Child Brain Injury Compensation Claims
Minton Morrill’s dedicated team of medical negligence solicitors can help you investigate a Child Brain Injury compensation claim. We are one of the leading medical negligence teams in the country with a track record of getting answers about the medical care an injured child has received and securing them compensation.
Children with brain injuries often have very complex needs. Looking after an injured child is physically and mentally demanding and can leave you with very little free time to speak to lawyers about a potential case. Our specialist lawyers understand the demands you are under. We offer flexible meetings (by telephone, video-conference or in person) to accommodate your busy schedule and provide clear and straight-forward legal advice to keep you fully informed about your legal investigation
Child Brain Injury Compensation Claims explained:
How do you know if your child has brain damage?
The Child Brain Injury cases that we see usually involve children that have endured a traumatic and delayed delivery they may have caused them to suffer from oxygen starvation (or birth asphyxia). Another more common cause of brain injury is a serious infection during or shortly after birth that damages the brain if left untreated.
Mothers have very clear intuition about whether something has gone wrong at birth and are usually the first to recognise something is not quite right with their baby.
Symptoms of a brain injury range from mild to severe and may not be immediately apparent. However, in cases of severe brain damage the symptoms are more likely to be identified soon after child birth and can lead to a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy
The signs and symptoms of a brain injury can include a baby suffering from seizures, a failure to meet expected developmental milestones, behavioural problems such as excessive crying (with an arched back), difficulty with sleeping and/ or eating.
Can a child recover from brain damage?
Brain cooling and oxygen therapy can sometimes help reduce the effects of particular types of brain injury if it is provided to a baby shortly after they are born and before brain cells have been irreparably damaged or destroyed. Other treatments are always being studied and investigated but the main focus is on rehabilitation and assisting the child to help them adapt and manage their injury.
A child’s ability to adapt and learn to develop new ways to manage their brain injury very much depends on the stage of development when they were injured, the cause of the injury and the extent of the injury suffered and where in the brain this occurred.
How to get compensation for a child brain injury?
If your child has a suffered a brain injury as a result of suspected substandard medical care you may be able to pursue a claim for Clinical Negligence for them.
Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care and if that duty of care has fallen below an acceptable or reasonable standard (rather than a “gold rated” standard) and your child has suffered a brain injury as a result, you may be able to meet the strict requirements of a legal claim and seek an award of compensation.
Our team of specialist brain injury solicitors have the legal and medical knowledge to guide you through this and support you and your family during this difficult time.
Time limits for child brain injury claims
There are set time limits for pursuing child brain injury negligence claims.
The 3 year period to begin a legal claim for compensation stemming from negligent medical treatment starts when a child reaches the age of 18 which means that they must have started or issued the case at Court before their 21st birthday.
There are different rules for children and individuals who have been assessed as lacking mental capacity to litigate which means that they are unable to understand advice or make decisions about their legal case.
When an individual lacks mental capacity to litigate there is no limitation period; the usual 3 year limitation period does not apply. It would only apply if capacity to litigate was regained and the 3 year period would then start to run from that point.
Limitation can be complex. Speak to our experts about this.
Funding a child brain injury claim
Children who have suffered a brain injury at birth, or within the first 8 weeks of life, may be eligible for Legal Aid Agency funding. Public funding is a good way of paying for a legal claim as there will be no deductions from any compensation awarded
Our specialist lawyers can assist you by making an application to the Legal Aid Agency for Public Funding to investigate your child’s case. We can help guide you through this process because we have a Legal Aid Franchise to act for clients in Clinical Negligence cases.
No win no fee child brain injury claims
There are other forms of funding available for children who do not qualify for Legal Aid Agency funding that include No Win, No Fee agreements.
Please speak to our solicitors about this for more information.
How much compensation can you get for a brain injury to a child?
Child brain injury claims are complex but each case has its own set of circumstances. Our team of specialist brain injury solicitors have considerable experience and have secured very high settlements for children who have suffered an avoidable brain injury. A case involving Cerebral Palsy will usually result in an award of compensation in excess of one million pounds, with awards generally ranging between two to fifteen million pounds (some cases settle for more than this).
When assessing the level of compensation which may be achievable it is important to consider what professional input will be required for that child. For example, a child’s life-long care needs, private therapy requirements (physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy), accommodation needs and further medical treatment to name just a few. If a child has a severe disability and a long life expectancy then a very high level of compensation may be appropriate.
Managing child brain injury compensation
An award of compensation in a child brain injury case can be substantial and a Court of Protection deputy may be involved to help manage the compensation money received for the benefit of the child. This can help take some of the heavy responsibility away from the child’s family from this time consuming work.
The Court of Protection will usually appoint a Deputy when a person is deemed to lack mental or legal capacity. Their role involves ensuring that the compensation a brain injured child receives is spent appropriately and to ensure value for money. A Deputy can be a member of the child’s family (a lay Deputy) or can be a professional Deputy, for example a solicitor.
Minton Morrill also has a Court of Protection Department so we can assist with pursing a legal claim for Clinical Negligence and assist brain injured children and their families manage the compensation awarded at the conclusion of a successful claim.
How long does it take to get compensation for a child brain injury?
When a child has suffered a brain injury it could take several years for the full extent of the brain injury to become apparent as their brain has not yet reached full growth. Therefore, it can take several years to obtain an award of compensation as a child needs to reach their full development before we can accurately assess what care and assistance they may require in the longer term and what level of compensation should be sought.
Will I need to go to Court to get compensation for my child’s brain injury?
Clinical Negligence claims are often settled out of Court, before a Trial takes place, as the litigation process can help narrow the potential issues in a legal claim and encourage settlement between the parties. There are occasions when Court proceedings may be needed, for example to help progress a claim if liability has been denied during the pre-action period (before issuing a claim at Court) especially given the complex nature of child brain injury claims and their potential high value.
If legal proceedings are required, our specialist team can help guide you through the litigation process and answer any questions you may have.
Speak to our child brain injury solicitors about starting a claim:
For further information from a specialist medical negligence solicitor about starting a child brain injury claim, give us a call on 0113 245 8549 or Ask Us a Question by filling in our online enquiry form.
Our senior lawyers are all panel members of the gold standard Action Against Medical Accidents accreditation scheme, which is essential for solicitors who handle complex medical negligence claims.
Among our highly experienced team, Simon Minton, Julia Morrill, and Sahida Patel are all accredited specialists of the Clinical Negligence Panel for their independently recognised skills in this area.