Head Injuries Causing Brain Damage

Author:Mr Neil Jones
Profession:John Budd & Co
 
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There are a number of different implications to consider firstly from a medical perspective and secondly from a legal perspective in relation to a claim for damages for personal injuries of this type.

1. MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE

The claimant may well be at an increased risk from developing epileptic fits for a number of years after the injury was sustained. This is a question which can be answered by a Consultant Neurosurgeon.. Depending upon the severity of the epilepsy the claimant could be in need of an increased amount of care, even round the clock.. Despite the willingness of immediate family members to assist, this is likely to put a considerable strain upon them and professional medical care is likely. Personality changes are often evident including more aggressive behaviour with which the non-medical family members would find it hard to cope and indeed to come to terms.

Secondly the claimant is likely to be limited in the quality and quantity of employment s/he can undertake, if any at all. There exist medically based companies and organisations to assist with the assessment of abilities in this connection and even assistance with placement in suitable supported work environments.

Neuropsychological assessments will be necessary to establish to what extent if at all the claimant has been disadvantaged by the injury. They will need to examine the educational records of the claimant, particularly if relatively young, and any assessments of ability which may have been made by any body with authority in the field of education training and skills. An educational psychologist report should be considered. Various IQ and other tests will be undertaken by the Neuropsychologist to establish the current level of functioning.

Evidence will be necessary from an Occupational therapist covering the support required to compensate the claimant for their orthopaedic injuries and from a Nursing or Care consultant regarding the required level of assistance both medical and non-medical for the claimant.

Speech may well be impaired and the evidence of a Speech Therapist should be considered.

2. LEGAL PERSPECTIVE

Of course the first point that will occur in the light of all these expert witnesses is that this flies in the face of the expressed objective of the Civil Procedure Rules to cut down on the number of expert witnesses. A robust approach should be adopted with the District Judge dealing with the case management. Reasoned arguments should be...

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