Head and spinal injury: FAQs

What are the time limits for bringing a head injury claim?

If you live in in England or Wales, you have three years from the date of the accident to bring a claim for personal injuries. There are some exceptions to this, for example, if you are under 18 or you do not have the mental capacity to deal with your own affairs. The general rule is that you have to issue proceedings when making a claim for personal injuries by the third anniversary of the accident.

How does the court assess my head injury compensation?

When considering the value of a claim and the compensation to be awarded, the court aims to restore you to the position you would have been in had the accident or the negligence of the defendant not occurred.

When assessing damages, the court will consider the following:

  • Your general damages: this is compensation you will be awarded for your actual injuries and your pain, suffering and loss of amenity (i.e. being unable to do things that you previously used to enjoy). Awards for general damages are worked out by referring to previously decided cases. The Judicial Studies Board Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases (known as the JSB Guidelines) detail levels of awards made for different types of injuries, including different types of head injury (i.e. very severe, moderate brain damage and minor brain damage)
  • Your special damages: these are the financial losses you have incurred purely as a result of the accident. This includes expenditure such as:
    – Loss of earnings
    – Treatment costs
    – Aids and equipment required as a result of your injuries
    – Care expenses (by family members and professional carers)
    – Transport costs

When assessing compensation, the court will only award compensation in successful claims to allow the cost of reasonably incurred expenses. Therefore, we recommended that you discuss any items of unusual nature or expenditure with us and keep receipts for all items of expenditure.

Our Experts

Head Injury partner Laura Merry

Laura Merry

Senior Manager/Partner

Email: [email protected]

Direct Dial: 0117 904 5718

Katie Charlesworth


Email: [email protected]

Direct Dial: 0117 904 2384

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