsy: Because they involve children and childbirth, CP cases are a lot more sensitive. We investigate whether the medical team followed all the proper procedures during delivery. We examine issues like whether there was a delay in giving treatment or whether the baby and mother’s health was monitored adequately throughout the pregnancy, and during delivery. Our goal is to get a complete picture of what happened during each crucial moment so that no detail is overlooked. 

Who do we talk to 

Our journey usually begins with the medical professionals who first treated you. This includes emergency responders, doctors, consultants and nurses at the hospital. Their initial responses and decisions are crucial. We need to understand how they treated your injury, as this gives us important insights into how severe they believed it was and whether you got the proper treatment. 

For TBI cases, we talk to the people on the scene of your accident, including eyewitnesses and, if applicable, law enforcement, fellow employees and so on. We may bring in accident reconstruction experts, for example, if you got your injury in a car crash or the workplace. Their perspectives help us get a clearer picture of what happened and who may be at fault. We also check to see that you received the best possible care in the hospital. 

For ABI cases, your brain injury solicitors focus on your medical history to date. We speak to the people who have cared for you up to and beyond your injury. We also speak to experts who can tell us if they think that anything the medical professionals looking after you did, or failed to do, eventually led up to your injury. 

For CP cases, we talk with the medical team at delivery and childbirth and neonatal experts who can help us understand if the care you received was adequate. 

Friends and family 

Understanding the impact of the injury on you is crucial to our case. The best people to approach are those who know you – your friends, family and caregivers. 

They provide important insights into how the injury has affected your daily life and long-term prospects. Through their eyes, we build a vivid picture of the changes to your life caused by your injury. 

Fellow legal experts 

We also speak to experts within Fletchers Solicitors to ensure that we see your case from the entire legal perspective. For example, if you experienced your injury in a road accident, we consult with our RTA team. If it happens at the hospital, we work with our medical negligence team. 

This approach allows us to weave together a factual and accurate timeline of events which led up to your injury. From there, we build a robust legal case to deliver a fair and just result. 

Information we gather 

Now that a complete picture emerges, we gather information and documentation to back up the case. 

We collect: 

  • Medical records: A vital component of any successful claim, they help us understand and explain your injury, the treatment you or your child received, and the impact the injury has had on your life. 
  • Statements: We order accident reports and collect witness statements for cases to provide an objective overview of what happened. Witness and expert statements can help prove who was at fault and the consequences of those errors. 
  • Expert feedback: We commission reports from expert witnesses who evaluate the position and provide insights into factors such as liability, causation, medical and non-medical aspects of the case. We only work with the very best expert witnesses in the UK and internationally.  
  • Birth records: For CP cases, we gather birth records and neonatal reports that shed light on the standard of care you and your baby received. We approach obstetrics and neonatology specialists for their expert evaluations for the most complete possible understanding of any medical mistakes you were subjected to. 
  • Your experiences: Your memories and experiences of what happened to you add to the strength of the case we put together for you and help us negotiate the best outcome possible. 

Obstacles we overcome 

The complexity of brain injury cases means that, for every client, there are hurdles to overcome in order to secure justice for you. 

Standard objections we overcome for clients include: 

  • TBI: We must verify each witness statement to ensure reliability in TBI cases. We also need to ensure that any accident reports are detailed and precise enough to be used as evidence. Establishing liability can occasionally present challenges. When this happens, Fletchers has a proven track record of fighting and negotiating robustly to win your case.  
  • ABI: It is not uncommon for healthcare providers to initially avoid admitting liability and sharing medical records with us. Proving causation – that an action or inaction led to your brain injury – is also complicated, so we get the outside opinion of independent experts on your behalf. 
  • Cerebral palsy: Establishing a direct link between what your medical team did or did not do and the injury to your child is complex. We engage with top obstetrics and neonatal experts who examine records relating to the birth of your baby to see if the medical team followed standard practices. This helps us identify if there were lapses in the care you received or if medical staff behaved in a way that didn’t follow standard protocols. 

Negotiating your compensation 

It’s important to secure the best possible form of financial compensation. Our lawyers are experts in the preparation of detailed schedules of loss which put your position forward on the best possible terms. 

We calculate a level of compensation that gives you the financial security you need. We factor in your pain and suffering, care needs, loss of earnings, current and future medical costs on a private basis and other costs, like home re-location/modification and therapies /rehabilitation. 

We consult with medical and financial experts to ensure compensation accurately covers your injury’s lifelong financial impacts. This helps us determine a compensation amount that truly reflects your needs for as long as you will need it.  

We then present the claim and detailed evidence to the party responsible for the injury or their insurer. We set out the extent of the damage you’ve experienced and build your case for compensation.  

It is often the case that we arrange mediation or settlement meetings for negotiations to take place. In other cases, it may be that negotiations are made by correspondence and putting forward formal offers. Either way, our lawyers are experienced negotiators and know how to secure the best possible outcome. 

Of course, it may not always be possible to negotiate a settlement out of the court room. If we can’t reach an agreement or the other side does not admit their liability, we can take your case to court. We’ll discuss all options with you, explaining every step of the process so you have the information you need to make the best decision. 

The form of award can also be important, whether you require or prefer a lump sum settlement, or combination of lump sum and annual payments for the remainder of your life. The annual payments can often be important where there may be uncertainty over an individuals life expectancy and where there is an expensive ongoing need for professional care and support. 

Long-term support and care 

Our services extend far beyond the legal process. For clients whose decision-making abilities have been impaired by their injury, our dedicated Private Client/Court of Protection team is there. 

In these cases, we’re not just legal advisors – we’re representatives and advocates whose sole responsibility is to ensure that every decision is in our client’s best interests. 

Our Private Client/Court of Protection team can also take over long-term management of our client’s financial and healthcare matters and other personal issues. Each proposed solution is designed specifically for our client, with their well-being at the centre of our advice. 

While we’re here to win your case, we’re also here to ensure our clients enjoy the highest possible ongoing quality of life. We believe in collaboration and work alongside families and caregivers every step of the way. 

Case studies 

For over 30 years, Fletchers Solicitors has worked with clients to secure them the best possible settlements to reflect the severity of their injuries and their impact on their lives. 

Below, find four recent examples of essential cases for clients with traumatic brain injuries and birth-related cerebral palsy. 

TBI following surgical negligence 

In a significant case, Fletchers Solicitors secured a £7 million settlement for a client who suffered severe injuries due to surgical negligence.  

Our client, in his mid-30s, experienced a significant stroke when in surgery to remove a benign tumour. Following our investigation, the hospital trust admitted liability. They conceded that they had not sought expert advice or assessment regarding the blood supply to our client’s brain during the procedure, causing the surgery to be below standard. 

After the operation, our client suffered a stroke, which led to a brain injury which brought on epilepsy and affected his mobility, memory and cognition. 

We argued successfully for an interim payment to our client for a comprehensive rehabilitation program. The £7m settlement will ensure our client has lifelong security and the means to adapt his home to meet his needs. 

TBI following motorbike accident 

A father sustained a traumatic brain injury and multiple orthopaedic injuries following an accident on a motorbike when a vehicle took a right-hand turn blocking his path. 

At the hospital, it became clear that the injuries were so severe that he’d need support for the rest of his life. His insurers referred him to Fletchers, at which point our Serious Injury Team took over. 

Following assessment, our client was deemed to lack capacity, so a Professional Deputy was appointed to manage his affairs. Our Court of Protection Department at Fletchers also helps our client regularly, providing comprehensive support for his new life challenges. So far, we’ve helped our client purchase a house and manage his day-to-day finances. 

TBI following a fall from a fire escape 

Our client, an 18-year-old man, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and multiple orthopaedic injuries after he fell from a fire escape. 

Following emergency surgery, he struggled with his memory and concentration. He became prone to mood swings and was affected by mild physical weakness. The sum of his injuries meant that he would face life-long challenges, having to cope with a reduced capacity for work, epilepsy and the psychological impacts of having been through the experience. 

Following complex negotiations at the Joint Settlement Meeting with the insurer, a settlement of £1m was agreed, which our client felt sufficiently acknowledged the effects of the accident and allowed him to start rebuilding his life. 

Cerebral Palsy caused by midwifery failure 

Sahida Patel from Minton Morrill, part of the Fletchers Group, represented a client whose child experienced a permanent brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy at birth. 

There were multiple failures by the medical care provider, including not properly examining the mother and not dealing with a prolapsed umbilical cord that had become unnecessarily compressed. 

We obtained expert advice from specialists in obstetrics, gynaecology, midwifery, neuroradiology and paediatric neurology when fact-finding for our client. We sent a detailed Letter of Claim to the medical care provider, and they admitted liability. 

At the Joint Settlement Meeting with the medical care provider’s insurer, we secured a £17m settlement without the need to go to court. The settlement includes a lump sum and annual payments, which increase to £165,000 when the child turns 18. 

Contact a brain injury law specialist 

Claims surrounding TBI, ABI and cerebral palsy are complicated. They require a team of experienced lawyers capable of building a timeline of events that led up to the injury taking place. This includes cases where parents are seeking justice for their children affected by cerebral palsy from childbirth-related incidents. 

Your solicitors will consult multiple medical experts and prove that blame for the injury lies wholly or mainly with another person, business or medical establishment. They then need to negotiate a settlement that compensates you for your injury and ensures that your future needs will be taken care of. 

The traumatic brain injury lawyers at Fletchers Solicitors have over 30 years of experience representing clients and defending their interests. Whether it’s an individual who has suffered TBI or families coping with the impact of cerebral palsy on a child, our involvement extends beyond the courtroom. We see ourselves as a crucial part of your support network so that you and your loved ones can live life to the fullest extent. 

Speak to one of our head injury lawyers today. We offer our services on a no-win, no-fee basis. The hundreds of positive client reviews online ensure you’re in safe hands with Fletchers. Contact us on 0330 013 0251 or click on our contact form to speak with an experienced brain injury lawyer. 

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