Success Stories for Adult Brain Injury Cases
You are reading our successful case summaries for adult brain injury claims. Read on to find out how our brain injury specialists have experience in a wide range of cases. This includes claims against employers, cases involving medical negligence or road accidents, and cases handled poorly by other firms.
£6.5m settlement for catastrophic brain injury on construction site
A computer-aided draftsperson received a £6.5 million lump sum for a severe brain injury after a heavy metal object fell three storeys from the roof of a building under construction, piercing his skull.
Hokman Wong, Heather Petrie, Deepti Patel and Suzanne Trask, negotiated this substantial settlement, despite all three Defendants blaming the injured worker for his own injuries. The draftsperson suffered a depressed skull fracture and penetrating brain injury that left him with physical, cognitive, and visual disabilities, and deprived him of his ability to work, pursue a career as a structural engineer, or walk or live independently.
Although all three defendants denied responsibility, our team secured a sizeable early interim payment. This paid for a specialist brain injury case manager, who coordinated therapies, including hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and neuro-occupational therapy, and recruited a support worker. Most importantly, it funded a Permobil powered standing wheelchair that significantly improved independence and wellbeing early on, reducing the risk of respiratory disease and infection, skin issues, sleep issues and fatigue in the long term.
An early and superficially attractive offer to “buy off” the claim was rejected because of the risk that it significantly undervalued the claim. The lump sum award achieved a few months later after further negotiation will meet the lifelong care, equipment, and therapy needs that flow from this terrible injury and allows the family to move forward with rebuilding their lives.
Counsel was Christopher Stephenson of Deka Chambers.
£800,000 for a severe brain injury in a fall from height at work
An engineer received compensation of £800,000 for a severe brain injury they suffered while working. The engineer fell over 2 metres to the ground when the ladder they were using gave way. The ladder was not secured, and the engineer had not received any training or instructions on working at heights.
Heather Petrie, Hokman Wong and Suzanne Trask, successfully secured the court-approved settlement for this complex and challenging case. The engineer suffered skull fractures, a traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage, and frontal contusions, which resulted in neurological and cognitive problems. These included headaches, sleep disturbance, post-traumatic amnesia, loss of taste and smell, fatigue, memory and concentration problems as well as emotional difficulties.
The Defendant admitted liability and made an early offer to settle the claim. However, this was rejected as it was considered too low and made before the full extent of the injuries could be assessed. Interim payments were obtained to help alleviate financial pressure and fund a case manager who coordinated the engineer’s rehabilitation package and support for the family, who were struggling to cope with the engineer’s challenging behaviour.
Each side’s experts held opposing opinions about the key issues such as diagnosis, treatment, causation, and prognosis. This led to prolonged and tense negotiations, with multiple offers and counteroffers. The settlement brings much needed closure and certainty to the engineer and their family. It also provides financial security by allowing them to pay off their mortgage, and ensures ongoing rehabilitation, support, and assistance for the rest of their life.
Six-figure settlement for our client with Functional Neurological Disorder
We obtained a six figure settlement for Joe, who was struck on the head whilst at work.
As the day went on after being struck on the head Joe began to feel sick and dizzy. In the following days and weeks Joe’s symptoms worsened, he developed: right sided weakness which affected writing and walking; headaches; dizziness; extreme fatigue; difficulty finding words; and problems with memory and concentration. Joe had brain scans which showed no abnormality and was told he had a mild head injury and post head injury symptoms.
Four months later, Joe saw an NHS neurologist. Joe felt this doctor didn’t take his symptoms seriously and was very dismissive. Thankfully, Joe’s GP was more open minded and willing to help. Joe was referred to another neurologist for a second opinion, which led to Joe being referred to the brain injury rehabilitation team.
Joe came to us around five months after the incident. It was clear to him by this point his injury was serious and potentially life changing. We put his claim to his employer who denied they were at fault and denied Joe’s symptoms were caused by what was an apparent mild head injury.
As brain injury specialists we know even mild head injuries can have severe consequences. We instructed specialist medical experts to examine Joe. We instructed a leading neuropsychiatrist specialising in functional neurological disorder and a neuro-otologist. The experts’ views were the blow to Joe’s head caused functional neurological disorder and a balance disorder. These were crucial pieces of evidence which allowed Joe to recover compensation for his ongoing injuries.
For almost four years Joe’s employer defended the claim robustly. Following tough negotiations the claim settled for a six-figure sum. Joe was delighted at the outcome and thanked us for our hard work; help and support; and for going above and beyond for him.
£1.3 million for delayed diagnosis of a glomous tumour
We represented Clara who experienced one-sided hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and muscle wasting as a result of a growing non-malignant glomus tumour. The tumour was growing inside Clara’s middle ear and it pressed on her nerves as it grew steadily larger. The tumour had likely been present for over 10 years and had gone undetected.
Clara was seen by an Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) specialist who didn’t refer her for a scan, despite her concerning symptoms. The tumour was not diagnosed until she saw a different ENT specialist a year later who was concerned by her symptoms and performed a scan straight away.
Up until this point, Clara had been managing to work in a busy hospital, but the delay in her diagnosis meant that the tumour grew and pressed on her nerves, causing muscle problems in her shoulder. This meant that she could no longer lift and carry, and she needed support at work. She had radiotherapy to control the size of the tumour but her weakness unfortunately remained and she also developed pain. She could no longer cope with her role and suffered a loss of earnings.
We instructed specialist experts in the fields of ENT, pain management, orthopaedics, psychiatry, physiotherapy and care to comment on Clara’s condition. The experts instructed on Clara’s behalf found that the ENT specialist had been negligent. They considered that had she been diagnosed on time, she would have undergone radiotherapy sooner and avoided all her physical problems and pain.
We brought a claim against the ENT specialist in the court. The ENT specialist denied liability initially, but then admitted liability in full over a year later, which was a great outcome for our client. We were able to obtain damages of £1.3 million at a mediation and the ENT specialist provided an apology letter acknowledging that their failure to properly consider our client’s symptoms had completely affected her life.
The funds enable Clara to have specialist physiotherapy and help at home for her young children, plus aids and adaptations to help her to have a more independent life.
£1.22 million for a passenger who suffered a brain injury in a car accident
We represented Stacey, a teenager who suffered significant injuries when she was involved in a car accident as a passenger. She was knocked unconscious, and suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury. She also had serious cuts to her face, which caused permanent scarring, and injuries to her lower limbs.
Her brain injury caused serious difficulties with her cognitive and functional abilities, affecting memory, concentration, mental processing speed, and causing chronic headaches and fatigue. These symptoms meant that she later suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, which are sadly common following a brain injury.
The brain injury radically changed Stacey’s life. It meant that she was no longer independent, but now relied on family and professionals to help care for her and to manage her needs. The evidence we obtained showed that she would need care support for the rest of her life. She suffered a loss of earnings, as her injuries prevented her from working for a long period of time, also limiting the type of work she could do in the future. She was at increased risk of future injuries. She also required neuro-rehabilitation and therapies to help her cope, to try to manage her needs. Stacey was assessed by the Court of Protection as lacking mental capacity to manage her finances, meaning she would require professional assistance for this.
Stacey was in the prime of her life when the accident happened. Understandably, she found it difficult to come to terms with what had happened and the ‘new normal’.
The Defendant driver admitted that the accident was their fault, but argued that our client’s injuries were minor and that she did not need long-term support. They offered £30,000 in compensation, which she rejected on our advice.
We fought for interim payments, to allow Stacey to have early access to compensation to help rebuild her life. We were able to support her whilst she secured a new job, arranged for a team of professionals to help her with appointments, to manage her symptoms and be more independent. We also worked with her family and provided Stacey with weekly funds. With time, Stacey was able to establish a routine which worked for her, and able to recognise when she needed help or a break. Whilst she relied on help from others, she was fully involved with the case. We developed a strong bond with her family, who worked hard to provide her with a support system and stability.
We worked hard to secure the necessary witness and expert evidence to prove that Stacey was entitled to a substantial amount of compensation. We secured approximately £1.22 million in compensation for Stacey. This money will allow her to start fresh and lead a more independent life, with professional assistance available to guide her as and when she needs. Stacey and her family were delighted with the settlement.
Car v cyclist mild brain injury: Six-figure case settlement
Our client, Maddie, a young woman in her 20s, was knocked off her bike by a delivery driver whilst on her way to work. She suffered a head injury and some minor orthopaedic injuries. The defendant admitted responsibility for the accident, having pulled out of a minor road without paying attention.
Despite wearing a cycle helmet, Maddie suffered ongoing head injury symptoms including migraines, eyesight issues and mild cognitive impairment. She was highly intelligent and worked in a demanding and competitive job. Unfortunately, her ongoing symptoms were affecting her performance at work, which was delaying her career progression. She was understandably worried about her future.
The defendant’s medical experts denied that Maddie had suffered a brain injury and said that her symptoms were not as a result of the accident. However, we had supportive expert evidence that said the opposite, from a neurologist, a neuro-ophthalmologist, a neuropsychologist, and a psychiatrist.
The defendant’s initial offer to settle the claim was £25,000, which was turned down. As a result of our work, the case later settled out of court for a six-figure sum, which allowed our client to feel more confident about her future.
Six-figure settlement for delay in diagnosis of a cavernoma
We obtained a six-figure settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a negligent delay in the diagnosis of a cerebellar cavernoma.
John contacted us because he was unhappy with his previous solicitors. He was in a difficult situation, trying to deal with a brain injury at the same time as progressing his claim, whilst the Defendant hospital refused to accept any fault. Our team were able to negotiate crucial extensions of time, which allowed us to collate reports from several independent medical experts, showing negligence.
John had a complicated medical history, including cardiac issues. Nevertheless, he was independent and neurologically unimpaired before he suffered the delay in correct diagnosis of a cavernoma (also known as a cavernous angioma, cavernous hemangioma or cerebral cavernous malformation). These are clusters of abnormal blood vessels, which can occur in the brain or spine. For John, they occurred in his brain.
John was referred for a scan when he began showing signs of neurological deterioration, including migraine, visual disturbance, difficulties mobilising, nausea and vomiting. Cerebral haemorrhaging was seen on the scan, although a diagnosis was not made. Subsequent scans showed that the bleeding in the brain was worsening, but no treatment was provided. Nearly two months after his initial brain scan, John suffered a significant deterioration and catastrophic haemorrhagic stroke. He required immediate neurosurgery. The operation was successful, but left John with permanent injuries affecting both his cognition and physical abilities. John now suffers from fatigue, irritability, reduced speed of information processing and difficulties with attention span and concentrating. He also reports difficulties in recognising places and people, has impaired balance, difficulties with mobility and coordination, left-sided weakness in his arms and legs, as well as mouth droop and dribbling.
Despite the Defendant hospital refusing to admit any fault for over four years, experts instructed on John’s behalf found that his care had been negligent and that had he been diagnosed in time – he would have gone on to make a very good recovery, with minimal impact on his condition and future prognosis. We were able to obtain a six-figure settlement at mediation, just six weeks before a trial hearing due to commence at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The funds will assist John in being able to live a more independent life, assisting him with his therapy and care needs as well as providing better-suited accommodation.
£6.5m compensation for catastrophic head injury suffered on a construction site
Raymond was at work on a construction site when a heavy object fell from height and hit him on the head. He suffered life threatening brain injuries and paralysis. He needed surgery on his skull and was put into a coma. It would be almost another year, after further surgery and intensive treatment before he could be discharged into a new ground floor home, using an electric wheelchair. He continues to rely to on others to help him with all everyday activities.
He brought a claim against several building contractor companies who were working on the site and responsible for safety. Despite them all fighting liability, we were able to persuade them to pay over £80,000 to fund his rehabilitation and treatment. We helped Raymond to instruct a case manager, who coordinated the therapies and care he needed. This meant that he was able to access vital early rehabilitation. It also took a lot off the family’s plate and supported them to have more quality time together.
We fought on in the case and brought the claim in Court. Only seven months later we were able to negotiate a final settlement. Raymond appreciated bringing the claim to a close at an early stage, as this allowed him to move on. The sum of £6.5m has given him peace of mind, knowing that he is financially secure into the future and that his therapies and care will be provided for.
Raymond and his family were very appreciative of us being able to achieve an early settlement for him.
Another brain-injured client satisfied after changing solicitors to Bolt Burdon Kemp
We represented Martha, a woman in her thirties, who was involved in a road traffic accident when she collided with another car at a roundabout. She did not hit her head but suffered whiplash. Following the accident, she experienced a number of symptoms including fatigue, migraines, dizziness, and concentration issues, and she was also prone to frequent collapses. Her doctors diagnosed her with post-concussion syndrome.
Martha initially instructed a firm of personal injury solicitors who were not brain injury specialists. They valued her claim at less than £25,000 and recommended that the case be dealt with using the portal for low value personal injury claims. Martha was not satisfied with this assessment and contacted BBK to see if we could take over her case given our expertise in brain injury cases.
Having dealt with a number of cases involving post-concussion syndrome, we recognised the severity of her injury from the outset and accepted Martha’s case. The Defendant denied liability – arguing that the accident was Martha’s fault and that her ongoing symptoms were unrelated to the accident. We therefore arranged for Martha to be examined by medical experts who found that, due to the accident, she had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, as well as post-concussional symptoms – and that she had also gone on to develop functional neurological symptom disorder due to the trauma of the accident.
We settled Martha’s claim for a six-figure sum – a significantly higher amount than her previous solicitors’ assessment.
£130k for employee with brain injury in accident at work
Rebecca was attending a meeting in her office when a board fell, striking her on the head. Rebecca immediately felt unwell and suffered from migraines, balance problems and fatigue in the days that followed. This developed into memory problems and reduced concentration. This affected Rebecca’s work and she had to change job roles.
A brain scan did not show any damage, but there were suspicions that Rebecca was suffering from a mild brain injury and post-concussion syndrome. Although the Defendant employer admitted liability, they did not accept that Rebecca had suffered a brain injury.
Rebecca had previously instructed another firm of solicitors but approached us as she felt that there had been a lack of progress. After receiving instructions from Rebecca, we acted quickly to progress her case. We obtained expert evidence from a neurologist, neuropsychiatrist and a balance specialist, all of which confirmed Rebecca’s brain injury, and made recommendations for treatment. We also issued proceedings in the High Court.
The value of Rebecca’s claim was contested for a long period of time, but we went on to successfully negotiate a good settlement.
£8.8m compensation for pedestrian with traumatic brain injury in motorcycle collision
Saanvi was crossing the road when a motorcycle being driven at excessive speed collided with her. She sustained a severe brain injury as well as chest injuries, a broken pelvis and badly broken legs. As a result of her brain injury, Saanvi was diagnosed with organic personality disorder and profound dysexecutive syndrome with gross loss of behavioural, cognitive and emotional control. She had severe retrograde amnesia with great difficulty remembering recent events and new learning. Saanvi frequently exhibits challenging behaviour, particularly when demands are placed on her.
Saanvi required extensive treatment in hospital and received rehabilitation as an inpatient for some time before she stopped engaging with it. We sought and obtained a large interim payment – enough to fund two full time support workers and the setting up of a community based rehabilitation programme that she could access while also living in her own place.
We settled Saanvi’s case at mediation, and obtained a large lump sum and substantial annual periodical payments, which will pay for her to have the support of two carers, suitable accommodation, aids and equipment and therapies for the rest of her life.
Success for a pedestrian hit by a motorcycle paramedic
Elaine crossed a busy junction on a London road. The next thing she remembered was waking up in hospital with a policeman by her side. Amnesia is common after serious head injury and she did not remember being hit by a motorcycle paramedic. Elaine suffered facial and rib fractures, and two bleeds on the brain. Fortunately she did not require surgery and she was discharged home in pain and experiencing severe dizziness.
Over the coming months Elaine made a great recovery from her injuries. Her main ongoing problems were severe dizziness and knee pain. Curious about what happened in the accident, Elaine contacted Bolt Burdon Kemp for help. We obtained CCTV footage and the police report. A court order had to be secured before the paramedic’s records were provided.
The records showed the motorcycle paramedic was on an emergency call. His blue lights were on but his siren was off. Elaine crossed when the pedestrian crossing was red to pedestrians; there were a group of people on her left which may have obstructed her view of oncoming traffic. The paramedic’s statement said he had seen a group of people waiting to cross close to him on the right; as he drove past Elaine walked out looking ahead; and by then it was too late to avoid hitting her.
The law recognises road users (especially those operating motor vehicles) can cause much more damage than pedestrians. This destructive disparity between road users and pedestrians is taken into account when judges consider how to apportion blame, including who is primarily to blame. Road users have a greater responsibility to avoid collisions. Blame can and will be laid on pedestrians, but it is more usual for them to be found to have contributed to the collision, rather than being primarily to blame.
In Elaine’s case we asserted that the motorcycle paramedic was primarily to blame for the collision because his sirens were off when they should have been on and he was riding too fast for the prevailing conditions and he should have foreseen the risks these two factors caused when approaching a cluster of pedestrians waiting to cross a busy junction. An offer was made reflecting the part Elaine played in the collision. Following negotiation the case settled for £30,000.
Elaine was very happy with the outcome. Bolt Burdon Kemp helped her achieve the goal of finding out what happened to her and how the collision arose. In addition she obtained compensation which would help her deal with ongoing injuries. It took just over 8 months from Elaine’s first call to Bolt Burdon Kemp to settlement of her claim.
Going the extra mile, even when we can’t always help
Paul suffered a brain injury following a blood clot that travelled to his brain. As a result of his brain injury, he lost his mental capacity and was deemed to be at high risk. He needed 1:1 supervision whilst receiving treatment in hospital. We investigated Paul’s claim in respect of his brain injury and found that we couldn’t help him pursue this claim.
However, our dedicated team of brain injury solicitors did find other failings in Paul’s care – notably the failure of hospital staff to properly look after him given his vulnerability and multiple attempts to leave the ward on his own. This lead to one occasion on which he succeeded, and consequently he was injured on a busy road outside the hospital.
We felt strongly about helping Paul secure justice for the failings in his care, even though his claim didn’t relate to how his brain injury was caused, so we wrote to the hospital Trust alleging that they had been negligent in failing to supervise Paul properly and prevent him from sustaining injury. The Trust admitted liability and settled the claim shortly after we presented them with medical evidence regarding his injuries. We then attended the court hearing for the court to approve the settlement, due to Paul’s lack of mental capacity.
Whilst we can’t help every client with a deserving case, we felt it was the right thing to do, going the extra mile and helping Paul, in line with our values.
Compensation for elderly pedestrian hit by speeding car on crossing
Muhammad was crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing when he was hit by a speeding car that failed to stop in time.
Muhammad suffered a heart attack brought on by the shock of the accident and was given CPR at the scene by a member of the public until he was airlifted to hospital. He sustained a significant head injury and subarachnoid haemorrhage as well as serious orthopaedic injuries including fractures to his back, pelvis and right limbs. After a lengthy stay in hospital, Muhammad was discharged at first to a residential care home, and then he was able to go home with the support of a significant care package including carers, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and a case manager to coordinate.
As a result of his head injury, Muhammad suffered from difficulties with his swallow function and had numerous bouts of aspiration pneumonia. Sadly he died just over a year after his accident from a chest and stomach infection.
We initially represented Muhammad in his personal injury claim, and then after his death we continued the claim on behalf of his wife, as administrator of his estate. We successfully negotiated a settlement of £120,000 in compensation.
Out of court settlement following an accident at work
Lukas was working as a banksman on a tunnelling and excavation site. He was guiding a lorry through the gates to the site when he slipped and fell on the ground. He suffered a minor head injury that left him with frequent headaches and cognitive difficulties, as well as orthopaedic injuries.
Expert evidence showed that although Lukas could return to work in the future, he would not be able to return to work in the construction industry and he would have to take alternative roles at a lesser wage.
His employers denied liability throughout but we were pleased to be able to negotiate an out of court settlement on behalf of Lukas.
Cyclist sustained head injury in collision
Aarav was cycling down a main road when the Defendant driver pulled out from a side road on his left hand side and drove into him.
Aarav sustained a minor head injury and displayed symptoms of concussion, aggressive moods and memory loss.
Liability was admitted. We obtained expert evidence from a neurologist and neuropsychologist which confirmed Aarav’s injuries and made recommendations for treatment. We obtained an interim payment of damages that paid for specialist therapy as recommended by the neuropsychologist.
We went on to successfully negotiate settlement of Aarav’s claim.
Cyclist suffers damage to eyesight as a result of his head injury
Oliver was cycling on a main road in central London when he was in a collision with a van. Although Oliver did not remember the accident, one witness we obtained evidence from estimated that the van driver was travelling at 70mph.
The police prosecuted the driver for driving without due care and attention, to which he pleaded not guilty. At the criminal trial the driver was convicted. Despite the criminal conviction, the driver still refused to admit liability.
Oliver sustained a mild head injury, with damage to his optic nerve, which caused him to have double vision. For a time this affected his job as an architect. Thankfully his vision recovered with time.
We successfully obtained damages that included compensation for Oliver’s loss of earnings and psychological therapy.
Injured cyclist finds it is worth instructing specialist personal injury solicitors
Ben was cycling downhill around a sharp hairpin bend. A car being driven by the Defendant was travelling up the hill from the opposite direction. The Defendant cut the corner so that the offside of her vehicle was over the central white line and on Ben’s side of the road. The Defendant’s car collided with Ben, causing him significant injuries.
Ben suffered a trauma to the head which caused a loss of consciousness. As a result he suffered post-concussion syndrome, permanent soft tissue injuries to his neck, injury to his shoulder, and permanent scarring to various visible places on his body.
Due to his head injuries, Ben had a loss of earnings claim and although he was eventually able to return to work, he was not promoted as had been expected before his injury.
The Defendant denied liability on the basis that Ben was on her side of the road.
Ben was with another firm of solicitors for over two years before he approached us due to lack of progress and because it had reached a point where it was his word against the Defendant about whose fault the accident was.
We conducted further investigations into the cause of the accident and quickly obtained witness evidence from the paramedic and two other cyclists who had all arrived on the scene soon after the accident happened. Their evidence supported Ben’s version of events. We also obtained supportive evidence from an accident reconstruction expert.
With further supportive evidence we were able to successfully settle Ben’s case for a substantial five-figure sum of damages.
Ben was pleased that he made the move to a specialist injury law firm and was impressed by our tenacious approach after taking over his case. The use of top experts and our thorough investigations meant that we were able to secure an early settlement for him.
Life-changing settlement of £10.5 million for 54 year old who suffered ruptured aneurism
We successfully secured a settlement of £10.5 million, on a capitalised basis, for Eilah – our brain injured client who, aged 54, suffered injury following the rupture of an aneurism which wasn’t properly coiled, resulting in a subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Our client, a mother of two, suffered significant physical and cognitive impairments. She became wheelchair bound and required 24/7 care from two carers.
Liability was admitted in full at an early stage by the Defendant but interim payments to help fund a care package for Eilah were not forthcoming. We prepared the claim for court.
We then secured an interim payment to enable Eilah to move back to her own home and leave the retirement home she was living in. A care package was set up as well as a Deputyship to manage her financial affairs as she no longer had capacity to manage her own finances.
Further interim funds were secured over the course of the claim to fund a care and rehabilitation package and the purchase of accommodation that could be adapted to allow her to live with her husband in a property suitable for her needs.
The value of Eilah’s claim was contested by the Defendant for several years, in particular her care package which involved 24/7 care from two carers. Our experience and knowledge of the significant and immediate needs of brain injured clients enabled us to present clear evidence of the necessity of this care regime for Eilah, in addition to her other therapeutic needs.
Despite trial approaching, we remained robust and firm in our negotiations. With less than three weeks until trial started, we secured a life-changing settlement that accurately reflected Eilah’s lifelong needs and will enable her to move into adapted accommodation and have a care package that will provide her with the best possible rehabilitation and care for the remainder of her life.
Another brain injury client satisfied after changing solicitors to Bolt Burdon Kemp
George was using the lavatory in an office when a 14kg wall panel came loose from its fixings and fell, hitting him on the head.
Soon after the accident George contacted a claims management company to bring a personal injury claim. George was referred to, and instructed, a solicitor who was not a brain injury specialist. The solicitor did not appreciate the importance of taking time to assess the true extent of a brain injury. The solicitor quickly assessed the claim as being worth less than £10,000 and made a claim using the portal for low value personal injury claims. This claim was denied so the solicitor identified another defendant and took steps to make a claim against them.
After two years, George became dissatisfied with the service provided by his solicitor. George felt there had been lack of progress, poor communication, and the solicitor working on his file had changed too many times. The last straw came when George’s latest solicitor obtained a medical expert report which George strongly disagreed with.
George contacted BBK to see if we could take over his case. When we spoke to George we recognised the signs of brain injury. We understood George’s memory, attention and verbal communication had been affected by his brain injury. We took time to provide advice. We made sure George understood what we said and that he was able and happy to provide instructions.
After receiving instruction from George, we acted quickly to progress his case. Within the next six months we arranged for George to be examined by two new brain injury medico-legal experts, prepared witness statements for a number of witnesses and issued proceedings in the High Court.
Information arose about a third party, previously unknown, who we added as a defendant. Two months later, we successfully settled the claim for George with the third party for over £100,000 (including deductible benefits). George was delighted with the amount and that the claim had concluded sooner than expected.
As brain injury specialists we were able to spot the signs of George’s brain injury immediately. We knew how to obtain evidence to support his claim and we knew how to effectively communicate with George.
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 attended his local hospital with severe headaches and was initially diagnosed as suffering from migraines. 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 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 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 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.