1 Head injuries Personal Injury All you need to know about making a brain injury claim from leading personal injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell.
2 Whilst I appreciated your legal services enormously, it is the manner in which you delivered that help that has made all the difference. Sean This information relates to the law and procedures in England and Wales. Please contact us if you need advice about the law and procedure in other legal jurisdictions.
3 Contents Introduction Why use Irwin Mitchell? How can we help? When can I make a claim? Do I have a case? How much will it cost? How much compensation will I get? What happens when I claim? What else can we help with? Useful contacts
4 Introduction We understand head injuries. With years of experience working with fellow sufferers and their families, we appreciate what you are going through and know exactly what needs to be done to help you get the compensation you deserve. I want to thank you for all your hard work. I still cannot for the life of me understand why I chose to go to a local solicitor in the first instance and why I found it so hard to change when I could see that the claim was too big for him to handle. I shall certainly be recommending you to anyone I meet who may be considering a head injury claim. Stephanie
5 5 If someone else is to blame for causing your head or brain injury, you can claim compensation for the pain and suffering you are going through. You can also claim money to cover what you have lost or had to pay out, for example if you have had to give up work or pay for private treatment We know from helping many people who have suffered from head and brain injuries just how much these injuries can affect your life. We have seen an enormous range of symptoms and this has helped us to develop our knowledge of the problems that you might face on a daily basis. Our specialist serious injury team have helped thousands of people claim compensation after a head injury, giving them the funds they need to make the necessary changes to their lifestyle. We also provide a range of other services including helping you access high-quality rehabilitation and support. Above all, we put you first. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
6 Why use Irwin Mitchell? Irwin Mitchell is one of the largest and most experienced personal injury law firms in the country. Our reputation for helping clients with a head or brain injury and their families is second to none and every year we recover millions of pounds of compensation for people who have been injured in this way.
7 7 Our service Our highly specialised team combines powerful legal knowledge and experience with care and consideration to ensure the best possible outcome for you. Our friendly professional service includes: Seeing you at a place convenient for you An early investigation of who is to blame for your injuries Early compensation payments where possible to pay for private healthcare, rehabilitation and bills if you can t work Expert advice on state benefits, employment rights and other financial issues Help if you need it from solicitors in our other departments such as financial planning, personal injury trusts, wills advice and power of attorney Access to our Court of Protection team if you or a loved one have suffered a severe brain injury and need assistance with managing your finances and official affairs. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
8 How can we help? Many of our head injury lawyers are recognised as leaders in their field in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, the leading independent guides to the legal profession. The firm focuses on getting matters right for the individual; the client liaison manager is fundamental to this goal, as is the rehabilitation expertise. Innovative, hardworking and completely devoted to their clients. Focused on getting the best outcomes for clients. Legal 500
9 9 We have won many awards for our work with clients with serious injuries including the Post Magazine s Rehabilitation Award for Claimant Solicitors in four consecutive years. As pioneers for improvements for clients with brain injuries, our close relationships with brain injury case managers, rehabilitation providers and therapists means that we can help you with much more than just financial compensation. Many of our lawyers volunteer with brain injury charities and support groups and we are proud supporters of: Headway the brain injury association UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) Child Brain Injury Trust Brain Injury Social Work Group. For more information on our head injury work, follow us on To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
10 When can I make a claim? Head injury claims usually need to be made within three years of the accident or incident that caused the injury.
11 11 Variations For children, the time limit does not start until their 18th birthday for court claims and in cases, involving people with very severe brain injuries, a court can decide that the normal time limits will not apply. Where the injuries are caused by criminal assault, the time limit for making a claim may also be different and is usually two years from the date of the injury or assault. No special exceptions are normally made for children after a criminal injury. Likewise, special schemes like the untraced drivers scheme may have different time limits. When road traffic collisions happen outside England and Wales time limits may vary and are often shorter. The sooner you contact us the better we are able to prepare your claim and the greater your chances of winning will be. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
12 Do I have a case? If you are unsure whether you have a claim, you or a family member just need to pick up the phone and talk it over with us. We ll assess your case free of charge, tell you what we think and then you can decide if you want to go ahead. We can also offer a Free Legal Health Check if you already have an on-going personal injury case with another lawyer and you have concerns about how your case is being managed. We are frequently asked to take over cases for clients who have not received the level of service that they expect. In these situations a lack of experience of dealing with specialist cases can lead to significant delays, a failure to obtain important interim payments and the possibility that cases are undervalued. This can mean that you miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of targeted rehabilitation and fail to receive all of the care, therapy and equipment that you need in order to obtain the best quality of life that is possible post your injury. It is fine to seek a second opinion from another solicitor or barrister, and changing your legal representation should not normally cost you anything.
13 13 What are my chances of winning? We have a long track record of winning compensation cases where people initially thought they did not have a claim. When you contact us we will give you realistic advice on the chances of winning based on the information you provide. It is not possible to give a definitive answer on any case. However, the more information we have the more accurate an assessment we can make. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
14 How much will it cost? Don t be put off by legal costs there might not be any. Contacting us for initial advice on your claim will cost you nothing even our phone number is free to call. If we advise you to pursue a claim with us, we will review all the options for funding it. Unless you are already insured for your legal costs, our recommendation for most cases is our No Cost To You scheme which you may know better as a No Win, No Fee agreement. That means: if you win you keep 100% of your compensation* if you lose you pay nothing** there are no hidden costs. *Does not apply to group actions or accidents and illnesses outside England and Wales, criminal injury claims or untraced driver claims and is subject to compliance with the terms of your funding arrangements. **Subject to entering a No Win, No Fee agreement with us and complying with its terms
15 15 Other options When we discuss your claim in more detail we will tell you if the No Cost To You option is available or if we need to look at other funding options. You may, for example, be able to fund your case through trade union membership or legal expenses insurance. I am writing on behalf of all my family and myself, to thank you for all the hard work and difficulties you dealt with on our behalf. We are really most grateful for all your efforts and compassionate understanding of our worries. Ellen To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
16 How much compensation will I get? The amount of compensation you receive will depend on how seriously you have been injured, how that injury has affected your life, how much money you have lost or will lose as a consequence - and whether you will need extra support in the future. This could include consideration of the following: Loss of earnings Rehabilitation Care support needs Case management Therapy including physiotherapy Personal expenses Accommodation needs Specialist equipment.
17 17 Individually assessed We will advise you at the outset on how courts approach the assessment of compensation and how that will apply to your case. However, it is important to bear in mind that everyone is different and the consequences of the same injury will vary from person to person. Keeping you informed As we learn more about you and your circumstances, we will be able to provide a more accurate idea of the financial value of your claim. You can be assured that we will do everything we can to recover the maximum amount of compensation available to you and organise payment terms to suit your immediate and on-going needs. Apart from your extremely professional advice, may I say on a personal note that the way you treated both Mavis and I in such a friendly and close relationship was really helpful and truly appreciated. I felt I could ring you with any problem that I might have had and nothing was too much trouble to you. Once again we would both like to thank you for your friendship and help. Ron To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
18 What happens when I claim? Once you have instructed us to claim on your behalf, we will investigate your case thoroughly by gathering witness statements and other relevant details about your injury and on-going requirements. I just want to thank you for all your support and patience in dealing with the complexities of my claim. Your positive approach and reassurance kept me going at the times when I just felt like running away from it all. I am sure others are now benefitting from your expertise and caring manner. Gill
19 19 Insurance Once we have all the details of your case, a claim will be made against the relevant person or company, who usually have insurance. We will then wait for a response from the insurance company you are claiming against. This can go one of two ways - either they decide to meet your claim or they do not. Don t worry if an insurance company turns down your claim at first as this often happens - it does not mean that your claim will fail. Assessments At Irwin Mitchell we assess every client s rehabilitation needs regardless of the value of your claim. We will arrange for specialists to assess your rehabilitation needs and the extent of your head injury. Some clients may warrant other expert assessments such as care needs and you and your family will be fully consulted as to the proposed course of action. Out of court settlements The vast majority of cases are settled before they go to court. However, if your case is one of the few that is to be decided by a judge don t worry. This is perfectly normal and we ll be there to help you every step of the way. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
20 What else can we help you with? We don t just specialise in head injuries and claiming compensation. Irwin Mitchell has dedicated teams working in all areas of personal legal services, enabling us to deliver quick and efficient legal advice on anything from settling family disputes and wills or buying a house. Our ability to offer clients a wide range of such specialism under one roof is one of the key benefits of our services.
21 21 Our friendly professional staff give straightforward honest advice in all areas of personal legal services including: Divorce, children and family matters Buying or Selling a house Wills, trust and probate services Personal injury or illness Questioning social, education and health care provision Support on making decisions about personal welfare and healthcare matters and how the Court of Protection can assist Employment difficulties Financial Planning including tax and trusts Planning or environmental decisions. Whatever your legal issue our specialist staff will be pleased to help you sort it out all you need to do is pick up the phone and give us call. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
22 Useful contacts Headway the brain injury association Bradbury House 190 Bagnall Road Old Basford Nottingham NG6 8SF Telephone: Headway Helpline: BABICM (British Association of Brain Injury Case Managers) PO Box 199 Bury B18 9EJ Telephone: Website: BIRT (Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust) 60 Queen Street Normanton Wakefield WF6 2BU Telephone: Website:
23 23 Brake the road safety charity PO Box 548 Huddersfield HD1 2XZ Telephone: Telephone: BrakeCare helpline for road crash victims Website: Brain and Spine Foundation 3.36 Canterbury Court Kennington Park 1-3 Brixton Road London SW9 6DE Telephone: Telephone Helpline: Website: Child Brain Injury Trust Unit 1 The Great Barn Baynards Green Nr Bicester Oxfordshire OX27 7SG Telephone: Telephone Helpline: Website: To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
24 Looking for help with a claim? Freephone Text claim to and someone will call you back Irwin Mitchell Birmingham Imperial House, 31 Temple Street, B2 5DB Bristol One Castlepark, Tower Hill, BS2 0JA Glasgow 5th Floor, 150 St Vincent Street, G2 5NE Leeds 2 Wellington Place, LS1 4BZ London 40 Holborn Viaduct, EC1N 2PZ Manchester Bauhaus Rossetti Place, 27 Quay Street, M3 4AW Newcastle upon Tyne Gainsborough House, Grey Street, NE1 6AE Sheffield Riverside East, 2 Millsands, S3 8DT Irwin Mitchell Consulting Office Leicester Suite 122, 1st Floor, Gateway House, 4 Pennman Way, Grove Business Park, Enderby, LE19 1SY Irwin Mitchell Abogados Madrid Torre Picasso, Plaza Pablo Ruiz Picasso 1, 11B, Madrid 28020, Spain Málaga Calle Puerta del Mar 15, 2º, Málaga, Spain 2011 Consultations are by appointment only. Irwin Mitchell LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales, with number OC343897, and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. All Scottish cases will be handled by a separate Scottish legal practice, Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP, which is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland.