Child Head Injury Compensation Claims
Seeing your child being hurt in an accident can be shocking. If they hurt their head in the accident, it can be particularly scary. Whilst you probably won’t think about it at the time, you may need to seek compensation for your child’s injuries if the accident was caused by somebody else. Therefore, this article is going to look at claiming for a head injury in a child. As well as looking at how much compensation could be paid, we will look at how parents can represent their child during the claim.
Advice.co.uk can help you through the claims process. We have a team of specialists who can review any case without obligation. If the claim is considered viable, we could pass it to a personal injury lawyer on our panel. To make the process of hiring a solicitor affordable, they’ll operate on a No Win No Fee basis for any claim that is accepted.
To discuss how we could help you claim, please call an advisor on 0161 696 9685 today. If you want to find out more about compensation payouts for a child’s head injury, please carry on reading.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claims For A Head Injury In A Child
- Calculating Compensation For A Head Injury In A Child
- Special Damages Awarded For Child Head Injuries
- What Is A Head Injury In A Child?
- Head Injury Symptoms In A Child
- Causes Of Head Injuries In A Child
- Types Of Head Injuries You Could Claim For
- Complications From Head Injuries To A Child
- What Could Be The Long Term Effects Of A Head Injury?
- How To Claim For A Head Injury In A Child
- What Happens To Compensation Claimed On Behalf Of A Child?
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Head Injury In A Child
- Speak To An Expert
- More Information
A Guide To Claims For A Head Injury In A Child
It is a fact of life that accidents happen. Sometimes they are completely unavoidable, and nobody is to blame. However, some accidents are the result of someone else’s negligence. If your child is injured in an accident caused by negligence, a compensation claim might be allowed. Whether your child hurts their head in an accident at school, while out shopping or in a car crash, we could help you claim.
As we continue, we will show you what compensation might be paid for certain injuries. The figure could include payments to cover the cost of caring for your child if there are serious or long-term brain injuries. We will also look at the time limits for claiming which can be longer than adult personal injury claims. Then we’ll move on to the process of becoming a ‘litigation friend’ so that you can manage the claim on behalf of your child.
The process of proving liability for child injury claims can sometimes become quite complex. That’s one of the reasons we advise being supported by a personal injury lawyer. They could also help you achieve the correct level of compensation. If you call our team, and your claim is suitable, a lawyer from our panel could represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. The lawyers on our panel have been helping with claims for up to 30 years.
Calculating Compensation For A Head Injury In A Child
In this section, we will provide some potential amounts that could be paid as child head injury compensation. We have used a personal injury calculator table to demonstrate how much could be paid. However, please bear in mind that claims vary from case to case. Therefore, these figures are just for illustration purposes. After your case has been reviewed, a lawyer from our panel should be able to offer a personalised estimate.
The part of the claim that deals with pain, suffering and loss of amenity are called general damages. We have used figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) in our table for general damages relating to several different head injuries. The JCG is used by legal professionals when determining compensation figures.
|Head Injury||Severity||Settlement Bracket||Additional Details|
|Brain Damage||Very Severe||£264,650 to £379,100||This bracket covers the most serious form of brain damage. Factors used to decide the level of award include the degree of insight, physical limitations, life expectancy, sensory impairment, behavioural problems, epilepsy and the ability to communicate.|
|Moderately Severe||£205,580 to £264,650||The claimant will be left with a very serious disability and depend substantially on others (requiring constant professional care). Both physical or cognitive disabilities are covered by this category.|
|Moderate||£85,150 to £140,870||Cases that result in moderate to severe intellectual deficit, involve sight problems, personality change, speech problems, significant risk of epilepsy and no chance of the ability to work.|
|Less Severe||£14,380 to £40,410||Cases where a good recovery has been made and the claimant can start to enjoy a normal social life and return to work or education.|
|Minor||Up to £11,980||Cases of minimal brain damage. The severity of the injury, any continuing symptoms, the time taken to recover and the presence of headaches are all factors used in this category.|
To arrive at the right level of compensation, the severity of any injuries needs to be determined. Therefore, a medical assessment is needed as part of the claims process. If your case is managed by a lawyer from our panel, the assessment will be held as locally as possible.
Your child’s appointment will be carried out by an independent specialist. They will discuss their injuries with you, examine them and look at any medical records available. Once they have concluded the meeting, a report will be written. This will offer a prognosis for the future and explain the initial suffering caused by the accident too. Your lawyer will be sent a copy of the report in due course.
Special Damages Awarded For Child Head Injuries
Now we are going to look at special damages. This part of your claim covers any costs, losses or expense that are caused as a result of your child’s injuries. They cover costs you’ve already incurred as well as future losses too.
It’s impossible to put an amount on how much you could claim but special damages can be awarded for:
- Travel expenses. You may need to travel to a doctor’s surgery, hospital or pharmacy multiple times while dealing with your child’s injuries. Therefore, any fuel, parking or public transport costs could be claimed back.
- Medical expenses. Obviously, children don’t have to pay for prescriptions, but you may need to purchase other, over-the-counter, treatments. You could also claim back the cost of treatments that are not available on the NHS.
- Care costs. If your child needs to be cared for during their recovery, you could claim any associated costs. If they are going to suffer in the long-term because of brain injuries, for example, the cost of a professional carer could be claimed.
- Modifications to a home or vehicle. Should your child be left disabled by their head injury, you may be able to claim for the cost of adapting your vehicle or home. This might include wheelchair-friendly vehicles or widening pathways through your house.
- Future lost income. Finally, if your child’s ability to work as an adult is impacted negatively by their injuries, an amount could be paid to compensate them for lost earnings.
What Is A Head Injury In A Child?
There are many different types of head injuries in a child that could happen. We will provide a list later on. However, in legal terms, if you wish to claim for such an injury, you will need to show that:
- Your child was owed a legal duty of care by the defendant.
- The defendant’s negligence led to an accident.
- Your child was injured because of that accident.
To help prove these things, evidence will be needed. The evidence you could supply to support your claim include:
- Accident scene photographs. These could help prove the accident occurred and what damage was done, especially if taken at the time of the accident.
- CCTV or dashcam footage. Again, this could make it easier to prove liability for the accident.
- Witness contact details. Your personal injury solicitor could contact witnesses and ask for their version of events.
- Accident reports. Businesses and organisations like schools must record incidents in an accident report. This evidence could prove how the accident happened, when it took place and what injuries were sustained.
- Medical reports. When you visit the hospital or a GP for treatment, they will record the injuries on your child’s medical records.
- Police reports. If the emergency services attended the accident scene, your lawyer could ask for copies of the subsequent report.
Head Injury Symptoms In A Child
We will use this section to provide information on the symptoms of head injuries in children.
Symptoms Of A Mild Traumatic Head Injury
According to the NHS, mild head injuries can usually be managed at home. The main symptoms include nausea, a slight headache or feeling dazed for up to 2 weeks.
Painkillers and ice packs can help while you’re resting but NHS 111 should be called if you’re unsure about the severity of the injury.
Symptoms Of A Severe Traumatic Head Injury
This NHS article, explains that severe head injuries have symptoms which include:
- Concussion – where the victim may appear confused or dazed after a blow to the head but will remain conscious.
- Fits or seizures.
- Double vision, hearing loss or other problems with the senses.
- Becoming unconscious where the victim collapses and becomes unresponsive.
- Problems staying awake or speaking.
- Memory loss.
- Repetitive vomiting.
- Blood or fluids leaving the ears or nose.
- Difficulty walking.
- Sudden bruising or swelling behind the ears or around both eyes.
Causes Of Head Injuries In A Child
There are so many different ways a child could sustain a head injury that it’d be impossible to list them all here. However, some common causes include:
- Road traffic accidents.
- Accidents at school or nursery.
- Medical negligence before, during or after birth.
- Cycling accidents.
- Sporting accidents.
Remember, however the accident occurred, if you wish to claim compensation, it will need to have been caused by somebody else’s negligence. If you are unsure whether you have a valid cause to claim or have any questions, please speak to an advisor today.
Types Of Head Injuries You Could Claim For
Again, there are many types of head injuries that could be sustained following an accident. They include:
- A concussion that can last for a couple of weeks.
- Skull fractures.
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Internal bleeding (brain haemorrhage). These can include acute sub-dural, chronic sub-dural, extra-dural and intracerebral haemorrhages.
Regardless of what type of injury your child has sustained, if it happened in an accident that wasn’t their fault, we could help you claim. Please call and discuss what happened with one of our advisors.
Complications From Head Injuries To A Child
Great Ormand Street Hospital explains that after a severe head injury, the child’s brain could swell. This might be a few hours after the accident or a few days. The swelling can irritate the brain and may lead to seizures. Not all seizures will mean the child will suffer from epilepsy in the future. Medication can be given to try and prevent seizures.
What Could Be The Long Term Effects Of A Head Injury?
Whilst some head injuries are short-lived, it is possible for them to result in long-term issues. Some of the complications that could result include:
- Problems managing mood.
- Problems with communication.
- Memory issues.
- Increased tiredness.
- Difficulty concentrating.
Compensation should account for any long-term future problems. That’s why an independent medical specialist will be asked for a prognosis during the claims process. We’ll provide more information on this later on.
How To Claim For A Head Injury In A Child
Now we are going to look at how a child injury claim can be made. In this section, we will explain how you could claim on behalf of your child or how they could claim themselves later on in life.
How to claim for a head injury in a child before the age of 18
The law says that children (under 18-year-olds) cannot legally represent themselves. That would suggest, therefore, that a compensation claim is not possible following a head injury. However, there is a path that allows parents or responsible adults to represent child injury victims.
Here is the full list of who can be a litigation friend:
- Parents or guardians.
- Friends or family members.
- A solicitor.
- Professional advocates. This includes an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA).
- Somebody with a lasting power attorney.
- Court protection deputies.
Becoming a litigation friend means you can make decisions and deal with solicitors on behalf of your child. A litigation friend is responsible for:
- Making decisions in the best interests of the child.
- Keeping the child as informed as possible throughout the case.
- Finding out the child’s feelings and wishes about the case.
- Dealing with the child’s solicitor about the case, taking their advice and instructing them in the child’s best interests.
Unlike other types of personal injury claim, the litigation friend process is not limited to 3 years. You can claim compensation on behalf of your child at any point before their 18th birthday.
Applications to become a litigation friend must be filed with a court before you are legally allowed to represent them. A lawyer from our panel could help you with this process, so please call today if you’d like to discuss your options.
How to claim after the child turns 18
After your child turns 18, you’ll stop being their litigation friend. When that happens, a 3-year time limit will apply so your now-adult child will need to claim before they are 18. If their injuries mean they don’t have the mental capacity to represent themselves, you could continue to be their litigation friend, however.
What Happens To Compensation Claimed On Behalf Of A Child?
As well as representing a child during a claim, litigation friends also have a responsibility to manage any compensation.
After a claim has concluded, a court will verify that any compensation amount is fair. The settlement will then be held by the Court Funds Office until the child is 18 years old.
Litigation friends can:
- Tell the Court Funds Office of any changes to contact details.
- Request payments from the child’s account on their behalf.
- Be sent tax records and account statements.
Applications for funds to be withdrawn from the account need to made to the awarding court. They might request the litigation friend to:
- Explain how the child will benefit from the funds.
- Provide evidence to prove the costs involved.
- Attend a hearing to discuss the request.
No Win No Fee Claims For A Head Injury In A Child
We fully understand that the cost of legal representation might put you off making a claim. That’s especially true for complex cases. For that reason, we have a panel of lawyers who provide a No Win No Fee service for any claim they accept. This means you could get access to an experienced legal professional with reduced financial risks.
Initially, your lawyer will need to review your claim to see if there is a reasonable chance of success. If they agree to take your claim on, it will be funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This contract tells you what your lawyer will need to achieve if they are to be paid.
If there is a positive outcome to your case, meaning you receive compensation, your lawyer will deduct a success fee from the settlement. This is a percentage of the award that is listed in the CFA. By law, success fees are capped to help prevent overcharging.
When claiming on a No Win No Fee basis, you benefit because:
- No upfront payments of solicitor fees are needed which allows a case to begin swiftly.
- Your lawyer won’t charge their fees while working on your claim.
- You won’t be expected to pay lawyer’s fees if the claim does not succeed.
Speak To An Expert
We have almost covered all aspects of claiming for child head injuries. If you are now thinking it’s time to begin a claim, we are ready to help. To start the ball rolling, you can:
- Call an advisor for a free review of your case on 0161 696 9685.
- Start your claim online to let us know how your child was injured.
- Use our live chat feature for free online advice.
Thank you for reading our advice on making child head injury claims. In this final section, we have added some links to other information which may be helpful. Please call us if you require anything further.
The Brain Charity – An organisation that offers emotional and practical support to those affected by neurological injuries.
Concussion – Information about the symptoms and treatment options for concussion injuries.
Litigation Friend Duties – This article explains the responsibilities of those representing children during legal action.
Finally, as we are able to deal with other types of personal injury claims, we have added a few of our guides below.
Eye Injury Claims – Details of when you could be compensated for injuries to the eyes.
Negligence In Care Homes – Advice on how to claim for suffering caused by care home negligence.
Surgical Negligence – This article looks at claiming for avoidable harm caused during surgery.
Thank you for reading our guide to head injury in a child.
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