BRAIN INJURY* SOLICITORS

with over 60 years’ combined experience.

INSTRUCTING A SOLICITOR FOR A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY* CLAIM

Our experienced team of traumatic brain injury solicitors have over 60 years’ combined experience litigating these types of cases.

Brain injury is complex and often not well understood by the legal profession. Traumatic brain injury claims involve different considerations to other types of injury cases. For this reason, we strongly recommend you choose a specialist traumatic brain injury solicitor. It is very important that the solicitor you choose to handle your claim understands the complexities of your injury and how it is likely to affect your life.

At McMahon Goldrick Solicitors, we have significant experience in traumatic brain injury claims. We work with you and your family to fully understand your injury and your needs. We know the necessary experts to instruct to ensure that your claim is properly and completely valued.

We also have many years of experience dealing with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal and can assist and guide you through the application process.

Depending on the cause of the brain injury, there may be avenues open to you to pursue a case for damages where another party was at fault or partly at fault for your injury. This might arise where the injury was caused by an accident, assault or as a result of medical negligence.

 

IMMEDIATE STEPS TO TAKE

1. Speak to a solicitor 

If you are over 18 years old, you only have 2 years less 1 day to lodge a claim from the date of incurring your injury (there are some limited exceptions to this rule). Therefore, you should quickly make contact with a solicitor who can then advise you whether or not you might have a claim.

If the claimant is a child, then a parent or guardian can issue proceedings at any time up until the child’s 18th birthday. Thereafter, the young adult has 2 years less 1 day to bring a spinal injury claim in their own right.

2. Make a note of the incident

If you can, you should write down all the details that you can recall in respect of when and how the injury occurred. This can be a particularly difficult exercise to do after experiencing such a traumatic event, but it will be of tremendous benefit to your potential new solicitors. It will assist them with the process of taking your formal instructions. A loved one can help with this exercise.

You should make a note of crucial details such as what you were doing on the day of the accident or injury, the timing of those activities, how the accident occurred, who you were with, and what medical services you immediately received etc.

The sooner you write down those details the better.

3. Obtain your medical records

Another step you can take to possibly speed up the early stages of the investigation is to obtain all of your medical records, radiology and reports from the hospitals you attended. Information on how to obtain those records will be available on the hospital’s website. It is also advisable to take up a copy of the medical records held by your GP.

 

HOW TO BRING A CLAIM

Read more to see the legal steps that are involved in bringing a catastrophic brain injury claim. 

 

 

Contact Us

Looking for help? Call us on 01 6770044 or email us at info@rmcm.ie

WHAT IS AN ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY*

An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is any sudden damage to the brain that occurs during a person’s lifetime. Acquired brain injuries are grouped into two main types: Traumatic Brain Injury and Non-Traumatic Brain Injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury* (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries result from damage to the brain caused by an impact to the head.

There are three main types of traumatic brain injury: closed head injuries, open or penetrating wounds and crushing injuries. A concussion is also classified as a traumatic brain injury.

Common causes:

  • Falling from a height
  • Assaults
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Work place accidents

Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

Non-traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of an illness or a condition within the body, and not a result of a blow to the head.

Non-traumatic brain injuries can also occur as a result of medical negligence.

Common causes:

  • Encephalitis
  • Hypoxia
  • Tumours
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Vascular problems e.g. stroke, haemorrhage or an aneurysm.

The Consequences of an Acquired Brain Injury

Injuries to the brain are not always detected immediately after an accident or impact to the head, especially where there is no obvious external injury.

Each injury is unique, which means that symptoms can vary widely according to the extent and location of the damage to brain tissue.

The consequences and effects of an acquired brain injury are different for every individual. They depend upon the type, severity and location of the injury as well as the individual’s pre-injury personality and abilities. The extent of some changes may only become apparent as time progresses.

An acquired brain injury is often referred to as a “hidden disability” because its long-term problems are often in the areas of thinking and behaviour. They are not as easy to see and recognise as many physical disabilities.

Common changes:

  • Cognitive changes
  • Physical changes
  • Behavioural and emotional changes.

 

HEADWAY

Brain Injury Services & Support

“McMahon Goldrick Solicitors have been known to Headway for the last six years. They are attentive, responsive, highly professional and totally client focused.”

Kieran Loughran, CEO, Headway, Brain Injury Services & Support

Headway brain injury testimonial for McMahon Goldrick Solicitors

1. Instruct a solicitor:

You should soon get in touch a specialist solicitor who will take your instructions (details of the accident/injury, medical details, details of the alleged person or party at fault etc.).

They will then advise if it might be worthwhile pursuing a claim for compensation.

It is important to note that an adult claimant only has 2 years less 1 day from the date of injury to issue proceedings in court (there are some limited exceptions to this).

When claiming on behalf of a child, a parent or guardian can issue proceedings at any time up until the child’s 18th birthday. Thereafter, the young adult has two years to bring a birth injury claim in their own right.

2. PIAB assessment:

For most claims, you are required to lodge a Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) application before the matter may be dealt with by the courts. This is not required for medical negligence claims or psychological injury claims. Many people avail of the services of a solicitor to prepare their PIAB application.

PIAB is an independent state body who assess personal injury claims outside of the court room. They determine the amount of compensation that that should be provided (if any). If either of the parties disagree with the level of compensation, then PIAB will release the claim and compensation can then be pursued through the court system.

Typically in the case of a catastrophic injury, PIAB would automatically release the claim to be dealt with by the court system, as it is too complicated a matter for them to assess.

3. Liability & causation report(s):

Your solicitor will obtain at least one expert report to establish whether the injury arose as a result of another person’s or party’s negligence.

The speciality of the expert(s) will depend on how the injury arose e.g. if it was a personal injury, such as a road traffic accident, that expert may be a forensic engineer, or if the injury arose as a result of potential medical negligence case, the expert would be a medical doctor.

4. Issue court proceedings:

Once your solicitors have obtained a supportive liability and causation report, they can issue court proceedings after the claim has been released by PIAB.

Proceedings for catastrophic injury claims are typically issued in the High Court.

More information:

See here for more information on how a brain injury claim is made. 

Very generally, a catastrophic brain injury claim may take in the region of 3 years to resolve, however, this is dependent on the complexity of the injury itself and how the injury arose.

It is important to note that an adult claimant only has 2 years less 1 day from the date of injury to issue proceedings in court (there are some limited exceptions to this).

When claiming on behalf of a child, a parent or guardian can issue proceedings at any time up until the child’s 18th birthday. Thereafter, the young adult has two years to bring a birth injury claim in their own right.

There are some time limits that are applied when processing some parts of the claim.

Broad Claim Timeframes

Initial Investigation:

Unknown timeframe.

Personal Injuries Board Assessment (PIAB):

1 to 9 months.

In the case of a catastrophic injury, PIAB would typically release the application so that the matter to be dealt with by the courts from the outset, as it is too complex a claim for them to assess. Also, a PIAB assessment is not needed in medical negligence or psychological injury claims

Accept or Reject Injuries Board Assessment:

28 days

Statute of Limitations:

2 years less 1 day from the date of injury for the claimant to issue proceedings in court.

Legal Proceedings:

Unknown timeframe.

More Information

See here for more information on how long a brain injury claim takes in Ireland.

Your compensation will generally comprise of General Damages and Special Damages. After obtaining the appropriate quantum expert reports, your solicitors & counsel will be able to advise on the value of your claim.

General Damages

This is compensation for the pain, suffering and inconvenience you experienced and will continue to experience as a result of your injury.

The gravity of the injuries will be considered when assessing the level of general damages to be awarded.

Special Damages

This is compensation for the financial costs and expenses, both past and future, you incurred as a result of your injury.

In the case of sustaining a catastrophic injury, the special damages will make up the bulk of your claim for compensation.

Special damages include medical costs (past & future), loss of earnings and future loss of earnings, past and future nursing care and home help, the cost of housing adaptions, the purchase of specialist equipment, additional expenses etc.

Contact Us

Looking for help? Call us on 01 6770044 or email us at info@rmcm.ie