The views and opinions expressed by this guest author do not necessarily represent those of Brookhaven Hospital and/or any/all contributors to this site.
Every person’s situation is different but accidents that involve injuries to the head or brain can have severe consequences and can completely alter the injured person’s life. If you are pursuing a claim for personal injury, one of the key decisions will be who to go to for advice.
Although a free advisory service such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau are often able to offer guidance, and your local solicitor may be able to advise you on general aspects of personal injury claims. However, where a head or brain injury is involved, there are a number of factors that make it worth considering seeing a specialist lawyer.
Firstly and most importantly, damages. A specialist lawyer can calculate the right level of damages that should be argued for. They will also be able to advise on the likelihood of claiming ‘interim’ payments. These are payments that are paid to a claimant in a case where their claim seems likely to succeed, and it permits them to make certain arrangements before the litigation process has concluded.
Secondly, the accident itself. A lawyer specialising in this kind of personal injury will be able to assist with presenting the accident to court in the manner that best illustrates the case. They are likely to be experienced with using reconstructions or expert evidence in this area, and are familiar with the kind of medical evidence courts will require.
Thirdly, the severity of the consequences. Head injuries can create significant alterations to the victim’s daily life, and may have a significant impact on their employment or business. Lawyers with detailed knowledge of this area frequently have experts whose qualifications and knowledge they are able to recommend, such as physiotherapists, neurologists or other medical practitioners.
Fourthly, timing. Not all consequences of a head or brain injury are immediately apparent. There are cases where the symptoms take a little while to fully develop and a specialist solicitor is able to advise on how and when to commence a claim so you have the best chance of receiving what you deserve.
Finally, living arrangements. A specialist will be able to help you arrange your affairs after the injury. They will be able to help with matters like power of attorney, dealing with third parties, such as employers or banks, and putting you in touch with specialists who are able to help you manage other daily affairs.
In cases of all severity, it is worth considering getting specialist legal advice. Although their time may seem expensive, in the long run it can often prove to be a very good decision.
Written by Amy Henderson, a writer on head injury claims and medical negligence for Pannone.