Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) may occur when an external force causes a brain dysfunction. TBI usually occurs after:
- a violent blow or jolt to the head or body;
- an object, such as a bullet or knife, penetrating the skull.
TBI is a subcategory of catastrophic injuries or loss, which may be life altering and will require lifetime care and finances as a result of someone’s negligence. These kinds of injuries may even result in death. If you have suffered a TBI, you may be entitled to receive compensation. A & E Legal can assist.
Our experienced solicitors will engage on your behalf (by submitting a claim) with the relevant person and/or their insurer for the compensation that you deserve resulting from your personal injury or loss, which should ultimately resolve by settlement or progression to a trial.
What should I do if I suffer a head injury?
As with any head injury, you should immediately seek medical attention, as TBI’s are not always easily diagnosed. Normally the treating doctor orders an MRI. This imaging will reveal the extent of your injury and determine whether it will be categorized as a TBI.
Can I claim?
Anyone who has been injured and suffered a TBI may be entitled to claim provided that the injury was caused by the intentional or negligent act or omission of another person.
Did you now?
If you suffer a TBI after 1 July 2016 in a car crash, you have a claim against the Insurance Commission of Western Australia under its new Catastrophic Scheme irrespective of who caused the accident. This means that the Compulsory Third Party insurance scheme will be extended to provide care and support to all people catastrophically injured in motor vehicle accidents irrespective of fault. In other words, from 1 July 2016 regardless of fault, you will be entitled to make a claim for care and support on a consistent basis.
Can I claim for damages if the accident/incident was partly my fault?
If you have been injured in an accident/incident caused by the negligence of another person you may have a valid claim, even if the accident was partly your own fault. Your final award (or settlement) may be reduced by the percentage that you are deemed to have been liable for your own injury.
What happens if the claim is not finalised and I have medical and other expenses in the meantime?
Even though your claim is not finalised, we may be able to arrange an interim payment to pay for equipment, treatment, care and accommodation. This interim payment is ultimately deducted from the final settlement on the completion of your case.
What can I claim?
You can claim for:
- past and future lost earnings;
- pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life;
- past and future medical expenses;
- hospital expenses;
- rehabilitation expenses;
- daily medical necessities e.g. a wheelchair
- home care and assistance;
- alterations and modifications to your home;
- modifications to your motor vehicle.
Are there time limits to commence Court proceedings?
There are strict time limits prescribed by law for you to commence proceedings in the District Court of WA, namely:
- 3 years from when you become aware that you have sustained a not insignificant personal injury i.e. when the accident or incident occurred; or
- 3 years from when you first experience the first symptom, clinical sign or other manifestation of a personal injury that is not insignificant.
We do, however, recommend that you contact us immediately in order for us to assist you with your claim process.
How do I start a claim?
You should consider taking he following steps:
- if you were injured in a car crash, report the matter to the WA Police or complete the online crash report;
- complete the initial medical treatment and when you are in a position to discuss how your injury occurred, contact A & E Legal;
- provide your solicitor with all the evidence available as to how the injury occurred. This may include the provision of the details of all available witnesses to your accident/incident;
- provide your solicitor with all the available medical evidence stating your condition as well as the name and addresses of all treating medical doctors and specialists;
- you may be referred by your solicitor to a specialist (normally a Neurosurgeon and/or a Neurologist) for a medico-legal report. This report will be used as evidence of your condition (diagnosis), that the accident or incident was causative of your injury (causation), what treatment will be required and how permanent the injury is (prognosis);
- your solicitors will then provide notice of your claim to the negligent person and if necessary issue a writ of summons out of the District Court of WA commencing legal proceedings.
Do I have to go to Court?
Most claims are settled without having to go to Court on trial. However, pre-trial conferences are held at the District Court building in a more informal basis and we will be there to represent you through this process.
How long will it take and how much does it cost?
We will attempt to get through the claim procedure as quickly as possible by seeking the relevant expert advice from your doctors and other relevant professionals to ensure that your claim is settled at the right time. We will answer all your questions about legal costs at the first free consultation with you. However, in the event of a successful resolution of your claim, the negligent party or its insurer will cover most of the costs.
Is the first consultation free?
The first consultation is free with no obligation on your part to proceed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.