Head Injury, Epilepsy and Driving License

Olympic Champion’s Brain Injury

James Cracknell the Olympic gold medallist rower suffered a serious brain injury in July 2010 when, whilst cycling in the USA, he was hit by the wing mirror of a truck travelling at over 65 mph.

Brain Injury Rehabilitation

James underwent a lengthy recovery from his skull fracture, subarachnoid haemhorrhage, subdural haematoma and frontal lobe contusions.  Following rehabilitation he regained the ability to walk, talk, recognise his family and day to day memory.  When he past a Driving Ability assessment he also regained his licence in June 2011 and his life was returning to normal.  That is until he suffered a seizure at home in October and whilst fortunately it does not appear to have caused any long term health effects, he lost his driving licence for a further 12 months.


James’ experience illustrates one of the most common debilitating aspects of head injury, its impact on the victim’s ability to drive and so their independence.  The DVLA must be notified when anyone suffers a seizure to decide if they can still drive.  In straightforward cases the DVLA may take 3 weeks to decide, but can take up to 3 months if further investigations are required.  As well as notifying the DVLA, a head injury victim must also notify their motor insurers of the injury and epilepsy.

New Driving Licence

Should you need to re-apply for a licence then you can only do so after having been free of seizures for 1 year and, if granted, it will only be for a short term until having been free of seizures for 5 years, when a long term licence can be issued.

Travel whilst unable to Drive

Whilst unable to drive due to seizures, you may be eligible for a Disabled Person’s Railcard, free bus fares and also may be able to claim the additional costs of travel to work under the Government’s Access to Work Scheme.

Head Injury UK: Here to Help

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the above issues, following a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s fault, Head Injury UK’s specialist solicitors may be able to help, please contact Andy Shaw for advice.

What our clients say

We know that we have been extremely fortunate to have had such a consummate PI lawyer in Andy acting on our behalf but we have also been blessed by having had his support, trust, friendship and loyalty throughout. We cannot ever thank him enough.

The compensation Nicola has received has helped her move from a tiny council flat into a massive bungalow which has been specifically adapted. It has enabled her to have a better life.

If it was not for the help of my solicitor I don't know where I would have been today. He provided a great deal of emotional support and secured compensation at various stages from the insurance company to fund my treatment and allow me to live. He was there from start to finish.

Higgs & Sons acted for us for 5 years until our daughters claim for personal injuries was finally settled. Ian remains a trustee of our daughters trust fund and we now look upon him as a friend.