Finding the right support following brain injury
When a loved one suffers a brain injury, the immediate focus of the family is on the health and recovery of the injured person. But in the following days, weeks and months, concerns may arise regarding finances, especially if the injured person is the main breadwinner, or a parent or partner needs to take an extended time off work to care for the injured person. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, there may be ongoing care needs to be considered, concerns about how the family will cope once the injured person returns home, possibly needing external assistance with care, or their home may not be suitable if there are long term mobility issues.
A brain injury is not something we prepare for, so it can be hard to know how to deal with these issues and where to turn.
There are many charitable support services available including Headway, the brain injury association - a charity who support those affected by brain injury via a network of local groups and branches and The Child Brain Injury Trust who support the families of children who have suffered a brain injury.
Brain Injury is BIG run a telephone support line to provide emotional and practical support to the families of those who have sustained a life changing brain injury, as well as a small grants scheme to help families with travel expenses to and from hospitals and the purchase of small items of specialist equipment. The ladies who set up this charity 10 years ago all have a son or husband who suffered a life changing brain injury – they have first-hand experience of the range of emotions and practical problems people face following brain injury.
If a brain injury was caused by the negligence of a third party, it may be possible to bring a claim for compensation, but in many cases, this may not be an option, so where do the family turn?
Organisations such as Brain Injury Group are able to connect people with:
A personal injury solicitor will be able to offer advice as to whether there is the possibility of bringing a claim following brain injury – its vitally important to ensure that when speaking to a solicitor you choose one who has a special interest in brain injury as they will have the knowledge and connections to ensure the best possible recovery is achieved. Your solicitor will be able to assist by arranging access to early rehabilitation, considering future care needs, future employment opportunities or loss of earnings calculations, whether the existing home is suitable or whether it needs to be adapted or a new property purchased, as well as supporting the whole family unit and ensuring support is in place for the future.
Whilst it may be tempting to contact your local firm of solicitors, maybe the ones who dealt with your house purchase on the high street, because they also deal with personal injury claims, brain injury claims are very complex. We advise speaking to at least 3 solicitors before choosing to instruct a solicitor, brain injury claims can continue for many years so finding a solicitor who you are comfortable with is crucial.
A good starting point for choosing a solicitor following a brain injury is to look for solicitors who are members of Brain Injury Group, Headway the brain injury charity, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers Brain Injury Experts panel or The Law Society Personal Injury Panel. Membership of any of these organisations’ panels would suggest a special interest, experience and expertise in the field.
Need more help?
The Brain Injury Group website (www.braininjurygroup.co.uk) contains a wealth of information about brain injury as well as a latest news section where we publish a weekly blog on a variety of brain injury related topics. Its also home to the BIG Directory, a comprehensive directory of goods and services specifically aimed at those affected by brain injury and the professionals who support them. We run a range of webinars for lawyers, case managers and therapists, which are free for charities and the NHS to access on a wide variety of topics including medical, rehabilitation and legal. Here you will also find a network of lawyers, who have a proven history of helping those affected by brain injury.