It’s Action for Brain Injury Week 2016!

May 9, 2016
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This year Action for Brain Injury week (#ABIWeek) takes place between 9th and 15th May 2016!

What is ABI Week?

Headway UK is a national charity that works to improve life after brain injury. Through its network of more than 125 groups and branches across the UK, it provides support, services and information to brain injury survivors, their families and carers, as well as to professionals in the health and legal fields.

Every year, during ABI Week, Headway UK launches a new campaign to raise awareness and shine the light on brain injury. This year the charity is launching a new campaign which is dedicated to everyone involved in sport, at all levels, to be concussion aware. #ConcussionAware

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Our brain is by far the most sophisticated and remarkable part of the human body. It is a complex network that controls all aspects of the way we live as individuals. Our brains are fragile and vulnerable to all sorts of injury. Although the brain can be damaged by a variety of methods like tumours, infections or strokes, any injury to the brain from an external force results in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Due to the complexities and structure of the brain, TBI can result in many different types of damage.

So, ABI Week is a great opportunity to fundraise, campaign and raise awareness to ensure that vital work, rehabilitation and support is provided to those affected by brain injury.

What is traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

TBI is an injury to the brain caused by a trauma to the head. Road traffic accidents are a common cause of this type of injury, but there are many possible causes, including falls, assaults, accidents at home or at work, or even sporting activities, which are a growing recognised area.

The effects of a TBI can be wide ranging, and depends on a number of factors such as the type, location and severity of injury.

Effects and recovery

Individuals who have suffered a serious brain injury may require emergency treatment to ascertain possible life threatening injuries. Intensive and coordinated care by teams of interdisciplinary medical professionals working together is vital. While some brain injury survivors may be able to return to their daily routines with assistance and support, others will continue to require more intense supportive services and care.

Early medical intervention and rehabilitation is crucial to the likely recoverability for a brain injury survivor and ought to take place within a specialist neurological department, to ensure the optimal outcome for the injured person. This can be very hard to achieve if someone has sustained a severe brain injury which may impact on their ability to engage with rehabilitation and understand how to manage their symptoms. Support and assistance for these individuals and their families is crucial when dealing with the overwhelming long term effects of life changing injuries, such as brain injury. Overnight, this type of injury can turn the individual’s and family’s lives upside down.

Charities such as Headway UK offer nationwide support and services required for those with a brain injury to lead healthy, social and fulfilling lives as far as possible. Headway works incredibly hard to raise awareness and campaign to provide invaluable services and create opportunities for people to make the most of their abilities and skills. The charity offers support and advice to brain injury survivors to enable them to live full and independent lives as much as possible.

The effects of a brain injury can be long term, and the services provided by Headway UK are able to support individuals from the moment their life changing injury occurs, and for the rest of their lives.

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As a member of Headway UK’s London Regional Group, and a Trustee of one of their local branches, Headway East London, I see firsthand the invaluable support and services offered to brain injury survivors, their families and carers.

Do I have a compensation claim?

A TBI can impact on every aspect of an individual’s day to day life and can also have a huge impact and strain on their family and friends. If there is a personal injury claim, due to the injury being caused or contributed to by another person’s wrongdoing, then it is up to the specialist solicitor to identify the appropriate treatment, care, support, equipment and accommodation the individual requires, to meet their individual necessary needs, with specialist expert input.

Choosing the right solicitor

It is more important to instruct a solicitor with experience in brain injury claims than to allow someone who is inexperienced to handle your case purely because he/she has an office close to your home. In seeking expert medical advice you would probably not hesitate to travel some distance to seek the right specialist. The same considerations apply to brain injury compensation claims. Choosing the wrong solicitor could result in under-valuation of your claim and also the solicitor not arranging the necessary rehabilitation and offering the vital support required.

Brain injuries are complicated and involve different considerations from other forms of injury. It is very important that the solicitor you choose to handle your claim understands the complexities of your injury and how your own injury is likely to affect your life, at the present time and also in the future. A specialist solicitor will know the right experts to instruct in your claim which will result in fair and just compensation to you.

The solicitor that you instruct will explain to you how your claim will be conducted. This advice could seem complicated, particularly following a brain injury. You must, therefore, always ensure that you take someone with you who will help you understand the questions and understand the advice and who will ask questions that may not occur to you. Never hesitate to take notes and ask your solicitors questions.

It is not uncommon of claims for compensation for brain injury to take 2 years or so to conclude. The reason for this is that it is important to identify how your brain injury is going to affect your future, and for your solicitor to assess all your future needs. This will take time, especially if the injury is very serious. However, this should not prevent your solicitor from obtaining interim payments for you to assist with financial security throughout the lifetime of the case.

At Bolt Burdon Kemp, our specialist and dedicated team of lawyers have the experience of working with survivors of brain injury. We understand the challenges and long term effects faced by our clients and their families following an acquired brain injury. We passionately believe that our clients deserve the highest level of medical care, early rehabilitation and specialist support to meet their individual needs. As a leading national law firm specialising in serious life-changing injury claims, we understand the hugely important role that brain injury charities, such as Headway UK, provide for injured people who need support and therapy services to achieve the best quality of life they can.

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact us in confidence on 020 7288 4800 or at PersonalInjury@boltburdonkemp.co.uk for specialist legal advice. Alternatively, you can complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Personal Injury team will contact you. You can find out more about the Accident Claims team.

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