Any injury to a child’s head has the potential to cause long-term brain damage as the child gets older. That’s partly because the brain is still developing and any trauma could prevent it from doing so properly. It is true that children are often less cautious than adults and as a result accidents do happen. However, if your child suffers a head injury because of somebody else’s negligence, you may wish to seek compensation for their suffering.
In this guide to child head injury claims, we’ll explain when you may be eligible to claim compensation, what types of accidents could result in a claim, and explain how much compensation might be paid for a head injury to a child.
If you would like to claim compensation for your child’s head injury, we can help. Our team of claims advisors provide a no-obligation telephone consultation and will give free advice about your options. If the case appears to be strong enough, we could appoint one of our personal injury solicitors to it, and so that you’re not stressed about solicitor’s fees, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis if your child’s claim is taken on. That means you only pay for the solicitor’s work if your child is compensated.
When you’re ready to take action, please call us on 0800 6524 881 to begin the claims process. If you’d like more details about claiming compensation for a child’s head injury, please continue reading.
Table of contents
- Eligibility To Make A Head/Brain Injury Compensation Claim For A Child
- Evidence To Support Child Head Injury Claims
- Types Of Child Head & Brain Injuries You Could Claim Compensation For
- Common Accidents Involving Children That Could Result In Compensation
- How Much Compensation For Child Head & Brain Injuries
- Compensation Amounts For Child Head & Brain Injuries
- Claiming On Behalf Of A Child As A Litigation Friend
- How Our Solicitors Can Benefit Your Child Head Injury Claim
Personal injury solicitors need to assess whether a compensation claim for your child’s head or brain injury has a reasonable chance of being won before accepting it. So, during your initial consultation, they will try to ascertain whether:
- Your child was owed a legal duty of care by the defendant; and
- Due to negligence, that duty was breached and an accident happened; and
- Your child suffered a head or brain injury from the accident.
The solicitor will check for a legal duty of care when assessing your claim. This can usually be established by different laws. For example, if your child was knocked over by a car at a zebra crossing, the Road Traffic Act 1988 might apply. Similarly, if they were injured in a shop, the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 could be used.
To prove the other criteria in the list above, you’ll need to provide evidence. We’ll look at what you could use in the next section.
Whatever type of accident your child has been involved in, you’ll need to show a) what happened, b) who caused the accident and c) what head or brain injuries were sustained. There are several ways to do this including:
- Talking to witnesses. It is a good idea to ask any witnesses for their contact details. At a later date, your solicitor could ask them for a statement if the defendant denies liability.
- Take photographs. Using your phone or a camera, it is always a good idea to take pictures at the accident scene. Where possible, you should attempt to do this before the scene is cleared.
- Report the accident. Companies are required to record any injuries on their premises in an accident report book. Your copy would make it almost impossible for the defendant to deny that the accident took place.
- Seek medical attention. The importance of proper medical treatment cannot be understated for potential brain injuries to children. Therefore, you should visit A&E or a minor injuries unit for a proper medical assessment. Later on, your child’s medical records could be obtained and used as evidence.
- Obtain camera footage. If the accident in which your child was injured was captured by security cameras or dash-cam recorders, ask for a copy of the relevant footage. Act quickly on this as cameras often record over old data quickly.
No matter how much evidence you may or may not have, our solicitors can help with this as they know just how important evidence can be for making sure your child receives a fair settlement.
In this section, we have listed some head and brain injuries in children that can be caused by an accident for which compensation could be claimed. The list includes:
- Skull fractures. Some uncomplicated skull fractures can be left untreated and they will heal naturally. However, depressed fractures might require surgery to lift the bone so it doesn’t press against the brain.
- Acute subdural haemorrhage. Where burst blood vessels, bruises, or cuts to the brain bleed into the subdural space. Acute haemorrhages will often require emergency surgery to drain the blood.
- Chronic subdural haemorrhage. These are slower bleeds in the brain that can take weeks or even months to develop after a head injury. Surgery is not always required.
- Extra-cerebral haemorrhage. These are neurosurgical emergencies resulting from artery tears in the temporal bone.
- This is usually a temporary brain injury that can affect brain function. A concussion is usually caused by trauma to the head.
Again, it is vital that you seek medical treatment for child head injuries. Not all symptoms present immediately and medical professionals can carry out tests that identify a problem that’s not immediately obvious.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help with child head injury claims, please call today.
Here are some examples of common accidents that could result in a child head injury claim for compensation:
- Pedestrian accidents. You could claim for a pedestrian accident if your child is knocked over by a car because the driver was driving dangerously, recklessly or not paying attention.
- Playground accidents. If your child has injured their head after falling off of unsafe playground equipment, a claim might be possible.
- Cycling accidents. Again, a claim might be possible if your child was knocked off a bike by a negligent road user.
- Slips, trips and falls. If your child fell down some stairs at the cinema, for example, because of a loose or damaged carpet, a claim might be possible.
- Nursery school accidents. If a nursery school’s negligence led to an accident in which your child injured their head, you could take action against them.
We can help with child head injury claims regardless of the type of accident. To find out more, please call today.
There is no set amount of compensation for head and brain injuries either to children or adults, however, we have listed advised settlement amounts below as a guide.
When a child suffers a head or brain injury, it could result in a lifetime of intellectual, physical, emotional and social challenges. Sometimes, the full consequences may not be immediately apparent. The full extent of a child’s head injury could take several years to become clear, depending upon their age and the stage of development when the injury was sustained. All of these factors will be considered and taken into account when your solicitor calculates the compensation your child should receive.
In general, personal injury claims are based on two main types of damages:
- General damages are based on your child’s pain and suffering. They could also claim for loss of amenity (explained here) as well. An example of this is where a financial value is placed on the fact that they can’t go and play with their friends while they’re recovering.
- Special damages are used to recover any financial impact. Here you could claim if you’ve lost income while caring for your child. Your solicitor could also request an interim payment to cover the cost of private medical treatment if it will speed up your child’s recovery.
It may seem trivial to be thinking about compensation at a time like this, but in order to get fair compensation for your child it is important to remember to retain all receipts pertaining to the medical treatment. This includes any treatment fees, hospital parking charges, the cost of medication, and the cost of travel. Loss of potential income for the parent staying at home as a caregiver is also a factor that you should make note of during this time.
For some idea of what level of compensation might be awarded for head and brain injuries, the compensation amounts below will help.
- £2,210 – £12,770 compensation for a minor head/brain injury.
- £15,320 – £43,060 compensation for less severe head/brain injuries.
- £43,060 – £219,070 compensation for a moderate head/brain injury.
- £219,070 – £282,010 compensation for a moderately severe head injury resulting in brain damage.
- £282,010 – £403,990 compensation for head injuries leading to very severe brain damage.
The compensation ranges relate only to general damages which are advised by the Judicial College Guidelines. Solicitors will calculate special damages separately.
As mentioned at the start of this guide, you’ll need to use the litigation friend process if you’d like to represent your child during a personal injury claim. This means you’ll take actions that are in your child’s best interests. This will involve discussing the case with solicitors and providing them with any information they need to process the claim.
When compensation is awarded in child head injury claims, the amount offered will need to be checked by a court. If they are happy that the settlement is fair, they’ll keep the funds in a court account until the child turns 18. The litigation friend can request withdrawals from the account if they can show how the money will benefit the child.
You can make a head injury claim on behalf of a child at any time before their 18th birthday. Therefore, the normal 3-year time limit does not apply. However, if no claim is made, your child will have 3 years from their 18th birthday to do so themselves if they’re able to do so.
We believe there is a far better chance of winning a child’s head injury claim is if they are represented by a personal injury solicitor. If your case is accepted, one of our solicitors will:
- Review the case in fine detail to understand how your child has suffered.
- Gather evidence to support the claim.
- Arrange for an independent expert to assess your child’s injuries.
- File the claim with the defendant.
- Deal with the defendant’s lawyers or insurers so you don’t need to.
- Try to counter any objections or queries using their legal expertise.
- Attempt to secure the highest level of compensation possible to cover your child’s injuries.
During the claims process, you’ll be kept up to date with regular updates. You’ll also be able to ask your solicitor any questions that might arise. If you would like to find out whether we could help you take action, please call our advisors on 0800 6524 881.
Thanks for reading our guide to child head injury compensation claims, and please don’t hesitate to call our team if you require any further information.