Adelaide injury lawyer Tim White writes about managing complex brain injury compensation claims after an accident.
Head and brain injury compensation claims are sadly all too common, occurring in circumstances such as car accidents involving drivers, passengers, pedestrians and also cyclists.
Not surprisingly, accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists usually result in more severe brain injuries. This is a growing trend, as an increasing amount of South Australians choose to walk or ride their bikes to work, to boost fitness and avoid traffic and parking issues.
How to make a compensation claim after a brain injury:
Brain injury claims are complex, because the extent of the damage can range from a mild head injury to severe trauma.
It is important to determine the extent of the injury early.
A victim should then talk to a lawyer about how they are affected, particularly their restrictions at work which could include memory loss, headaches, concentration problems and a general reduction in work efficiency and capacity.
In addition to the injury there can sometimes be a flow on of psychiatric problems, such as depression, because of difficulties with coping with their ongoing and permanent restrictions. In the majority of cases brain injuries cause long term affects. Doctors also say that at around the two year mark the brain has recovered as well as it ever will. Unfortunately, sometimes a full recovery cannot be achieved and this can obviously have a devastating affect on a person’s mental wellbeing.
Brain injury compensation claims are complicated, which is why having access to an experienced pool of experts is extremely important. Here at TGB, we use a number of neuropsychologists, specialist psychiatrists and other qualified practitioners who perform a range of tests and assist in assessing the severity of the injury and the impact on the person.
Following the accident, it is important to gather as much information as possible.
- A good description of the accident and how the injury occurred is required.
- Notes and reports from the hospital are also important as they will contain information about the victim’s immediate injuries and the results from critical testing.
- Assuming the injury victim has been in regular contact with a doctor, reports from a GP are essential.
- Other assessments from independent medical practitioners will be needed to help determine the long term impact of the injury on the person’s ability to function at work and in the community generally.
Due to the nature of head injuries it can be difficult gaining information from a victim, therefore in all cases we talk to the spouse, parent or friend of the person involved in the accident to gain insight into how they are presently coping.
With younger people, we often talk to their school teachers to gain an understanding about how the injury is affecting their schooling. School results and reports often show a decline in performance following a significant head injury.
Covering medical expenses is always an important issue. If the accident was clear cut, and the other driver was certainly at fault, then the insurer (usually) has no issue providing funding for treatment costs associated with head injuries. Often these costs can be considerable.
A person who has sustain a head injury from an accident should seek advice promptly because there is a lot of information to gather for these compensation claims, so the sooner that process begins the sooner it can be resolved.
Brain injuries often affect home life and work life, and compensation claims are complex. It is important to know how to navigate through the process, and understand the entitlements that victims have. Therefore obtaining professional advice is critical to ensure the best possible outcome.
Tim White is a Partner at Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers. Contact (08) 8212 1077 to arrange a free intital interview.