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1. The true losses suffered in a Car Accident are often under-estimated.2. Who can claim motor vehicle injury compensation?3. What can you claim for as part of motor vehicle injury compensation?4. What are the most common road and car accident injuries?

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of others then you may be eligible to seek compensation for the loss and damage you have suffered. Brain injuries can be complex, and cover a wide range of experiences and symptoms. Brain injuries can be sustained in a variety of ways, from incidents at work through to car accidents or even slips and falls. A brain injury compensation claim is complex and requires assistance from a personal injuries lawyer who is experienced in this type of claim for compensation.

Speak to Murphy’s Law today about our legal services and get the help you need to commence your claim for brain damage compensation. We operate on a no win no fee basis and provide a no obligation initial consultation so that you can consider your options and figure out how to proceed.

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Common causes of brain injuries

Brain injuries can be caused by suffering a head injury, or they can be acquired by way of chemical exposure. Some of the common causes of brain injuries and subsequent brain injury claims are:

  • Car accident - a motor vehicle accident where you are a driver or passenger is a common way to suffer a traumatic brain injury. Cars are often travelling at speed incredibly fast and there is very little in the way of padding or soft surfaces in cars to protect you if you do hit your head with a sudden stop. If you have suffered a car accident injury caused by someone else’s negligence then you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
  • Cycling accident - cyclists are incredibly vulnerable on the roads. Despite wearing a helmet, cyclists often suffer head and brain injuries if they are involved in accidents. If you are in a road accident as a cyclist and are injured due to someone else’s negligence then it is vital that you seem seek advice about your rights to compensation
  • Motorbike accident - as with cyclists, motorbike riders often suffer serious consequences if they are in a collision with another vehicle.
  • Slips and falls - Falling onto concrete or a hard surface from a height can be cause severe injury. People walking in a public place or using a public area who slip or fall and suffer a brain injury may be able to seek compensation if it can be shown that the area is was negligently maintained.
  • Workplace falls and injuries - the workplace can be a hazardous area, especially if you work in an industrial or mechanical space. Brain injuries can be suffered by people who have objects fall on them, or who come into contact with machinery. Brain injury can also be suffered due to explosions, such as for people working in the mining and quarrying space. It is thought that the explosive wave passing through the brain severely disrupts neural function.
  • Medical negligence - brain injuries can occur due to medical negligence, whether through deprivation of oxygen, improper management of symptoms, or incorrect administration of treatment or therapies.
  • Workplace accident - a brain injury can be suffered due to exposure to chemicals or hazardous gases.

Common types of brain injuries

The term brain injury encapsulates a range of injuries, each with differing severity and consequences.

  • Acquired brain injury (ABI) - An acquired brain injury refers to any brain injury that occurs after birth. Common causes of ABIs include stroke, oxygen deprivation, and neurological disease. An ABI can affect a wide range of functions including cognition, physical activity, and emotional regulation.
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) - This refers to a complex brain injury with a broad range of symptoms and complications. A traumatic brain injury is defined as an alteration in brain function which is caused by an external force. An example of which might be a gunshot wound, or a fall. It has been shown that, within Australia, the vast majority of TBIs in the moderate to severe range resulted from motor vehicle accidents. Other causes of TBIs include falls, bicycle accidents, assault, and sporting injuries. 
  • Hypoxic brain injury - A hypoxic brain injury is caused by a reduction (hypoxic) or complete (anoxic) lack of oxygen in the brain. Hypoxic brain injury can be caused by things like near drowning, drug overdose, strangulation, severe asthma, stroke, or heart attack.

Common brain injury symptoms

Brain injuries can take many forms, and the symptoms will vary depending on the nature and severity of the brain injury. A person who has suffered a brain injury may experience any number of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Issues with balance and coordination
  • Difficulty with vision, such as seeing double or having blurred vision/blind spots
  • Seizures and unexpected movements
  • Changes in sensory perception, such as difficulty feeling temperatures or sensation
  • Trouble with mouth function, such as with speaking or swallowing
  • Changes in personality and behaviour
  • Confusion and mental fog
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Trouble with executive function and personal behaviour management
  • Memory and cognition issues

When making a claim for compensation following a brain injury the extent of injury will be examined, and the way in which your accident has impacted on your life will be assessed. Any changes that impact on your ability to earn an income and live your life as you previously did will be used to calculate an overall amount for compensation.

Support for brain injuries

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury you will need to get support to help you move through this time and adjust to a new way of living. There are a variety of resources available both online and in person where you can get help:

  • Synapse is an organisation where you can get support and learn about living with and supporting someone who has a brain injury
  • The Brain Foundation provides support for people who are living with brain injuries and also perform research into helping people recover from brain injury
  • Cancer Council Queensland has a range of factsheets and information about brain tumours and associated brain injuries
  • Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service provides support for people with ABI and their families
  • Brain Injury Australia offers a range of services and support for people and their families who are living with brain injury

Does traumatic brain injury qualify for disability?

If you have suffered a TBI and are now living with the symptoms and consequences of your injury, you may qualify for additional disability support. Given that many of the symptoms associated with a TBI can impact on your ability to care for yourself, it is possible that you will need additional support from a disability support service or in-home care.

  • A survey performed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics identifies someone as having a disability if they report certain limitations or restrictions in areas such as bathing or showering, toileting, mobility, self care, communication, and/or getting around.
  • The limitation or restriction is considered a disability if it has lasted or is likely to last for at least six months.

Example: Tina is at work when a bucket of paint, left on a shelf by a negligent coworker, falls on her head, knocking her unconscious. She is in a coma for two months and when she regains consciousness she is unable to walk or speak. After intensive rehabilitative work she is able to walk and speak - but continues to suffer significant impairment. Tina would be able to make a claim for compensation against her employer and would also likely qualify for disability support. 

What does brain injury compensation cover?

Brain injuries can take a range of forms and can impact on people in different ways. When making a claim for compensation you may be able to include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Mental health counselling (if your injury has caused trauma or associated psychological symptoms)
  • Psychological counselling and treatment (for symptoms of your brain injury such as emotional impairment or self-regulation issues)
  • Medical treatment and care
  • Home modifications
  • In-home care and nursing

Your personal injury law expert can help you to get an understanding of what kind of compensation you may be eligible to receive, whether it is through workers compensation or through a legal claim against a negligent party.

How much compensation do you get for a brain injury?

A brain injury can be mild, or it can be severe and cause significant impairment. The level of compensation you receive will depend on the level of impairment, your income, your age, your circumstances, and how the injury has impacted your life. When you seek legal advice with us we will discuss your options and assess your circumstances, giving you an idea of what type of outcome you may achieve. Given the potential seriousness, however, it is possible that a significant brain injury may be awarded six or even seven figures in compensation.

Time limits for brain injury compensation

If you have suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you generally have three years from the date of the incident causing your injury in which to commence your claim for compensation in a court.

You must also comply with pre-court procedures which means you must advise the other party of your intent to claim within nine months of your accident, or within one month of engaging a lawyer to act - whichever is sooner.

If you are intending to make a claim for compensation for a brain injury, contact us at Murphy’s Law. We advise on a no win no fee basis which means that you will not be of pocket for pursuing your claim.

Posted by Chris McMahon Special Counsel

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Disclaimer: Please note, this content is designed as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. While we make every effort to fact check and keep items up to date, legislation may change from time to time. For advice on your specific situation then please contact us.
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