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Assessing Subtle Brain Injuries to Ensure Correct Compensation

By Principal Lawyer, Occupiers and Public Liability

After a recent client meeting I wanted to write something about brain injury claims and the difficulty of properly assessing a subtle brain injury.The issue about accidents involving brain injuries is that they are not always easy to spot. As in most things, you have to look for the appropriate signs.

If therefore the injured person was knocked out and was knocked out for some considerable time, the longer the period of unconsciousness, the more likely there is to be a brain injury.

Medical notes are obviously vital. They will contain appropriate CT scans results, relevant imaging and appropriate tests by consultant neurologists and neuropsychologists as well as other members of the neurological team who treat the injured person initially post accident, looking to assess to what extent a brain injury has been sustained and what treatment might be appropriate.

This treatment can be ongoing for some time. It is far from unusual to be unable to assess properly a brain injury until at least some 12 months have passed post accident and even thereafter, to assess to what extent an injury has been sustained and the prognosis.

In subtle brain injuries this is more difficult.

The extent of any brain injury is not entirely clear. What is required therefore is a very detailed statement not only from the injured person but more particularly from those who were very close to the person injured prior to the accident and remain so afterwards.

Spouses, partners, family members and friends are all important in providing witness evidence to confirm the character and the personality of the person before the accident and to what extent this has changed after the accident. This evidence is vital for any consultant neurologist and any neuropsychologist to assess to what extent a brain injury has been sustained, whereabouts within the brain the injury is likely to have occurred and therefore what is the likely prognosis.

This all goes to support any claim for future loss, whether the injured person is able to return to their pre-accident work or indeed is able to be promoted or move into different work as they might have intended prior to the accident.

As in most things, evidence is crucial! Tristan Hallam is a Principal Lawyer (Partner) in Personal Injury in the London office of Slater and Gordon Lawyers. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046, or email and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.