Brain Injury Compensation
Most brain injury solicitors will give you a fair deal by using a contingency fee arrangement (otherwise known as no win no fee) to represent you. There’s no money to pay upfront and if your lawyer doesn’t succeed in getting you a settlement then you pay nothing at all. Your lawyer will only receive a legal fee if you receive compensation.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can have severe lifelong effects on the physical and mental wellbeing of the survivor including permanently altered memory or personality, paralysis and persistent vegetative state. Unfortunately, most families don’t have the financial resources to look after the victim throughout their lifetime. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI then a specialist lawyer with detailed experience in dealing with catastrophic injury claims will be able to call upon the services of nationally recognized medical consultants in neurosurgery, neurology and psychology to ensure that liability is proved, and fair and adequate compensation is awarded.
The total number of TBIs in Australia is estimated at over 300,00 per year and almost 100,000 people will require hospitalization. TBI is a leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults and each year thousands of Australians will die as a result of a TBI and a similar number will endure lifelong debilitating loss of function with more than 200 people existing in a persistent vegetative state. Motor vehicle crashes account for 50% of all TBIs with alcohol being a feature in about 50% of cases. Most cases of TBI go undiagnosed and only a small percentage of total cases result in legal representation by a brain injury lawyer to facilitate a compensation claim settlement.
TBI refers to any violent injury of the brain which can be caused by fracture or penetration of the skull or can be as a result of rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head. If the injury results from trauma, damage to the brain may occur at the time of impact or may develop later due to swelling and bleeding into or around the brain. In a severe acceleration-deceleration injury multiple areas of the brain may be affected and even closed non penetrative head injuries may result in widespread damage. These injuries can have devastating lifelong effects on the physical and mental functioning of the survivor and may include;
Impairment of vision, speech and hearing loss, muscle spasticity, paralysis and seizure disorders
Short and long-term memory problems, reduced concentration, impaired perception, difficulties with reading, communication, writing, planning, and judgment.
Mood swings, fatigue, anxiety, depression, sexual problems, lack of motivation, and problems with interpersonal skills
Car Accident Evidence
If a TBI is sustained in a motor vehicle accident to ensure that your lawyer is able to successfully claim compensation, there are a number of things you should do:
Record the full name, address, vehicle registration and insurance details of the other driver.
If the police attend note their badge numbers and obtain the crime report reference number.
Record the name, address and telephone numbers of any witness.
Draw a sketch of the sequence of events including vehicle positions before and after the accident.
Take photographs of the accident location, property and vehicle damage and any visible injury.
Report the accident to your own insurers even if you believe it was the other person’s fault.
Make as little comment on the circumstances of the accident as possible to the other driver and do not admit liability even if you think it was your fault.
Keep a daily diary following the accident to record the progress of your injuries and any free help that is given to you
Keep receipts for all expenses
Compensation for personal injury includes ‘General Damages’ which represents compensation items that are difficult to calculate accurately and include ‘pain and suffering’, loss of the enjoyment of life and disadvantage on the open labour market. In addition, a claim can be made for ‘Special Damages’ which represents compensation for losses that can be accurately calculated and may include;
loss of earnings
assistance for household chores
care and assistance
aids and equipment
adapted accommodation and transport
Total Permanent Disability (TPD)
A TPD claim in Australia is separate and different to a personal injury compensation claim for damages as a result of injuries sustained in an accident. A TPD claim in the context of Australian superannuation funds relates to the terms and conditions applied to a claim made to the ‘super’ fund as a result of total permanent disability. A superannuation fund is effectively an insurance policy and/or a savings account which is governed by a set of rules which is interpreted by trustees of the fund. The trustees decide on the day to day running of the fund in relation to the fund rules which are usually different for each separate fund that exists. If you are unable to work as a result of total permanent disability a lawyer may be able to make a TPD claim for a lump sum from the fund and in addition its is likely that super may be paid early.
To make a TPD claim it is not necessary for the disability to have been caused by negligence nor is it necessary to employ a personal injury solicitor to act on your behalf. If the trustees refuse an application, it can be appealed before a tribunal or in a court of law. There are no time limits in regard to making a TPD claim application.