Brain Injury Compensation

The causes of brain injury or brain damage are wide-ranging and complex. Likewise the degree of Brain Injury or Brain Damage sustained can vary considerably. The impact that a Brain Injury or Brain Damage can have on a person’s life is immeasurable. So how do the Courts determine the amount of compensation to be awarded to a person who has suffered a Brain Injury or Brain Damage?

Determining Compensation for Brain Damage or Brain Injury

Although recognising that no amount of money can adequately compensate for Brain Injury or Brain Damage, money is the primary way for the Court to acknowledge the affect the Brain Injury or Brain Damage has had on an individual’s life.

A starting point is the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines. These Guidelines provide estimates for various injuries to the body, including Brain Injury or Brain Damage. The Guidelines are the first point of reference when attempting to ascertain the monetary value of either a Brain Injury or Brain Damage.

The Guidelines identify five broad categories of Brain Injury or Brain Damage, and provide a compensation bracket for each grouping. It is important to remember that the Guidelines only provide a compensation guide for the actual injury sustained to the brain. The overall compensation amount will often be higher as the total figure will also encompass compensation for loss of earnings, travelling expenses, medical treatment, a provision for care, and alike.

Very Severe Brain Damage

The most serious category within the Guidelines is “Very Severe Brain Damage”.
A person at the top-end of this bracket will have some degree of insight and may have some ability to follow basic commands. However, there will be little, if any, evidence of meaningful response to environment; little or no language function; double incontinence and the need for full-time nursing care. In this instance the compensation award for the Brain Damage will be between £185,000 to £265,000.

The level of the award for “Very Severe Brain Damage” will be affected by:

  • the degree of insight of the person suffering Brain Damage;
  • the life expectancy of the person suffering Brain Damage;
  • the extent of physical limitations as a result of the Brain Damage.

Where the person who suffers the Brain Damage is in a persistent vegetative state or dies very soon after the Brain Damage was suffered, and there has been no awareness by the person with the Brain Damage of his or her injury, the award can only be for loss of amenity and will fall substantially below the above bracket.

Moderately Severe Brain Injury

Brain Injury that is severe, but not so as to be within the top bracket of “Very Severe Brain Damage”, falls into the second category of “Moderately Severe Brain Injury” with a compensation award in the region of £144,000 to £185,000. To fall within this bracket the person with the Brain Injury will be very seriously disabled and will be substantially dependent on others. There will also be a need for constant professional and other care.

The level of the award within the bracket will be affected by the following considerations:

  • the degree of insight of the person suffering the Brain Injury;
  • the life expectancy of the person suffering the Brain Injury;
  • the extent of physical limitations as a result of the Brain Injury;
  • the degree of dependence on others by the person suffering the Brain Injury;
  • the ability of the person suffering the Brain Injury to communicate;
  • any behavioural abnormality as a result of the Brain Injury;
  • epilepsy or a significant risk of epilepsy.

Moderate Brain Damage

For cases where Brain Damage has been significant, but not so serious as to fall within the above two categories, the Guidelines provide two general brackets. The first of these is “Moderate Brain Damage”. This category is distinguished from “Moderately Severe Brain Injury” by the fact that the degree of dependence the person with the Brain Injury has on others is markedly lower. The compensation scope within “Moderate Brain Damage” is very wide, ranging from £28,000 to £144,000. In order to determine a more exact amount of compensation consideration will be given to whether the person suffering the Brain Damage or Brain Injury has any intellectual deficit and/or change in personality. Consideration will also be given to the effect the Brain Damage or Brain Injury has had on the sight, speech, senses, employment prospects and risk of epilepsy to the person who has suffered a Brain Injury or Brain Damage.

Minor Brain Damage

At the lower end of the Brain Damage spectrum is the “Minor Brain Damage” category, with a compensation award between £10,000 and £28,250. In these cases the person with the Brain Damage will have made a good recovery, will be able to take part in a normal social life and will be able to return to work. The person who suffered the Brain Damage may not have a return of all normal functions so there may still be persisting problems such as poor concentration and memory. At the top of this bracket there may be a small risk of epilepsy to the person who suffered the Brain Damage.

Minor Head Injury

Where there has only been very minimal Brain Damage, so as not to fall within any of the above four categories, the Brain Injury may still fall within the “Minor Head Injury” bracket. The compensation award for this category would be between £1,450 and £8,400. The Brain Injury compensation amount will depend upon the severity of the initial Brain Injury, the period taken by the person with the Brain Injury to recover from any symptoms, and the extent of the continuing Brain Injury symptoms.

Head Injury UK: Brain Injury Experts

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, whether it be a car accident, an accident at work or an unfortunate incident, that has resulted in a Head Injury, Brain Injury or Brain Damage it may be possible to make a claim.  Compensation cannot bring a loved one back or give medical miracles, it can however be used to provide help for the person suffering a Brain Injury or Brain Damage, as well as assisting those family members affected.

To discuss a possible claim please contact Ian Shovlin, specialist Brain Injury solicitor, who will offer you further free advice and information on claiming compensation, or call free on 0800 073 0988.

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