A concussion is a type of brain injury caused by trauma to the head that usually involves symptoms such as mental confusion and difficulty concentrating. While most people make a full recovery within weeks or months, some may experience long-lasting symptoms such as sleep disturbances, ongoing headaches and cognitive issues.
If you sustained a concussion injury due to someone else’s negligence or actions, you may be eligible to make a concussion claim for compensation. Common causes leading to a claim include road traffic accidents, accidents at work, physical assaults and sports-related injuries.
To find out if your case has merit, use our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 today to speak to an experienced legal adviser. They can answer any questions you may have and let you know how much compensation for concussion you might be entitled to receive.
What is a concussion injury?
A concussion is a type of minor traumatic brain injury that can be caused by a blow, jolt, or impact to the head or body that leads to a rapid brain movement within the skull. It is commonly associated with sports injuries, falls, road traffic accidents, or any situation where there is a sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head.
Concussions result in a temporary disruption of normal brain function. However, unlike other types of brain injuries, such as contusions or bleeding, they do not typically show up on imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs. The diagnosis is usually made based on the symptoms and a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional.
The signs and symptoms of concussion can be subtle and not show up immediately. These may last for days, weeks, or much longer and include:
- Headache or pressure in the head
- Dizziness, confusion or feelings of fogginess
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurry vision and balance problems
- Concentration or memory problems
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Feeling irritable and other personality changes
- Changes in the taste and smell
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech and delayed response to questions
Most people recover fully from a concussion within a few weeks or months with appropriate rest and gradually returning to normal activities. However, it is essential to note that each injury is unique, and recovery time can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the trauma. Sometimes, concussions may lead to long-term consequences, as detailed in the section below.
Potential long-term consequences of concussion
While most people recover fully from a concussion within weeks or months, some individuals may experience long-term consequences. The ongoing effects can vary from person to person and are influenced by factors such as the severity of the injury, previous history of concussions, and individual health factors. Some potential long-term consequences of concussions include:
Post-concussion syndrome (PCS)
Some individuals may experience prolonged symptoms that persist beyond the expected recovery time. This condition is known as post-concussion syndrome and can involve persistent headaches, dizziness, cognitive difficulties, fatigue, mood changes, and sleep disturbances. PCS may affect your performance at work, relationships and daily activities.
Cognitive and memory issues
Concussions can affect cognitive function and memory. You may experience difficulties with attention, concentration, information processing, and memory recall. These cognitive impairments can impact daily activities and work performance, and their severity will determine how much compensation for concussion you might be entitled to receive.
Mental health issues
Suffering a concussion can increase the risk of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, irritability, and changes in mood or behaviour. These psychological symptoms may persist even after physical symptoms have resolved and can be included in your concussion claim.
Some individuals may develop chronic headaches following a concussion, which can last for an extended period of time. These headaches can vary in intensity and duration and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. Post-traumatic headaches can significantly impact your daily life and may require medical treatment to help you manage them.
Sleep disturbances can be a common long-term consequence of concussions and manifest in various forms, including difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing poor-quality sleep. Other sleep-related issues, such as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and sleep fragmentation, may also occur. These can significantly impact your overall well-being and quality of life, as proper sleep is crucial for physical and cognitive recovery.
Balance and coordination problems
Concussions can affect balance and coordination, leading to difficulties with activities requiring fine motor skills or maintaining equilibrium. Physical therapy and rehabilitation programs can be beneficial in improving balance and coordination post-concussion, helping individuals regain their motor skills and reducing the impact of these long-term effects.
Am I eligible to make a concussion claim?
If you have sustained a concussion due to the negligence or wrongdoing of a third party, you may be eligible to make a concussion claim. It is advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer specialising in brain injury claims to evaluate the details of your situation and determine the best course of action. They can provide you with expert advice and guidance regarding your eligibility and the process of making a claim.
As a general rule, you should be entitled to compensation for concussion if:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by committing a negligent or intentional act
- That has caused you to suffer a concussion injury and related losses
There are strict time limits for starting a concussion compensation claim, which is usually three years from the date of an accident or diagnosis. If you have a valid case, your personal injury solicitor will refer to the relevant UK legislation to prove a duty of care and a breach of duty. Depending on the type of accident that caused your injury, this could be:
- The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, if you were injured on private premises, such as a shop, restaurant or supermarket;
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, if your employer has failed to take all reasonable measures to keep you safe from a concussion at work;
- The Road Traffic Act 1988, if the driving or behaviour of another road user has caused you to suffer a traffic accident;
- The Consumer Protection Act 1987 if you were injured due to a defective product.
To find out if you can start a concussion claim, call 0800 678 1410 today to speak to a legal adviser, or enter your details here to receive a call back. If your case is valid, the solicitors we work with will offer you a no win no fee agreement, so you do not have to worry about any upfront fees or being left out of pocket if your claim is unsuccessful.
Evidence to support a concussion claim
If you decide to start a concussion injury claim against someone who has caused your injury, you must be able to show how your accident took place and how it has affected your life. Some types of evidence that can help establish and prove your claim include:
- Photographs or videos of the accident scene, including CCTV and dash cam footage, when available. These can help establish how the events occurred and should be taken before anything is moved or repaired.
- Medical evidence showing the diagnosis and severity of your concussion and any treatments and interventions you received. These could include doctor’s notes, diagnostic test results, surgical reports and medical bills.
- An expert opinion from a qualified healthcare professional can help establish the cause, extent, and long-term effects of your injuries. Your solicitor will be able to arrange a free medical exam on your behalf.
- An accident report with the business, company or organisation responsible for your concussion. They are required by law to register any accident on their premises, and you are entitled to ask for a signed copy of the report.
- The names and contact details of witnesses to your accident so your solicitor can contact them later for a statement, particularly if liability is denied.
- Evidence of all the financial losses and expenses that have resulted from the accident, such as receipts, invoices, bank statements and wage slips.
- A personal journal maintaining a record of your symptoms, pain levels, limitations, and daily struggles can provide a subjective account of your experience and help demonstrate the ongoing impact of the concussion on your life.
If you do not have everything you need to start a claim for concussion, your solicitor will assist you in collating the required evidence to build a strong case.
What types of accidents can lead to a concussion compensation claim?
Concussion injury claims typically arise from a severe blow or impact to the head due to the negligence or intentional actions of another person or entity. Some common accidents for which you could claim compensation include:
Collisions, especially those involving a significant impact on the head, can cause a concussion. These include accidents involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians. If you were involved in a road accident with a driver, you should get their licence plate and insurance details and never admit liability at the accident scene.
Falls, particularly when the head hits the ground or another object, can result in a concussion or other head injuries. This can occur in various settings, such as on a slippery surface, in poorly maintained premises, or due to hazards like uneven flooring or obstacles. Falls from a height are particularly dangerous and can cause severe head traumas.
Contact sports, such as football, rugby, hockey, or boxing, can lead to concussions due to direct blows to the head or violent collisions. However, concussions can also occur in non-contact sports or activities, such as cycling, skiing, or horseback riding. Although many sports injuries are nobody’s fault, you may be able to claim compensation for concussion if your accident was due to faulty equipment, poor ground conditions and other types of negligence.
In certain occupations, workers may be at risk of suffering head injuries and concussions. These can include construction accidents, falls from heights, being struck by falling objects, or accidents involving machinery or vehicles. Employers have a legal duty to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of workers, and failing to do so would make them liable in a concussion claim.
Intentional acts of violence, such as assaults or physical attacks, can result in head injuries and concussions. These incidents can occur in various settings, including public spaces, private premises, or domestic situations. As the assaulter is often unidentified or does not have the means to pay compensation, assault claims are typically made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). To be eligible for a CICA claim, you must not have caused the assault and must have reported it to the police.
Participating in recreational activities, such as amusement park rides, trampoline parks, or adventure sports, can sometimes lead to head injuries and concussions if the appropriate safety measures are not in place.
Military accidents, particularly those involving combat or training activities, can also lead to concussions. Common causes include blasts and explosions, vehicle accidents, and falls or impacts during training exercises. The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is a no-fault scheme in the UK that provides compensation to serving and former military personnel within seven years of having suffered an injury as a result of their service.
You could also be entitled to compensation if a healthcare professional has failed to provide an appropriate standard of care, resulting in harm or worsening of your condition related to a concussion. Examples include misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment, medication mistakes and surgical errors.
These are the most common situations that may lead to a concussion compensation claim. However, you might still have a valid case if you were injured in any other circumstances, so do not hesitate to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
How much compensation for concussion could I receive?
The compensation you may receive in a concussion claim can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the severity of the trauma, the impact on your daily life and work, and the specific circumstances of your case. It is essential to note that each claim is unique, and compensation amounts are calculated on an individual basis.
When calculating your settlement, your solicitor will consider two types of damages:
- General damages refer to compensation for the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity caused by the concussion. The specific amount depends on the severity of the injury, the duration of symptoms, and any long-term effects on your physical or mental well-being. General damages are assessed based on previous similar cases and guidelines provided by the Judicial College.
- Special Damages cover the financial losses and expenses directly associated with the injury. It includes compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, loss of earnings or earning capacity, travel expenses for medical appointments, and any other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the injury.
According to the Judicial College guidelines, you could receive the following compensation for concussion:
- £2,210 to £12,770 for minimal brain damage with recovery within several months
- £15,320 to £43,060 for cases where the injured person is expected to make a full recovery, return to work and be able to carry out daily activities, but symptoms such as memory and concentration problems may persist
- £43,060 to £90,720 for injuries that affect the person’s memory and concentration long-term, with a risk of epilepsy
- £90,720 to £150,110 for concussions leading to a slight intellectual deficit and an elevated risk of epilepsy
- £150,110 to £219,070 for a severe intellectual deficit, personality changes and an impact on speech and sight
- £219,070 to £282,010 for brain injuries that lead to a severe disability that requires permanent care and assistance to fulfil most tasks
- £282,010 to £403,990 for very severe injuries leading to sensory impairment, physical limitations and a shorter life expectancy
The above figures are for guidance only and do not take into account special damages for loss of earnings and other financial losses you have incurred.
Can I claim compensation for concussion on behalf of a loved one?
Yes, it is possible to start a concussion claim on behalf of a loved one if they are unable to conduct legal proceedings themselves. In such cases, you must apply with the court to act as their litigation friend. Before appointing you as a litigation friend, the court will verify that:
- You can conduct legal proceedings fairly and competently
- You have no conflict of interest with the claimant
- You agree to pay any fees requested by the court
Any person over 18 could act as a litigation friend as long as they can fulfil the above requirements. Some of their duties and responsibilities include:
- Making decisions about the claim
- Keeping the claimant’s best interest in mind
- Keep yourself and the victim updated on proceedings if possible
- Sign legal documents and deal with correspondence
- Instruct a solicitor and take legal advice
- Consider any compensation offers from the defendant
The litigation friend system is typically used in a concussion compensation claim when the victim:
- Is a child under 18
- Is an adult who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves due to the injury or a pre-existing disability
- Has passed away due to complications arising from a severe concussion
Will I have to go to court?
Whether or not you will have to go to court for a concussion compensation claim depends on several factors, including the specific circumstances of your case and the actions taken by the parties involved. In most cases, personal injury claims are settled outside of court through negotiation and settlement discussions between the parties due to the advantages this offers, such as:
Time and cost-saving
Settling out of court can often resolve the matter more quickly and at a lower cost compared to going through a full trial. Court proceedings can be lengthy and involve additional expenses, including legal costs, expert witness fees, and court fees. The defendant can avoid these additional costs by settling, and you have the bonus of receiving compensation sooner.
Certainty and control
When you settle out of court, you have more control over the outcome. Instead of leaving the decision in the hands of a judge, you and the other party can negotiate and come to an agreement that both sides find acceptable. That can provide a sense of certainty and allow you to have more of a say in the resolution of your case.
Privacy and confidentiality
Court proceedings are generally public, which means your personal information may be disclosed in a public forum. Settling out of court allows for greater privacy and confidentiality, as the details of the settlement can be kept confidential between the parties involved.
Reduced stress and emotional impact
Legal disputes can be emotionally draining and stressful. By reaching a settlement, you can avoid the stress and emotional toll of a trial, as well as the uncertainty and potential anxiety associated with the litigation process.
You might have to go to court to settle a concussion injury claim if:
- There is a disagreement regarding who is at fault or the extent of liability in the case
- Cases where the amount of compensation you are claiming is substantial
- Complex claims related to medical negligence, severe injuries or fatal accidents
- The other party is slow to respond or ignores your concussion claim
- You cannot afford to cover the cost of medical treatment and want to seek interim payments
- You cannot agree on the amount of compensation you should receive
- You have secured compensation on behalf of a child or incapacitated adult and must attend an Approval Hearing
If you must go to court, your solicitor will explain everything about the process and ensure you are fully prepared to argue your case before a judge.
What is the time limit to claim compensation for a concussion injury?
In the UK, there is a time limit within which you must start a personal injury claim, known as the limitation period. The limitation period is generally three years from the date of the accident or the date when you became aware of your injury (date of knowledge).
There are several exceptions and extensions to the standard three-year time limit in certain situations, such as:
- If you were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, the three-year limitation period does not start until your 18th birthday. That means you would have until your 21st birthday to start a claim.
- If the injured person lacks the mental capacity to claim, there is no limitation date for a litigation friend to seek compensation on their behalf.
- If your concussion was due to a violent crime, you have two years to start a CICA claim from the date of the incident.
- Military personnel injured on duty have seven years to start a claim through the AFCS.
- In some exceptional cases, where it would be fair and just to do so, the court may exercise its discretion to allow a claim to proceed even if the limitation period has expired.
It is essential to consult with a solicitor to understand the specific time limits that apply to your claim. They can assess your case, consider any applicable exceptions, and advise you on the appropriate course of action. Starting a claim within the time limit is crucial, as failure to do so may result in your claim being time-barred, and you may lose your right to seek compensation for concussion.
Hire a no win no fee solicitor to make a concussion injury claim
If you have valid grounds to claim compensation for concussion, the solicitors we work with will offer you a 100% no win no fee claim service. Also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), this type of arrangement allows you to benefit from legal representation without paying any upfront fees to your solicitor.
Instead, they will assume the risk of litigation and will only receive a pre-agreed percentage of the compensation as their fee if your case is successful. This is known as a success fee and cannot exceed 25% of what you receive for general damages and past financial losses. If your case fails, you do not owe them a single penny.
Furthermore, you will not have to pay any legal fees associated with the claim either. These will be covered by the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy that your solicitor will secure on your behalf before starting legal proceedings. The cost of the ATE premium is only payable if and when you receive compensation for your losses.