26 March 2024

Making headway: Securing justice for victims of brain injuries

Doctor discussing brain scan with patient

Traumatic brain injuries are a ‘major global health problem’, accounting for almost 1,000 hospital admissions every day in the UK alone, according to the brain injury association Headway.

That equates to a brain injury being recorded every 90 seconds - but that’s just those identified upon admission. Some injuries arise from substandard medical care, resulting in potentially life-changing injuries. Other more subtle, harder-to-identify brain injuries can be missed by medical practitioners altogether, which can have devastating consequences.

Complications from inadequate treatment

Medical practitioners have a legal duty of care, which means that failure to properly assess your medical condition and identify a safe, appropriate treatment plan can be grounds for a negligence claim.

Wilkin Chapman has recently supported two cases in which victims of medical negligence suffered life-threatening brain injuries.

One patient had a history of heart problems and was fitted with a pacemaker. As a result, it was essential that they received suitable cardiac care but neither of the two primary caregivers appropriately prescribed anti-coagulation medication. As a consequence, the claimant suffered a life-changing stroke with significant and permanent damage.

We successfully argued that this would have been avoided with reasonable treatment.

Compensation for brain injuries

Brain injuries can be awarded compensation which can help to provide essential care and facilities for sufferers to enhance their quality of life and comfort. 

Our investigations are still underway to determine the full financial impact of the stroke, with a view to reaching a settlement with the defendants. Until then, interim payments have been arranged which have funded private rehabilitation care.

Victim who sustained brain damage during labour awarded £12 million

Usually, a medical negligence claim must be made within three years of the incident having taken place - however, there are exceptions in extreme circumstances. 

Wilkin Chapman successfully won a settlement of £12 million for a man who sustained permanent brain damage and life-long disabilities as a result of medical staff failing to act on, or indeed recognise, that the man’s mother was experiencing foetal distress during his birth - which indicated that the child was not receiving sufficient oxygen. Failure to diagnose this led to life-changing disabilities which, with earlier intervention, could have been effectively prevented.

The much-welcomed settlement will pay for tailored, round-the-clock care and essential therapies and aids to maximise the victim’s independence and quality of life.

Feverish failure caused lasting brain damage

Another unfortunate case of negligence Wilkin Chapman has recently championed was that of a young boy who developed a high fever after an operation. He was not attended to by doctors for six hours after becoming feverish and, as a result, the boy suffered a prolonged epileptic attack, causing lasting brain damage. 

This was an especially complex case as, despite a strong case for breach of duty, it was argued that there was little medical staff could do to mitigate the situation. Despite this, with the case funded by Legal Aid, we successfully achieved a settlement offer of £4 million, which will go towards essential care for the boy.

Clinical Negligence Accreditation renewed 

We handle medical negligence claims with the utmost tact, empathy and awareness to provide essential support.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, so I’m especially pleased to confirm that I have been re-certified for the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Accreditation. This is “a recognised quality standard for practitioners representing claimants in clinical negligence matters”, making it a vital benchmark.

This is a guarantee that our work adheres to a stringent and well-regarded quality standard, demonstrating our high level of knowledge, skill, experience, and practice in the area of clinical negligence.

Wilkin Chapman is also a proud member of the brain injury association Headway and we are recognised for our expertise in dealing with medical negligence head injury claims on its directory of recommended solicitors.

Further information

If you or someone you know has suffered from a brain injury as a result of medical negligence, get in touch with our expert team today.

Jonathan Baker, Wilkin Chapman LLP
Need help?

Contact Jonathan to discuss this further.

Back to top