Traumatic brain injuries can have catastrophic and life changing effects for the victim of an accident and the people around them.
If you, or somebody you know, has suffered a brain injury in an accident that was not your fault, Moore Blatch Solicitors are here to win the compensation you deserve but also provide the medical and emotional support that you need.
Hear from Damian Horan, an expert brain injury lawyer, about making a brain injury claim
With more than 30 years experience and an unbeatable track record of success Moore Blatch Solicitors are perfectly placed to manage your brain injury claim.
We work with leading barristers and medical experts all over the UK. We are also recommended by the Legal 500 and Chambers as a leading UK law firm.
Wherever you are, and whatever your circumstances, we would be delighted to talk to you today about the possibility of making a claim.
How does a brain injury claim work?
The brain injury claim process – step by step
The brain is a complex organ and traumatic injuries can affect it in a number of ways. As a result, brain injury claims are just as complicated and it pays to have an experienced legal expert on your side.
Our advice will help you to earn the best settlement for your claim. That means winning the right amount of compensation for your immediate requirements and your ongoing rehabilitation and support.
It all starts with a simple, informal chat.
Step 1 – Our first meeting
If we believe you might have grounds to make a brain injury compensation case, we are happy to meet you to discuss your circumstances.
We will consider your funding options and answer any questions you might have on the claims process; but that’s not all. We are also happy to provide general advice on dealing with a traumatic brain injury and getting the professional rehabilitation and assistance that you, or your family, need.
Step 2 – Obtaining medical records
We will request copies of your medical records on your behalf, including your GP and hospital records.
Step 3 – Letter of claim and The Rehabilitation Code
After sufficient information has been collected on the accident and subsequent brain injuries, we will send a formal letter of claim to the at-fault party on your behalf.
By law, we are required to explain your intention to make a claim, to explain the nature of the claim and the reasons why we believe that they are considered to be at fault.
The opponent then has 21 days to acknowledge receipt of the letter of claim and a further 3 months to investigate liability.
Under the Rehabilitation Code the at-fault party is under a duty to assist with your rehabilitation and provide the necessary funding for this. At the same time of sending the letter of claim we will therefore nominate chosen rehabilitation agencies and request that the at-fault party funds an Initial Needs Assessment report through once of these agencies, so that your needs are assessed at the outset. We will then consider this report with you and shall request the funding from the at-fault party to implement the recommendations in the report which we agree are appropriate. We may also consider the appointment of a Case Manger to assist with implementation of the recommendations at this stage.
Step 4 – Letter of response
In the letter of response, the opponent will advise us of whether they admit liability in the case or deny it.
Step 5 – Independent expert evidence
We shall instruct leading specialist medical experts to carry out independent medical examinations to fully assess the extent of your injuries. In brain injury cases, the instruction of a number of experts in different fields is usually necessary, including among others, a Consultant Neurologist, a Consultant Neuropsychologist, a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist and a Consultant in Neuro-rehabilitation. The instruction of other medical experts may also be necessary if you have suffered other injuries in addition to your brain injury. These may include a Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon for example, if you have also suffered fractured bones and/or significant soft tissue injuries.
The experts will consider your medical records as part of the preparation of their reports, and they will make recommendations with regards further treatment and investigations where appropriate.
We will usually also need to instruct other types of experts to assist in fully assessing your needs and the value of your claim, for example care and accommodation experts are often required in brain injury cases. Other common examples of necessary experts include an accountancy expert and an employment expert, one or both of which are often required where a significant loss of earnings has been caused by the injury.
Sometimes we will instruct experts to assist with establishing liability. For example accident reconstruction engineers are sometimes necessary for this purpose in road traffic accident cases.
We will always ensure that your injuries are fully assessed and that all of the necessary types of expert are instructed, so that all of your needs are taken care of and the value of your claim is maximised.
Step 6 – A schedule of your financial losses
A traumatic brain injury will often prevent the injured person from earning a living; over a short period, or potentially over a lifetime. This affects you, and any relatives who rely on your income. Professional care and case managements costs which may be required for the rest of the injured person’s life usually also form large parts of the claim in brain injury cases. We will compile a schedule of past and future financial losses, with our financial, legal and medical experts working together to ensure that this schedule is as detailed as possible.
Step 7 – Meeting a barrister
We also work with leading barristers who specialise in brain injury claims. The barrister or barristers instructed form a key part of our legal team, which we will manage throughout your case. We will usually arrange a number of meetings with the barrister or barristers during the lifetime of your claim, and we may also involve some of the experts and witnesses in one or more of these meetings.
If your claim continues to trial, the barrister instructed at the beginning of your case will be the very same barrister who represents you at trial.
Step 8 – Settlement negotiations
Once we have obtained the necessary evidence and built the best possible case, we make a formal offer to your opponent to settle the case.
Alternatively, we can arrange a joint settlement meeting at which all parties can negotiate a settlement; and we will be there with you from start to finish.
Why would my brain injury case be taken to court?
The large majority of injury claims are actually settled without the need for a court trial. It is not unusual for cases to be lodged with the court, and to be put onto a court timetable, but a case can settle at any time before the final hearing. We will often arrange to meet with the opponent for the purpose of entering into settlement negotiations, when we feel the case is ready for settlement, to try and avoid the need for a trial. We would not usually recommend that settlement is considered whist significant rehabilitation and treatment is still being undertaken.
If a trial is necessary, we will manage the whole court process on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about the stresses and strains associated with attending court.
There are a number of reasons to issue court proceedings during the claim process, including:
Denial of liability – The opponent refuses to accept responsibility for the accident.
The parties may fail to agree on a settlement amount.
Limitation – Court proceeding must be issued prior to the 3 year anniversary of the accident.
Interim payments – The opponent is refusing to unreasonably provide a part payment of your damages, and it is necessary to apply to the court for an Order forcing your opponent to do so.
What happens if my brain injury case is taken to court?
The court process – step by step
Step 1 – Commence court proceedings
We will lodge a claim form and statement of case with the court.
The statement of case contains details of the allegations made against your opponent and the injuries you have sustained. It will also contain your medical reports and a preliminary schedule of financial losses.
Step 2 – Filing and serving a defence
After court proceedings are launched, your opponent has 14 days to acknowledge service of the proceedings, and a further 14 days to file their Defence, which is the formal court document setting out the opponent’s defence of the case. Even if your opponent has admitted liability for the accident that caused your injuries, they will still need to file a Defence if they do not agree with the extent of the injuries claimed and the value of the claim. The parties can agree an extension for the filing of the Defence by up to 28 days, and in cases involving a serious injury, that is not unusual.
The opponent will also advise the extent to which they agree with our statement of case. As soon as we have received the defence, we will send a copy to you.
Step 3 – Case management
The court will arrange a number of hearings in order to set directions to manage the steps in your case which will ultimately lead to a trial. You will not need to attend the majority of these hearings, as we or the barrister involved will represent your interests at these hearings. We will always provide the court with proposed directions dealing with how we wish your case to be managed, but ultimately the court decides the directions which will be set.
Don’t worry we will always explain the process every step of the way and ensure that you always know exactly what is happening with your claim.
Step 4 – Disclosure of documents
At this point, both parties identify any documents which may be relevant to the issues in the case. A list is produced and copies of all documents are provided to the other party on request.
Step 5 – Exchange witness statements
We will prepare formal witness statements which support your case, and so will the opponent. Your witness statement will contain details of your injuries and the way they have affected your life.
If liability is under dispute, this statement will also provide a detailed account of how the accident happened.
We will take all of the hassle out of this process for you by taking your verbal statement and putting it into writing for you. We will ensure your statement will include all of the necessary details.
Step 6 – Exchange expert evidence
In serious traumatic brain injury cases it is usual for your opponent to obtain permission from the court to obtain reports from their own experts, at one or more of the early case management hearings. Your opponent will therefore be entitled to obtain expert reports in line with the directions set by the court.
Once any witnesses have provided evidence, it’s then over to the necessary experts to discuss their evidence and prepare formal statements narrowing the issues; or clarifying disputed information. This is one of the reasons why it is important that he experts instructed at the outset are leaders in their fields.
Next, we could make an offer to settle the case with the opponent’s representatives or make arrangements to meet them and discuss a possible settlement.
Both sides are encouraged to attempt to reach an amicable compromise before the case goes to trial.
Step 8 – The trial
If an agreement cannot be reached, there will need to be a trial so the matter can be decided by a judge. You will be represented at trial by the barrister who will have been involved throughout your case. Witnesses and experts will give evidence during the trial and you will be required to give evidence.. We will help to prepare your case with the support of your barrister.
Am I entitled to make a brain injury compensation claim?
If you, or somebody you know, has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident which wasn’t your fault, call Moore Blatch Solicitors on 0800 157 7611 for the legal advice and practical support you need.
At Moore Blatch Solicitors we can help you to build the best possible case for brain injury compensation and we also ensure that you have the advice and support that you need throughout this challenging time.
We offer a bespoke, personal service
Access to the highest quality rehabilitation services
More than 30 years of serious brain injury claim experience
An unbeatable track record with many multi-million pound settlements
Leading barristers and experts