Success Stories for Adult Brain Injury Cases
Compensation of £550,000 paid to our client following a life changing brain injury
Marek was crossing the road when he was hit by a car. The collision caused him to suffer a catastrophic brain injury as well as multiple fractures. As a result of his brain injury, he is now in a state of limited consciousness, with little awareness. Marek is sadly not expected to recover. He requires 24 hour care and resides in a residential unit. He is in a very vulnerable position and his claim was of crucial importance to ensure the best possible quality of care and life for him.
The claim was brought against the insured driver of the vehicle. We obtained accident reconstruction evidence to prove that, had the defendant been keeping a proper look out and started braking as soon as Marek stepped into the road, he would have been able to stop without colliding with our client. We obtained a payment further to the Rehabilitation Code to help Marek at an early stage and the defendant paid a significant sum to fund his immediate rehabilitation needs.
The case was settled out of court for £550,000.
£800,000 compensation following an accident at work
Gerard was working when he fell from a ladder and suffered multiple skull fractures and a traumatic brain injury. He contacted us shortly after his accident, in a state of anxiety as he had no memory of how the accident had occurred. We investigated his claim despite having limited information available about how it had happened. We were able to obtain CCTV of his accident, which showed that the ladder he was using slipped.
We brought a claim against his employer, on the basis of the ladder’s unsuitability and the employer’s risk assessments, saying amongst other points that our client should not have been working alone.
Liability was admitted by the defendant in full. Our evidence was instrumental in securing this admission, given the client’s lack of memory.
Whilst his mobility was not affected, Gerard has suffered permanent cognitive injuries that affect his ability to process information. He suffers with debilitating fatigue, and his sense of smell and taste have been damaged. Gerard’s behaviour and mood have both become erratic. He can no longer concentrate for very long, has memory problems and suffers headaches. This continues to be incredibly difficult for him and his wife and his son who was a teenager when the incident happened.
We obtained interim payments of compensation throughout the claim. This meant that we could instruct a case manager who arranged for Gerard to receive psychological support and a support worker to help him.
The case settled out of Court for £800,000 which will pay for the support and therapies Gerard needs for the rest of his life.
Failure to diagnose and treat a blocked brain shunt settled for £500,000
Kareem Our client attended his local hospital with severe headaches and was initially diagnosed as suffering from migraines. Our client Kareem’s mother had had a traumatic birth and he subsequently developed hydrocephalus (water in the brain) as a baby. He had had a brain shunt inserted of which the doctors in his local hospital were aware of when he developed these severe headaches as an adult. He was admitted to be monitored but his condition deteriorated over the following 24 hours and he had to be blue – lighted to a more specialist hospital for a life-saving surgery to relieve the compression in his brain.
Sadly, by that point, he had lost consciousness and despite the life-saving surgery, he suffered some brain damage which affected his work and personal life. His emotional well-being also suffered due to the negligent medical treatment.
We instructed one of the most renowned experts in hydrocephalus early on in the case and he was supportive of the claim. Unfortunately, the Defendants denied liability and the claim was very robustly defended until eventually some limited admissions were made. Subsequently the Defendants argued that the claim was not worth very much as our client Kareem had has some brain damage following his traumatic birth and that his life was not significantly affected by the negligence as he had struggled with work before.
We instructed a number of prominent experts and worked very hard to obtain evidence to demonstrate the effect that the additional brain damage had on our client’s Kareem’s work and personal life. This allowed us to put forward a considerable claim in respect of our client’s his present and future losses. The claim continued to be robustly defended until we were able to reach a settlement whereby our client received of £500,000 to compensate him for his losses. This was a very good result for the client Kareem and his family, who were delighted with the outcome especially given the Defendant’s previous earlier offer of a meagre £25,000.
Brain injury following inappropriate physical restraint
When in his 30’s, our client’s son Ben suffered hypoxia (when the body is deprived of oxygen) whilst in hospital for a psychiatric condition. This was caused by him suffering inappropriate physical restraint for a long period of time by untrained security staff. During the restraint, he was not properly monitored by the hospital’s clinical staff, with no medical observations carried out. He went into respiratory and cardiac arrest and suffered a severe brain injury. He remained in a coma and a permanent vegetative state until his death nine years after the incident.
A negligence claim was pursued against the security company who caused the injury and a clinical negligence claim was brought against the hospital trust. The claim was initially strongly disputed by both defendants and liability was only admitted after we obtained expert evidence from a large number of medical and security experts to prove our client’s case. The claim ultimately settled for a six-figure sum at a joint settlement meeting. We also represented our client and her family at the inquest into Ben’s death.
Stroke after stopping Warfarin
We represented a 65 year old lady, Pamela, after she suffered a catastrophic stroke. She has been taking Warfarin for a heart problem and the medication had been negligently paused in advance of an unrelated medical procedure. We obtained independent expert evidence which found that two hospitals had been negligent and were responsible for her stroke.
Sadly, Pamela’s stroke was life-changing. She required round-the-clock care with all her daily tasks, relied on assistive equipment, including a wheelchair and hoist, and had to adapt her home to make it suitable for her needs. The stroke limited her life expectancy. She had previously lead a very active and full life.
The Defendant hospitals eventually admitted that their negligence had caused Pamela’s stroke. We obtained an initial payment of damages of £300,000, which allowed Pamela to employ professional carers, begin private neuro-rehabilitation and carry out renovations to her home.
Pamela’s claim was initially valued in excess of £3 million, with the majority of her compensation being needed to meet Pamela’s future needs. Sadly, Pamela unexpectedly passed away following a second stroke. We obtained evidence which proved that Pamela’s second stroke and death were linked to the negligence. Despite no longer being able to claim compensation for future needs, we secured a settlement of £550,000 following a day of negotiations with the two Defendants. We also obtained a written apology from both Defendants for Pamela’s family.
Negligent treatment leads to stroke in 45 year-old woman
We represented a 45 year old lady, Fatima, after she suffered a life-changing stroke (paradoxical embolism) due to hospital negligence. Fatima was admitted to hospital for a routine procedure, during which a catheter was inserted into her vein. While blood was being taken, air was negligently allowed to enter the vein. An air embolism formed and passed through a hole in Fatima’s heart (a patent foramen ovale). Sadly, this caused a blockage in some of Fatima’s cerebral arteries, and caused her to have a stroke. Before the stroke, Fatima had led a fully independent life and was employed full-time. Sadly, the stroke meant that she was no longer able to work, required help with many of her daily tasks, and had ongoing physical and cognitive symptoms including pain, difficulty with speech, balance, memory and concentration. She was worried about her loss of earnings, and her ability to get the treatment she needed.
The Defendant hospital refused to accept liability for their actions for four years. During this time, we obtained evidence from a number of leading medical experts. The Defendant finally admitted that their negligence had caused a stroke shortly before the matter was due to be decided by a Judge at Court. Following this, we collated specialist evidence to value Fatima’s claim. The claim was settled for £815,000. Fatima was thrilled and will use the compensation to improve her quality of life – by adapting her home so it met her needs, purchasing assistive equipment, engaging in neuro-rehabilitation and treatment.
Cholesteatoma leads to brain abscess
We represented Dave, a man in his fifties with a clinical negligence claim against two GP’s. For years, Dave had attended his GP practice with persistent complaints regarding his ear. Unfortunately, his symptoms were not appropriately followed up, and he suffered a negligent delay in the diagnosis of cholesteatoma – an abnormal skin growth that develops in the middle section of the ear.
Our expert evidence showed that the negligence had caused him to suffer a brain abscess which required surgery and left him with permanent disabilities, including hearing and memory loss and impaired balance. Sadly, Dave also sustained psychiatric injuries as a result of his brain damage. We worked closely with Dave’s family, as he struggled to provide us with instructions due to his injuries.
Both Defendant GP’s refused to admit negligence and fought the case for six years. However, we persisted and secured settlement of Dave’s claim for £85,000 two weeks before the case was due to be heard at the High Court of Justice in London. Dave was thrilled with the result, which meant he could begin to rebuild his life.
Brain injured client satisfied after changing solicitors to Bolt Burdon Kemp
We acted for Elisa, a lady in her sixties, who tripped on an unsafe surface in a car park and suffered a bad fall, and hit her head.
Brain scans did not reveal any physical damage to her brain. However, Elisa continued to suffer from cognitive symptoms (change in personality, poor memory, poor attention, difficulty finding words) long after her bruises healed. She initially instructed a local firm of personal injury solicitors, who were not brain injury specialists. They advised her to settle her claim for a low amount which did not reflect her injuries. Dissatisfied with their advice, Elisa sought a second opinion, which lead to her instructing the specialist adult brain injury team at Bolt Burdon Kemp.
We arranged for our client to be examined by experts and fought hard to prove the extent of our client’s injuries as caused by the fall. Elisa’s claim later settled for six and a half times the amount her previous solicitors had advised her to accept. Elisa has been delighted by the service provided by Bolt Burdon Kemp.
This is a case where our client’s brain injury was not obvious and too easily brushed aside by prejudices such as old age. As brain injury specialists we know listening to the individual is key, especially when dealing with mild traumatic injuries, rather than solely relying on physical damage shown on neuro-radiological scans. Patient self-reporting of symptoms is the best tool we have when dealing with injuries of this nature. Lack of supportive scans does not mean lack of injury. Our client reported her symptoms and we listened. Because of this we were able to obtain the best possible outcome for her legal claim.
Failure to act on sight problems causing a delay in diagnosing a pituitary brain tumour
Karl suffered hearing and eyesight problems as a child and a small cyst was found in his brain. He and his parents were told that it was nothing to worry about and would probably disappear, although it would need to be monitored. No monitoring was carried out.
When Karl was in his 20’s, he attended Accident and Emergency with loss of vision and blurring in his right eye. Although he was told that a referral was arranged and a scan would be undertaken, neither took place. In 2010, given his worsening eyesight, he saw several ophthalmologists and had visual field tests. He lost his job as a carpenter because his vision was so bad that he felt unable to continue working.
In 2011, Karl was taken to hospital by his family, showing signs of severe cognitive problems. A referral was made to his GP, although this was not followed up. A month later he attended a different hospital and was transferred to see a specialist on the same day. Blood tests were carried out which showed hypopituitarism and high prolactin levels.
An MRI scan was arranged and showed a very large cystic pituitary tumour, causing compression to key structures in the brain that help with memory and cognitive function. He was treated with medication and surgery, requiring a long stay in hospital. Karl had a prolonged recovery period, during which he needed help to move around and to live independently. He remains on medication to reduce what is left of the tumour and has regular reviews. He remains off work.
We instructed top medical experts in ophthalmic surgery and neurology, who told us that a clear opportunity to diagnose Karl’s tumour was missed in his 20’s. Had the tumour been diagnosed then, his eyesight would not have been so severely affected or require so much treatment. As a result of the delay he also suffered hydrocephalus and a period of time with deteriorating cognitive symptoms. Given the damage caused to his pituitary gland, he suffered erectile dysfunction and reduced libido and will also need to be on hormone replacements indefinitely.
After securing robust evidence and issuing court proceedings, we engaged in negotiations and achieved a five figure compensation settlement for Karl.
£7.75 million for front seat passenger in car accident
We acted for a young man, Abe, who was the front seat passenger in a car when the driver, his friend, lost control of the vehicle and collided with a tree.
He fractured his skull and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Abe suffers from significant cognitive difficulties, including problems with motivation, initiation, impulsivity and memory. He has difficulties with speech and language, and fatigue. His behaviour can be challenging and he requires significant support.
We fought for over two years on his behalf to establish who was at fault for the accident, including producing evidence that Abe was the passenger in the car and not the driver. During this time we were still able to secure interim payments that paid for a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation package to be set up. The care package put in place allowed Abe to be discharged from a residential rehabilitation unit and live independently in his own place.
After liability was admitted, further interim payments of damages allowed the care and support package to be built up to include support workers, neuro-physiotherapy, OT and neuropsychology on a regular basis.
We successfully settled the claim for a lump sum of £7.75 million that will provide Abe with the support he needs for the rest of his life.
£10.5 million out of court settlement after negligent treatment for brain haemorrhage
We successfully brought a claim on behalf of Zahra after she received negligent treatment for her brain haemorrhage. The negligent treatment caused an aneurysm to rupture. She then suffered a catastrophic brain injury, as a result of which she has no independent mobility, is incontinent, cannot perform any daily activities for herself and has altered behaviour/moods. She requires lifelong care.
Liability was admitted in full and we obtained interim payments of damages that allowed us to arrange and pay for a care package and access to specialist brain injury rehabilitation, treatment and equipment for our client.
Following the successful settlement of her claim for £10.5 million on a capitalised basis (including annual payments of £400,000 for the rest of her life)Zahra’s home has been adapted to meet her needs. It is amazing to see what a difference early rehabilitation can make. When we were first instructed, Zahra could not pick up a pen or use her left side. She is now able to draw artwork and navigate an electric wheelchair with her left hand, providing her with some independence and improved quality of life.
Failure to treat meningitis leads to eight-figure settlement
We acted for our client Mrs Jones in relation to a brain injury. She wasn’t able to give us instructions herself so her husband Mr Jones acted as her litigation friend.
Mrs Jones was just 23 and had two young children when she became ill with meningitis. Although she went to hospital with enough time to receive treatment which would have completely cured her of meningitis, she didn’t receive the treatment she needed and she suffered a catastrophic brain injury as a result.
Her brain injury left her with severe mobility and learning difficulties. It caused her to become blind and meant that she required 24 hour care.
This took a massive emotional toll on her young family, whose resilience and resolve was a real inspiration for the legal team who fought hard for over a decade to secure a settlement that provided her with the therapy, care and accommodation she required for life in the form of an eight-figure settlement.
Stroke during child birth leads to brain injury
We acted for our client Sheena, who suffered a stroke when giving birth.
The Hospital admitted that they should never have let Sheena attempt a vaginal delivery of her child and if she had been appropriately monitored following her waters breaking, they would never have done so. If they had proceeded straight to caesarean section then Sheena would not have suffered a stroke.
It is hard enough being a new mother in the best of times, let along when you have just suffered a brain injury. Linda had to deal with mobility and memory problems, as well as go through a period of rehab and recovery, not to mention the emotional and physical toll this experience had on her.
We secured a settlement for Sheena that included compensation for her lost earnings, therapies and adaptations for her car.
Unsafe accommodation caused fall from window
Elizabeth was living in supported accommodation when she fell from her window and suffered a brain injury, which left her in a permanent vegetative state.
Her family instructed us to pursue a claim against the Mental Health Trust and the Housing Association responsible for Elizabeth’s ongoing care. We put forward a case based on clear examples that Elizabeth’s accommodation was not safe for her in the period leading up to the incident and that adequate steps were not taken to protect her. The Defendants did not admit liability and blamed each other for the accident.
We had to issue the claim at court against both the Mental Health Trust and the Housing Association. Shortly after issuing, we settled the claim for a six figure sum, providing some justice for Elizabeth and her family.
Multi-million pound award for pedestrian hit whilst crossing the road
Our client, a young successful professional, was crossing at a pedestrian crossing when she was involved in a collision with a motorcycle being driven at excessive speed. She sustained a severe traumatic brain injury as well as multiple fractures to her legs, arms, ribs and pelvis. Our client was left with severe retrograde amnesia, impaired cognitive function, gross loss of emotional and behavioural control and a personality disorder. She requires care and supervision on a 2 to 1 basis for the rest of her life. The claim settled following mediation for in excess of £8 million.
Multi million pound award for head injured client
Our client was a market stall trader who sustained a serious brain injury when the van in which he was a front middle seat passenger was in collision with a bus. Our client was not wearing a seatbelt. He was left with difficulties with cognition, memory and frontal executive function and serious psychological, emotional and behavioural problems. He would never be able to work again and required 24 hour care for the rest of his life. The Defendants contended that direct payments were available from the Local Authority and joined the Authority in the proceedings to reduce their liability. The Court approved a 15% reduction for contributory negligence and a net settlement figure of £3.75 million, with no reverse indemnity, thus allowing our client to claim and retain direct payments with a potential value of £1.6m over his lifetime.
Catastrophic brain injury due to hospital failure to manage condition
The Claimant was a 58 year old woman originally from Mauritius. She suffered a moderate stroke after which she was weak down the right side and her speech was slightly slurred. There was also some weakness on the right side of the face but she could be understood and she was coherent and rational. Due to the Defendant’s subsequent failure to properly manage her condition, she suffered a more significant stroke. This second stroke left the Claimant with catastrophic mental and physical disability. She suffered a dense right hemiparesis (paralysis down the right side) with severe aphasia (disorder of language). As a result she is unable to walk more than a few yards with a leg brace. She became dependent upon a wheelchair outside of the house and as she deteriorates with age she is likely to need to use one inside the house too. She has no use of her right arm and needs assistance with most activities of daily living. She cannot speak and has no means of communicating unaided. It is questionable how much of the spoken word she understands. She was significantly cognitively disabled.
Liability for the second stroke was admitted after the liability experts produced their joint statements. After extensive medical and quantum evidence was obtained, the court had no hesitation in approving a settlement of the claim for the injuries sustained by the second stroke of a lump sum of £1.25 million together with annual periodical payments of £110,000 for the remainder of the Claimant’s life.
Brain damage during ENT surgery
Our client, in his late 50s, sustained brain damage when the Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon performing his ear operation negligently perforated the dura (brain membrane) with his scalpel. The error was confounded by the surgeon’s failure to notice and repair the injury either during the surgery itself or over the following week during which our client noticed cerebral spinal fluid leaking from his ear. Our client required further surgery to repair the dura. He suffered a significant, but subtle brain injury which resulted memory loss, poor concentration, word-finding difficulties, an inability to plan or adapt to any change in routine and personality changes. He was able to return to work with the support of his employer, but required assistance with day to day activities. The claim settled shortly before trial and our client received £525,000 in compensation.
Accident on boarding an aircraft
Our client was a passenger on a British Airways flight from Tel Aviv to London. On boarding and before take off she was hit on the head by an overhead locker. Our client was recovering from major brain surgery at the time and had recently been discharged from hospital in Tel Aviv. She alleged that the blow to her head had caused a relapse of symptoms including seizures (fits) which the surgery had been meant to rectify. She also reported problems with her sight, a lack of feeling in her right arm and leg, and became depressed. Under the Montreal Convention, our client was entitled to hold British Airways responsible for her injuries as these had taken place whilst boarding the aircraft. British Airways settled the action shortly after court proceedings were issued for a sum which we cannot disclose as our client is bound by a confidentiality agreement.
Cyclist hit by car on wrong side of the road
Mr X suffered serious head injuries when he was knocked off his bicycle by a car driven by the Defendant. Liability was in dispute throughout. His injuries included frontal lobe injuries which resulted in language and communication difficulties and some intellectual impairment. There were no independent eye witnesses to the accident. Our investigations found a tyre mark on the road which showed that the defendant’s car was on the wrong side of the road at the time of impact. Following negotiations, the claim settled for £350,000.00, which took into account Mr X’s failure to wear a cycle helmet.
Misdiagnosis and inappropriate drugs
The Claimant stopped taking Warfarin in preparation for a heart valve operation on the advice of doctors. The operation was cancelled, but Warfarin treatment was not recommenced. As a result of this medical negligence the Claimant suffered a major stroke and was left with reduced life expectancy, impaired mobility, difficulty swallowing and incontinence. The medical negligence claim settled for a lump sum of £105,000 plus additional annual payments of £40,000 to fund private care for the duration of the Claimant’s life.
Battling with Motor Insurers Bureau
Miss C was a rear seat passenger in a car driven by an uninsured driver. The car was travelling in the bus lane when it skidded in a pool of water, the driver lost control and there was a head on collision with a bus travelling in the opposite direction. The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) on behalf of the uninsured driver denied liability, saying that Miss C knew or should have know that the driver was uninsured and so shouldn’t have been travelling with him. The MIB also argued that she was not wearing a seat belt and that she was therefore responsible for her own injuries. Miss C had serious head injuries and could not give any reliable evidence herself about whether or not she knew the driver was uninsured. We obtained statements from her friends and family to show that she probably did not know, and we secured evidence to show that the seat belt was not working. Following negotiations the MIB made an offer, which Miss C accepted, to pay 90% of the award, and paid out £200,000.
Bolt Burdon Kemp double initial compensation award
We represented Mr U who had been the victim of a vicious assault which left him blind in one eye and with a severe permanent brain injury. His attackers were never found by the police or convicted of their crime. Mr U was cared for by his ex wife in the former matrimonial home, and she initiated a Criminal Injuries Compensation Claim on his behalf, with our help. The claim was accepted by the CICA and it was clear that there would be an argument on the severity of the injury, and the care and Court of Protection costs, which made up the bulk of the financial loss claim. The CICA originally offered £88,650 which we rejected. We went on to obtain independent evidence from doctors and a care expert. Once confronted with this evidence, and a fully detailed schedule supporting our client’s losses, the CICA increased their award to over £190,000, which we accepted. This will form a fund to assist our client for the future: he wishes to return to Nigeria where he wants to build a house on family land and settle with relatives who will look after him.
Fall over low parapet wall into basement flat
Our client rented a Victorian/Edwardian type first floor flat from a professional landlord. It is presumed that the Claimant fell over a low parapet wall into the basement flat area below which was a 15 foot drop onto concrete as he was trying to open his front door. The Claimant had been drinking in a local pub with a friend on the night of the accident. The Claimant sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of the fall and could not remember the accident. There were no witnesses. At the time of the accident the Claimant was a chef and it was his goal to become a head chef. As a result of his brain injury he was unable to pursue this career but was able to continue working as a chef at a low level. We issued court proceedings against the professional landlord and obtained compensation for our client in the sum of £275,000 at a joint settlement meeting.
Falling concrete block
Mr H, a construction worker, was hit on his head by a falling concrete block. He sustained a fractured skull, loss of consciousness and permanent loss of sense of smell and taste. Psychologically he suffered some cognitive deficits, reduced organisational skills, short term memory problems and mild depression. He won £285,000 in compensation.
Misdiagnosis of brain tumour
Our client, who had a previous history of breast cancer, was misdiagnosed with a brain tumour secondary to terminal metastatic breast cancer. She sold her home, settled her affairs and moved into a hospice. She received palliative care including whole brain radiotherapy. When her condition failed to deteriorate, she was eventually sent for further investigations. A brain biopsy when showed the tumour to be benign and it was surgically removed. She received approximately £265,000 in compensation for her neuro-psychological injuries and financial losses.
Falling pallet causes head injury
Mr R sustained serious head injuries when, while he was working as a forecourt attendant, a metal pallet fell from the back of a lorry onto his head during the delivery of stock to the service station. Liability was agreed in the proportion 90/10 in the Claimant’s favour. Mr R sustained a fracture of the left side of the skull, contusion of the right temple lobe of the brain and a thin subdural haematoma in the right parietotemporal region. Fortunately, Mr R made a remarkable recovery from his injuries and we were delighted to achieve a settlement for him of £150,000.00
Oklahoma resident injured in RTA in England
Our client was an agricultural student at an English college and injured when a passenger in a car. The driver had looked down to change the cassette. Our client’s family business was farming hogs. His head injury affected his future career. The Defendant’s insurers refused to accept that our client was permanently affected by his injuries and were not prepared to pay what we regarded as an appropriate sum in compensation. We arranged for his parents and the family lawyer to attend court in England to give oral evidence to the judge. The latter was persuaded that our view was correct and awarded substantial damages beating the Defendant’s payment into court.
Pedestrian hit by car on pedestrian crossing
Mr S was hit by a car as he was walking to work early one morning. He sustained a severe head injury and was unable to return to work. Liability was disputed until the day of trial when a compromise on liability was agreed and a settlement of £165,000.00 was reached at the court doors.