Head Injury Compensation Claims

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If you have suffered a head or brain injury, you are most certainly not alone.

An analysis by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that for 2018-19, the head and neck was the body part most commonly identified as the principal site of injury in cases requiring hospital treatment.

The AIHW reported that over 120,000 or 22% of injuries that require hospitalisation involve this part of the body.Head injuries, particularly brain injuries, can have devastating consequences. A significant study into the impacts of brain injury has been described as finding that there was a "dramatic difference in quality and length of life that those who experience a traumatic brain injury experience versus those who do not".

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Head Injury Compensation Claim Types

You may be entitled to make a compensation claim whatever the cause of your head injury, but commonly claims arise from head injuries that occur at work, that result from a motor vehicle or car accident, or that are caused by a slip, trip or fall.

Head Injury at Work

In 2019-2020, over 4,000 head injury compensation claims were made for a work-related head injury.

This is perhaps unsurprising, as some of the most common causal factors in workplace incidents leading to serious injury compensation claims are also common causes of head injuries, namely:

  • Falls, trips and slips
  • Hitting objects with part of the body/being hit by objects
  • Vehicle collisions

Serious head injuries that result in brain damage can have significant impacts on a person's ability to perform the same job, or to work at all. These injuries can cause headaches, mood changes, tiredness, and cognitive impairments such as difficulty concentrating, remembering things and performing complex tasks. An award of damages from a brain injury compensation claim can provide ongoing support where the capacity to earn an income is reduced as a result of brain injury.

Talk with an experienced workers compensation lawyer to learn more.

Head Injury Due to a Motor Vehicle Accident

In 2018–19, the head and neck was the body part most often identified as the principal site of injury in hospitalisations from road accidents, with 16,900 such injuries reported to have occurred.

Brain and head injuries have been described as being a common type of car accident injury, resulting from:

  • The head hitting part of the inside of the vehicle
  • An object, from inside the car or elsewhere, impacting the head during the collision
  • The forces involved in the collision causing the brain to move inside the skull

Find out more about making a car accident compensation claim.

Head Injury Caused by Slip and Fall

A fall can be defined as "an event which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level".

The AIHW reports that in 2017–18 almost 223,000 cases of injury requiring hospitalisation related to falls, and about 29% (or 66,700) of falls involved injuries to the head or neck.

The seriousness of a head injury from a fall will depend on several factors, including:

  • The height from which the person falls
  • The person's age and physical condition
  • Whether there is contact with another object or objects during the fall
  • Any personal protective equipment being worn

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

What Evidence is Required to Make a Head Injury Worker's Compensation Claim?

Like all personal injury claims, worker's compensation claims for head or brain injuries require several types of evidence. Compensation lawyers experienced in injury claims can provide specific advice in your case. As a general guide, injured workers wanting to seek compensation for head and brain injuries will need evidence proving:

  • How the head injury occurred
  • The treatment provided by medical professionals
  • Long term impacts of the injury, future treatment and rehabilitation needs and prognosis (likely extent of recovery and timeframe)
  • Medical expenses, including fees for doctors and specialists, hospitalisation costs, medicines, and likely future costs of rehabilitation
  • Financial impacts such as lost income and earning capacity
  • The amount of pain and suffering endured

You may be able to make a common law or court claim in addition to, or instead of, a statutory worker's compensation claim that you make to WorkCover or a self-insurer.

Most head and brain injury compensation claims will be based on a claim of negligence. Very basically, a negligence claim is available when a person or organisation that owes you a legal duty to care for your safety and wellbeing fails to do so to a reasonable standard, and you suffer injury as a result. Negligence claims can be complex and personal injury solicitors have the skills and experience to gather the right evidence to support this type of claim.

If you think your injury may have been caused by someone else's negligence, you can seek advice from lawyers who are personal injury experts to get advice on the legal process involved and the evidence required for your compensation claim.

Is There a Time Limit For Making a Head Injury Compensation Claim?

Yes, strict time limits apply to making any head injury compensation claim.

For head injury claims arising from employment, a claim should be made to WorkCover or a self-insurer within 6 months from when the injury occurred, or when your head or brain injuries are first linked to your workplace duties by a doctor.

Generally speaking, in all negligence claims, you are required to commence a claim within the court within 3 years of the injury occurring. Before lodging a court claim there may be certain steps you must take under the law to notify the person you are claiming against that you intend to make a claim.

Obviously, after an injury, you will be focused on your medical condition and treatment, and that's the most important consideration at that time. However, it can help to seek legal advice as soon as you're able to, in order to ensure you don't miss any deadlines. Our law firm offers a free consultation for any potential personal injury claim, where we can advise you about time limits and discuss the claims process. If you decide to proceed, part of our legal service is to ensure your claim proceeds efficiently and all steps are taken on time.

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

For Court claims for head injury compensation, the legal fees depend on the amount of work required. Some factors affecting the legal costs in this type of case include:

  • The amount of evidence and what we need to do to collect it
  • How complex the case is
  • The cost of getting expert advice and reports, for example, evidence from specialists about your medical condition and treatment.

If your claim arises out of a workplace accident, you can make a claim to WorkCover or a self-insurer without cost - though many workers still appreciate the assistance of personal injury solicitors for their WorkCover claim to ensure they receive fair compensation.Solicitors who provide legal representation in personal injury claims can provide their services on a no win no fee basis, reducing the financial risk of making a head injury compensation claim. Our law firm offers a free consultation where we can discuss any aspect of your potential claim for compensation, including what would be involved with a no win no fee agreement with us.

However, Smith's operates on a "No Win. No Fee. No Catch." basis, meaning that in the rare case a decision is taken against you in court, you would not be charged by Smith's, and we would pay the costs of the insurer if required. With a standard no win, no fee firm, you would be liable for these costs, and the are often considerable.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Difference Between a Head Injury and a Brain Injury?
An injury can be classified as a head injury if it involves damage to any part of the head, for example:
  • Fractured bones in the face or skull
  • Bruising or other soft tissue damage, like cuts or abrasions to the face
  • Bruising, swelling or bleeding of brain tissues (brain injury)
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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to road accident injury claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
February 19, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.