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Case study of road traffic accident claim for brain injury

The circumstances

J, who was 21 at the time of accident, suffered serious injuries in a road traffic accident when a car, being driven by her boyfriend, was in an accident. Her boyfriend was tragically killed. In the accident J sustained a moderately severe brain injury diagnosed as diffuse axonal injury. This is one of the most common and potentially devastating forms of head injury and is often seen as a result of a high speed car accident.

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is caused as a result of the brain being shaken around inside the skull (rather than a direct blow to the head) as a result of acceleration/deceleration and damage occurs over a widespread area of the brain. DAI can be difficult to diagnose with scans proving inconclusive although MRI is a more useful tool than CT scans for detecting such damage. DAI often has a delayed onset with a person who initially appears well developing problems later on.

DAI is classified in three grades and varies from concussion-like symptoms through to very serious brain injury and unconsciousness. Even a mild or moderate diffuse axonal injury can, however, leave an injured person with continuing cognitive problems and fatigue.

J suffered from a range of cognitive problems but the most serious difficulty which she encountered related to poor memory and debilitating fatigue. Both are common problems in acquired brain injuries with fatigue often being the major residual problem faced by the injured person. In addition to her head injury J also suffered various orthopaedic injuries including a fracture ulna which left her with reduced movement in her left arm together with fractured ribs and a pneumothorax (collapsed lung). She also suffered a nasty injury to her left shoulder.

The claim

J was able to return to work, but only on a part-time basis as she cannot work full-time because of her continuing fatigue levels. She now lives independently of her parents.

The case was settled at a joint settlement meeting on a lump sum basis in the sum of £750,000 and included provision for a significant support package.


J’s mother details events after the accident and the contribution of Tony Goff in the handling of the claim for brain injury compensation.

“In May 2003, our daughter J, who was aged 21 at that time, was involved in a serious car accident and as a result suffered several injuries including permanent brain damage.

For the first few days following the accident, we as parents were only able to concentrate on J’s survival and as time passed the medical team were uncertain as to how her brain injury would affect the rest of her life.

Whilst at the hospital, we were given a leaflet on ‘Headway’, a registered charity set up to help those with an acquired brain injury and we were advised to give them a call. Through ‘Headway’ a firm of solicitors was recommended and we approached George Ide in Chichester for some advice.

A meeting was arranged with Tony Goff who specialises in this type of claim and after hearing our story he agreed to take forward J’s case.

The advice he gave over the next year or two was excellent and J’s recovery and progress was monitored constantly, Tony even visited J whilst she was undergoing rehabilitation treatment.

Appointments were made for J to meet with various consultants and therapists who specialised in the fields in which she was affected. This was to ensure extensive reports were provided in relation to her injuries, limitations and future capabilities.

We were always kept up to date with events and progress made with the case, and received copies of all reports and correspondence. All the staff with whom we had contact at George Ide were always sympathetic, friendly and professional.

We as a whole family appreciate very much all that Tony and the staff at George Ide did on J’s behalf, her life has been made much easier as a result of the hard work undertaken and we would wholeheartedly recommend them.”

If you would like to make a brain injury claim and are in London, Portsmouth or anywhere in the South East, contact us now and we will get back to you as soon as possible.