Brain Injury Compensation Claims

When someone suffers a life-changing injury in the form of a traumatic brain injury, it can affect whole families and communities.
If you, or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, read our guide to establish your next steps. Our experienced lawyers will take the time to understand your situation and provide you the best advice, ensuring you have access to all the right compensation avenues.

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Work-Related Accidents

Workplace accidents where you sustain a blow to your head can cause a traumatic brain injury. The severity of your brain injuries depend on the circumstances of your accident and how much your brain has been affected.

Some of the most common ways you can sustain a traumatic brain injury in the workplace include:

  • Falls from heights
  • Being struck by objects
  • Motor vehicle accidents in the course of your work duties (including traveling to and from work)
  • Slip and falls
  • Explosions

It's important to note that symptoms of a brain injury may not develop for several days, or even weeks, after the accident. Because of this, many people sometimes fail to get proper medical treatment. It's important to seek medical attention after any sort of knock to your head, firstly for your health, also, otherwise it may be difficult to prove that your workplace accident caused your traumatic brain injury and you may have some difficulty lodging brain injury compensation claims.

Talk with an experienced workers compensation lawyer to learn more.

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Car or Motor Vehicle Accident

The most common type of accident which can cause a brain injury is a road traffic accident. During a motor vehicle accident, you may typically be subjected to a sudden and violent movement of your body, usually your head, and this can cause a brain injury to occur.

There are different issues that can arise after a motor vehicle accident that signifies you have sustained a brain injury. The more common ones include:

  • Concussion: Caused by a direct blow or violent shaking that results in the stretching of the brain’s blood vessels.
  • Bleeding on the brain
  • Blow to the head: A brain injury can occur when the moving head strikes a stationery object. Or if a moving object strikes the head.
  • Nerve tissue tears: This type of injury can disrupt brain activity, leading to permanent brain damage, coma, or even death.
  • Penetration injury: If pieces of metal or debris penetrate the head, it can force these objects or even parts of the skull into the brain. This ruptures and stretches brain tissue.

Talk with an experienced car accident lawyer for more information.

Slip, Trip or Fall

Slip, trip or falls can occur in a lot of different settings and can cause some serious injuries. Most commonly falls from ladders, heights, or stairs can cause a traumatic brain injury. Slip and trips can result from a blow to the head and also cause a brain injury. Head injuries from slip, trip and fall accidents range in severity from minor to life-threatening, or may even cause death.

Physical Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Physical symptoms of a brain injury are sometimes hard to diagnose in the first instance as it can take time for the full effects of a brain injury to show and cause problems. Symptoms can appear instantly, within hours, or they may emerge days or weeks after an accident. The effects of a brain injury can last months, years or your lifetime.

Common physical symptoms include:

Loss of Consciousness from Several Minutes to Hours

When your brain has been impacted, you may lose consciousness, although it is usually a mild side effect, only lasting momentarily, it can be fatal if left ignored. When loss of consciousness occurs, the longer a person who has sustained a head injury remains unconscious, the more severe they may be concussed. Medical attention should always be sought in all cases where an injury to the head has resulted in loss of consciousness.

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Persistent Headache or Headache That Worsens

There are a few types of headaches you may suffer after a brain injury, including:

  • Tension headaches occur when nerve pathways suffer microscopic damage
  • Migraines are moderate to severe headaches, recurrent and pulsating and often only affecting one half of the head. They can last from four hours to three days in length
  • Musculoskeletal headaches are common with brain injuries when you injure your neck and/or structures in the head. An example of this is a whiplash injury. These headaches may be associated with dizziness, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound and even imbalance. These headaches often disappear when the underlying problem is resolved
  • Cluster headaches are typically short (15 minutes to three hours) of severe pain that usually is located around one eye. Other symptoms include nasal congestion, tearing and a red eye.
  • Frequent headaches are very common after a brain injury. They may begin within a week after the injury and could persist for as long as several months.
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Repeated Vomiting or Nausea

While dizziness and nausea are normal side effects of head injuries, vomiting can be a sign of a worsening condition; it can be associated with skull fractures and hematomas. Even if no serious brain damage is found, you can still experience nausea and vomiting for several days after a head injury.

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Convulsions or Seizures

Convulsions may occur during the first week after you have been injured. But some may occur months or even years after the injury.

Seizures can occur early (within the first week of the brain injury), or late (more than a week after a brain injury). Seizures which occur early after a brain injury are thought to be a symptom of the recent injury. Seizures which occur in the late period after a brain injury, are more likely to recur and may result in epilepsy.

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Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes

Dilated pupils in either eye or both could indicate a severe concussion or a more serious traumatic brain injury. If the difference in size between the pupils is greater than one millimeter, you need to seek medical treatment immediately.

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Clear Fluids Draining From the Nose or Ears

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. It provides a cushion for delicate brain and spinal tissue. Clear fluid oozing from the ears or nose is a sign of a skull fracture, especially a fracture to the base of the skull.

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Inability to Awaken from Sleep

Insomnia, fatigue and sleepiness are common after a head injury. The brain needs rest and sleep to help it recover, not sleeping well can increase or worsen depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and your overall wellbeing.

The brain is the central mechanism that directs sleep by putting your body to rest. An injury to the brain can therefore lead to changes in sleep.

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Weakness or Numbness in Fingers and Toes

After a head injury, there may be a lingering pins and needles sensation in certain areas of the body, primarily fingers and toes. This can be a symptom of a nerve disorder, or it could be related to damage to certain areas of the brain.

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Loss of Coordination

Dizziness and balance problems are common after a brain injury. This can result in problems with movement even when there is no loss of function in the limbs themselves.

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What Evidence is Required to Make a Brain Injury Compensation Claim?

When making brain injury compensation claims you will need to prove:

  • Your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness
  • Your injury has caused you pain and suffering
  • Your suffering may continue into the future.

Situations in which you may be able to lodge a brain injury compensation claim include:

  • A workplace with poor or inadequate workplace practices causing injury
  • A motor vehicle accident
  • A property owner whose negligence caused your injury
  • A health professional providing the wrong diagnosis or treatment
  • A manufacturer and/or distributor providing of a faulty product causing injury.
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Am I Eligible to Make a Brain Injury Compensation Claim?

If you are suffering with a brain injury your life has probably changed vastly, you may suffer long term difficulties both mentally and physically, you may have increased medical and ongoing rehabilitation expenses, loss of income and prolonged pain and suffering.

Brain injury compensation claims generally will involve a claim that will cover:

  • Nursing and disability services
  • Loss of amenity
  • Loss of wages and superannuation
  • Travel to and from medical appointments
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Costs associated with retraining for your job (if you can return to your job)

It's also possible to make an acquired brain injury claim for yourself or on behalf of someone else who is unable to legally make the claim for themselves. Acquired brain injuries refer to any type of brain damage that occurs after birth, the most common acquired brain injury. Some of the circumstances in which you can suffer an acquired brain injury include; physical trauma from a fall or a physically violent fight, and illnesses such as delayed diagnosis and treatment of meningitis.

The process of pursuing compensation for an acquired brain injury will vary depending on the circumstances to which the injury was acquired. A person who has incurred an acquired brain injury may have entitlements available to them from statutory schemes, additional entitlements to common law claims.

It’s important to seek legal advice from one of our experienced personal injury lawyers to determine the validity of your claim, and what avenues of compensation you can take for your personal circumstances.

Is There a Time Limit for Claiming Brain Injury Compensation?

In Queensland, strict time limits apply to when you can make an injury compensation claim for brain injuries. Deadlines can vary depending on the circumstances of your case, so it’s important to start the claims process as soon as possible. Our team of experienced lawyers will guide you through your legal rights and will assist you to receive the best possible personal injury compensation claim outcome to assist with your life moving forward.

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How Much Does it Cost to Lodge a Brain Injury Compensation Claim?

We offer a ‘No Win. No Fee. No Catch’® promise on all brain injury compensation claims, which means there are no upfront costs and you will never be left out of pocket, even if you if a decision is taken against you in court. Fees are calculated on the amount of work completed and will be explained to you in full before the matter is opened and before the claims process begins.

What are the Average Brain Injury Compensation Payouts?

Every brain injury is different and therefore each claim is different depending on your individual circumstances. Once our brain injury compensation lawyers establish negligence, then we will advise you of your entitlements to compensation and the legal process that will need to be taken in order for your claim to be successful.

How Long Do Brain Injury Claims Usually Take?

There is no set timeframe you can expect a brain injury claim to take. Brain injury claims are usually complex due to the nature of the injuries, different legal factors and medical considerations.

Due to the nature of brain injuries, it is important to understand the full extent of the injury, if and when it will stabilise – this can be a lengthy process as the brain can take a lot of time heal or settle into its injured state. Our team of lawyers working on your claim will need to calculate the current and future impact of the injury to understand the full value of the case.

All these measures will help to ensure that your full legal rights are protected and your brain injury compensation claim is lodged successfully. Our compensation lawyers will guide you every step of the way and you will be fully informed on possible timeframes and payouts once we fully assess your potential claim.

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Can I Represent Myself When Making a Brain Injury Claim?

Yes, you are able to represent yourself when making a brain injury compensation claim. However, you risk missing important steps or elements to the personal injury law process and you may miss out on vital compensation you require to assist with your life, going forward. Successfully representing yourself will likely involve a thorough understanding of the applicable personal injury legislation, your legal rights and entitlements, and above all the time and energy to pursue the claim.

Most people making a brain injury claim choose not to act for themselves due to the nature of their injuries and the overall complex nature of personal injury law.

Lodge A "No Win No Fee" Claim

If you suffer injuries whilst at work, and you are looking for further information in terms of making a claim. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer a free consultation for injured people looking to seek compensation. As mentioned before, we also have a "No Win. No Fee. No Catch." policy, which means you will never be out of pocket.

Get in touch with us today to give yourself the best opportunity to understand your rights.

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