Personal Injury Claims following a Traumatic Brain Injury
Choosing the right solicitor
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), however caused, can have a number of different consequences which can be difficult for the injured person and their loved ones to come to terms with. The injured person may suffer from difficulties such as chronic headaches, fatigue, memory loss or cognitive problems.
The person, who wakes up following a TBI, may not be the same person that they were prior to their injury. Often, individuals may experience a change to their personality following a TBI. This personality change can be temporary or permanent. Life following a TBI can be very different for both the injured person and their family.
Where the injury is the result of an accident which was caused by the negligence of a third party, the injured person will likely have the added complication of dealing with a personal injury claim and the lawyers who accompany it. Unfortunately, this can sometimes make what is already a difficult time, even more difficult. It is therefore extremely important that when choosing your solicitor, you choose wisely.
It is likely that instructing a solicitor following an accident is the first time that you will have come into contact with the legal profession. In this blog, I intend to consider what qualities you should look for in your solicitor to ensure that the process is made as straight forward as possible and, more importantly, that you receive the outcome you deserve. A claim following a TBI is very different to other personal injury claims and so it is important that you instruct a specialist solicitor who has experience dealing with claims resulting in TBI.
What to look for in your Solicitor
What experience do they have?
In my experience, solicitors are not ‘one size fits all’. Not every personal injury solicitor will be able to deal with every type of claim. It is important that you investigate your prospective solicitor to ensure that they have the skill and expertise to deal with your claim.
You can find this out by asking questions such as:
- What proportion of their work relates to brain injury?
- What other work do they do besides brain injury work?
- How long have they worked on cases involving brain injury?
- Do they belong to any professional bodies?
- Are they in regular contact with local brain injury charities?
Do they have access to the right people for my claim?
When bringing a claim for TBI, reports and advice will be obtained from a number of different sources in order to evidence the injury that you have sustained. This may include:
- Medical experts, such as a neurologist, neuropsychiatrist, neuropsychologist, vestibular experts. Other experts may be required depending upon the difficulties you experience.
- Treatment providers who can provide the treatment recommended by the medical experts.
- Case managers, who will provide support and guidance throughout your recovery.
- Barristers who will present your claim at court, should it prove necessary.
It is important that the solicitor you choose to bring your claim has access to the right individuals to assist them. Without the right evidence to support your claim, you will not achieve the right result.
Are they right for me?
No matter the individual solicitor’s qualifications or professional connections, it is important that you have confidence in the specialist solicitor you choose. Personal injury claims following TBI’s can take a number of years to conclude. This is mainly as it takes a significant period of time to investigate the injury and the way it affects you on a daily basis. Your solicitor will need to know about your medical history and the personal ways in which your life has changed following the accident. It is therefore vital that you are able to trust and confide in your solicitor about what has and is continuing to affect you. If you are not able to open up to your solicitor, they will be prevented from achieving the best result in your claim.
Headway is a UK wide charity which works to improve the lives of those individuals affected by brain injury. They have prepared a useful guide of questions which you may wish to ask your solicitor.
If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact us free of charge and in confidence on 020 3813 5492 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 Personal Injury team.