INJURY*

Brain Injury Claims*

Brain damage is an injury that leads to the destruction of brain cells. If a brain injury occurs that could have been avoided it is imperative to talk to a solicitor as it may be possible for you to pursue legal action.

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Types of Brain Injuries

Brain injury claims* take into account the potentially life-long consequences that the injury which occurred can have on the quality of life of the victim. There is a precise time frame in which legal proceedings can take place after the personal injury*.

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury that occurs usually after birth – not as a result of birth-related trauma and important to note is that it is not hereditary or related to a disease. It occurs due to a traumatic event such as a blow to the head or body. Causes of such injuries would be events like, car accidents, slip and falls, blunt force trauma to the head and in some cases from abuse.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury is caused due to external forces such as a physical assault, a traffic collision or aggressively banging one’s head after a fall. TBIs can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Severe
  • Moderate
  • Mild

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow or a bump to the head. It can also be caused by a blow to the body that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth in the head. In severe blows to the body or head, it can cause the brain to twist and move around in the head leading to chemical reactions in the brain and in some cases damage to brain cells. In some cases, the person can experience post-concussion syndrome which is a set of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea that can persist for days, months and in extreme cases over a year.

Severe Brain Injury

Severe brain injuries are caused generally by a blow to the head or body, causing the brain to move within the skull. This can lead to a multitude of side effects that can have a significant impact on a person’s life meaning and in some cases lead to death. Some of the most common are:

  • Bruising
  • Bleeding on the Brain
  • Brain Damage
  • Emotional and/or Behavioural Changes
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Cognitive Issues
  • Speech and Language Issues
  • Cerebral Fluid leaking out of the Ears and Nose
  • Respiratory Issues
  • In some cases – Death

Moderate Brain Injury

Like other forms of brain injury, moderate brain injury can be a direct result of a sudden blow to the head or body. The symptoms can sometimes be less noticeable when compared to those of a traumatic nature. For an injury to be considered moderate, the person would have had to have lost consciousness for a certain period of time. Some of the symptoms have been known to be:

  • Dizziness
  • Memory Issues
  • Concentration Issues
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea

Mild Brain Injury

Mild brain injury, although may seems less severe to the severe and moderate can be misleading as the outcomes can be just as severe over time if not properly managed. Generally, an injury to the brain is considered to be mild if the person did not suffer any loss of consciousness or post-traumatic amnesia following the accident. Symptoms are similar to moderate injury and include:

  • Dizziness
  • Memory Issues
  • Concentration Issues
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea

Concussion

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

When a person suffers a concussion they experience a temporary loss of consciousness and cannot function mentally. A concussion is often considered as a mild traumatic brain injury and generally occurs after a head injury. It can also be caused by a hit to the body which causes the brain to quickly move back and forward in the head and in some serious cases, the brain can twist which leads to chemical reactions in the brain. In some extreme cases, post-concussion syndrome can occur. This is when symptoms persist over a longer period of time. A concussion can be very traumatic for the person injured and may leave them unable to carry out everyday tasks while recovering. Many of the symptoms of concussion are very similar to those of whiplash and often the two injuries can be followed by one another.

Concussion Injury Types

Injuries and the severity of concussion will vary for each person. This is as a result of the many different types of concussion. Each level depends on the impact that the concussion has had on the brain and head. Types of concussion include:

  • Delayed
  • Grade 1 (Mild)
  • Grade 2 (Moderate)
  • Grade 3 (Severe)
  • Spinal Concussion
  • Labyrinthine (Damage to the Inner Ear)
  • Cerebral

Symptoms of Concussion

Symptoms of concussion can include:

  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Change in Personality
  • Headache
  • Confusion and Memory Loss
  • Fatigue and Mood Swings
  • Impaired Vision
  • Slower Reaction Times
  • Speech Impairment
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Fatalities
  • Post-concussion Syndrome

Causes of Concussion

Causes of concussion can include:

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome is when certain symptoms such as a headache, dizziness and nausea, persist over a longer period of time. The question most people ask is how long does post-concussion syndrome last. There is not one specific answer to this question as this will vary for each person. Symptoms can last for days, months or even over a year in some serious cases. Post-concussion syndrome is not very common and only affects a very small percentage of people who have suffered a concussion. Symptoms are very similar to those of concussion but new complications can arise that may not have been experienced before.

Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries*

Recognising the Signs

It may be difficult for the injured person to realise that they have an injury so it is usual for friends and family members to recognise the problem. The most concerning signs and symptoms include:

  • The individual cannot remember the event causing the injury.
  • The person cannot remember new information, becoming confused and disoriented.
  • Nausea and losing consciousness.
  • Blurred vision, dizziness and long-lasting headaches.

If bruising forms around the brain it becomes irreversible, no surgery can completely cure the patient. The main objective of any procedures is to reduce the swelling, putting the person in a stable condition. By doing this, it saves brain cells and prevents any herniation of the brain. Without performing this procedure, it commonly leads to cardiac arrest and death. Depending on the severity of the situation, the doctor can decide to perform a craniotomy. This is a process whereby the doctor creates a hole in the skull to allow the swelling out. After a period of time, the skull will be put back into position and stapled into place.

Subdural Hematomas

A subdural hematoma is related to skull fractures and is a result of a bleed just around the brain, causing an injury to the brain. Subdural hematomas can be identified immediately and dealt with, known as acute subdural hematomas. In some cases it can take weeks to notice the blood clots, they’re then known as chronic subdural hematomas. Chronic subdural hematomas are most frequently seen in elderly people when they slip or fall and hit their head, turning overtime into dementia symptoms due to the amount of pressure on their brains.

Epidural Hematomas

Epidural hematomas are much more threatening to a person’s life due to the bleeding located inside the skull. A problem with an artery swiftly fills up the brain cavity, causing death very quickly. Epidural hematomas are an injury most commonly linked to motorcycle accidents. The doctor performing the procedure would have to drill a hole in the skull to relieve the pressure and to let the blood drain out.

Coup-contrecoup Injury

Coup-contrecoup is a unique injury and is a result of when a head is violently shaking. There is so much power being exchanged that the brain is also shaking inside the skull. There is a primary and secondary injury to the brain as a result. The primary injury is known as the coup injury which occurs on the opposite side of the brain to where the initial point of trauma occurred. The secondary injury, called the contrecoup injury, can at times be more life-threatening than the coup injury.

What is the average payout for a concussion?

The value of a concussion claim* will heavily depend on the specifics of your case. To calculate your claim you must take into account the following:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The cost of your medical bills
  • How much wages you lost
  • Your future medical bills
  • Your future lost earnings
  • The effect the injury has had on your quality of life

The Injuries Board Book of Quantum categorises concussion claims into the following categories:

  • Minor Concussion with no loss of consciousness – up to €21,800
  • Moderate Concussion with less than 24 hours’ loss of consciousness – €19,000 – €35,200
  • Severe Concussion with more than 24 hours’ loss of consciousness – €41,600 – €74,000

Is concussion considered a serious injury?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury and at times medical providers may describe them as serious, they are rarely life threatening. Despite this, the effects of a concussion may be considered serious. It is important to speak with a medical professional if you do experience symptoms of a concussion.

How to prove a concussion?

As part of your personal injury claim*, your solicitor will need to prove that you suffered a concussion by accessing your medical records. Your doctor can prove that you suffered a concussion by testing:

  • Verbal and visual memory
  • Processing speed of your brain
  • Reaction times

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a personal injury* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare the information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your injury claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • If any emergency services attended the scene, and their details
    • Details of your injuries
    • Hospitals/Doctors attended with your injury
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Details of any witnesses
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the injury claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    The most important document needed to prove your injuries is your medial report. The reason a solicitor will ask for your doctor’s details or if you have attended the hospital is so they can obtain all the medical reports required to pursue the case for you.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your injury claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the person at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your car accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with an injury claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injury and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the injury (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property. For example, in a road traffic accident, the material damage would be the damage to your car.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

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