Acquired head injury in children
Head injuries in children are difficult personal injury compensation cases and require experience and expertise.
At the outset of such a case much time and effort is spent on the child’s medical, educational and financial needs. The support available varies depending on where you live, but if you do not know what help you are entitled to, where do you start?
Compensation is calculated on the difference the injury has made, we compare the before and after. The calculation is in terms of money, and the most significant areas are the cost of care, and earnings loss or reduction. Much easier to weigh up the consequences for someone injured in their thirties, whose career path is already decided. With a seriously injured child the presentation of the case requires experienced help.
The assessment of the effect of the injury is not as precise or scientific as you might think. It is not easy to look at an eight-year-old child and predict what their working life will be. That is the question which has to be answered. School records, how are brothers and sisters doing, how were the parents educated, what do the parents do for a living, and how motivated are they in the development of their children, are all questions which have to be answered. This part of the case has to be managed carefully as most evidence against which such assessments are made means the injured child is assessed against the average, or the norm. The assessment must be as specific to the child with the acquired head injury as possible.
Rehabilitation can play a significant part. If the case is straightforward on the question of liability, the third party insurer will often agree to cover the cost of rehabilitation. The insurer will cover this cost in the hope of bringing about an improvement. Insurers vary in their approach to rehabilitation. An alternative is to obtain an interim payment, and use that to help with private medical treatment and therapy, to give the injured child the best chance of recovery. In any care regime you need a case manager to bring together home life, education, and treatment.
Advice on children with an acquired brain injury is available from:
- Child Brain Injury Trust
- The Children’s Trust
- The Brain and Spine Foundation
- Cerebra – the Foundation for the Brain Injured Infant
- The British Institution for Brain Injured Children
Advice for parents and carers is available from:
- Website of Great Ormond Street Hospital
- Young Minds
- British Association of Brain Injury Case Managers
These are just a few examples. Let us know if there are others we should add to this list.