Brain injuries to include cerebral palsy

brain injuries can have profound and long-lasting effects on a person’s quality of life. If you or someone you love has sustained a brain injury, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Our team of experienced Brain Injury Solicitors is here to support you through this challenging time, and provide trusted advice about your legal options.

What is a brain injury?

A brain injuries refers to damage or trauma that occurs to the brain, affecting its normal function. It can be caused by a variety of incidents, including accidents, falls, sports injuries, strokes, or medical conditions such as cerebral palsy. Brain injuries can range from mild, such as a concussion, to severe, leading to long-term disability or in extreme cases, even death.

Symptoms of a brain injury may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, changes in mood or behaviour, and difficulty with speech or movement. Treatment and prognosis of a brain injury depend on the severity and type of injury sustained. Rehabilitation often plays a crucial role in recovery.

Types of Brain Injuries

As patients, we trust our medical experts to care for us when we need it most. However, mistakes can be made that leave us at risk of avoidable injury, illness, or pain.

Medical negligence can result from a variety of situations, such as:

  • An error occurred while performing surgery
  • A patient was misdiagnosed
  • An illness or medical need was not noticed by a medical practitioner
  • The standard of care provided by a medical practitioner was below expectation

Sometimes, medical practitioners injure, cause loss of quality of life, or even can contribute to a death due to their negligence.

From avoidable pain to emotional trauma, medical negligence can have a severe impact on your well-being.

What is medical negligence?

Medical Negligence, or clinical negligence, is when a medical professional makes a mistake that leads to a patient’s personal injury or illness.

Our experienced and caring team can provide you with trusted legal advice on a range of medical negligence claims, including:

• Cosmetic surgery claims

• Medical care and surgery claims

• Birth and gynaecological claims

• Other types of claims

Where can medical negligence occur?

Medical negligence can happen in a variety of places and locations such as:

• Public/private hospitals

• Public/private maternity hospitals

• Private cosmetic hospitals

• Dental surgeries

• Opticians

Types of Brain Injuries

  1. Acquired Brain Injury (ABI): An acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to any damage or injury to the brain that occurs after birth and is not related to a genetic or congenital disorder. An ABI can be traumatic or non-traumatic.
    Unlike congenital brain injuries, which occur before or during birth, ABIs happen later in life and can lead to a wide range of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural changes depending on the severity and location of the injury. Rehabilitation and support services are often necessary to help people with an ABI regain lost functions and adapt to any lasting effects of their injury.
  2. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of acquired brain injury that occurs when a sudden trauma or external force causes damage to the brain. TBI can result from falls, car accidents, sports injuries, or violent assaults. Symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the injury, ranging from mild concussion to severe, long-term cognitive and physical impairment.
    The severity of a TBI depends on factors like the force of impact, location of the injury, and duration of unconsciousness. Symptoms of a TBI can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, changes in mood or behaviour, and difficulties with speech or movement. Treatment and rehabilitation are often necessary to help individuals recover from a TBI.
  3. Non-Traumatic Brain Injury: A non-traumatic brain injury is the result of an illness or medical condition that originates from within the body. These can include metabolic disorders, heart attacks, tumours, aneurysms, hydrocephalus and hypoxia.

    A non-traumatic brain injury can also be caused by medical negligence, such as an incorrect medical diagnosis, prescription errors, hospital acquired infections, birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, and failing to identify the onset of a stroke.
  4. Cerebral Palsy and Medical Negligence: Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and posture, often resulting from brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth. In cases where medical negligence contributes to cerebral palsy, victims and their families may be entitled to compensation.
    This compensation can account for pain and suffering caused by medical negligence, as well as cover the costs of necessary adaptations to the home environment, suitable transportation, and assistive technologies to aid daily activities. Additionally, it may include funding for a lifetime of much needed care, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, education, physiotherapy, and other essential services.

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Symptoms of a brain injury can vary widely depending on the severity and type of injury, but common signs include:

Headaches:
Headaches: Persistent or severe headaches that don’t improve with over-the-counter pain medication.

Dizziness or Loss of Balance:
Feeling unsteady on your feet or experiencing frequent bouts of dizziness.

Nausea or Vomiting:
Persistent nausea or vomiting, especially if it occurs after a head injury.

Confusion or Disorientation:
Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or feeling disoriented about time, place, or events.

Loss of Consciousness:
Brief or prolonged loss of consciousness, even if it’s just for a few seconds.

Changes in Vision:
Blurred vision, double vision, or seeing flashes of light.

Sensitivity to Light or Noise:
Increased sensitivity to light or noise, which can worsen headaches or dizziness.

Mood Changes:
Irritability, mood swings, or unexplained changes in behaviour or personality.

Sleep Disturbances:
Difficulty sleeping, excessive drowsiness, or changes in sleep patterns.

Weakness or Numbness:
Weakness or numbness in the limbs, especially on one side of the body.

Seizures:
Unexplained seizures or convulsions, which can occur immediately or days after the injury.

Difficulty Speaking or Understanding:
Slurred speech, difficulty finding the right words, or trouble understanding spoken or written language.

Memory Problems:
Difficulty remembering recent events, conversations, or important information.

Unusual Sensations:
Tingling, burning, or prickling sensations in the body, known as paraesthesia.

Changes in Taste or Smell:
Altered sense of taste or smell, which may be temporary or permanent.

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Symptoms of a brain injury can vary widely depending on the severity and type of injury, but common signs include:

Headaches: Persistent or severe headaches that don’t improve with over-the-counter pain medication.

Dizziness or Loss of Balance: Feeling unsteady on your feet or experiencing frequent bouts of dizziness.

Nausea or Vomiting: Persistent nausea or vomiting, especially if it occurs after a head injury.

Confusion or Disorientation: Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or feeling disoriented about time, place, or events.

Loss of Consciousness: Brief or prolonged loss of consciousness, even if it’s just for a few seconds.

Changes in Vision: Blurred vision, double vision, or seeing flashes of light.

Sensitivity to Light or Noise: Increased sensitivity to light or noise, which can worsen headaches or dizziness.

Mood Changes: Irritability, mood swings, or unexplained changes in behaviour or personality.

Sleep Disturbances: Difficulty sleeping, excessive drowsiness, or changes in sleep patterns.

Weakness or Numbness: Weakness or numbness in the limbs, especially on one side of the body.

Seizures: Unexplained seizures or convulsions, which can occur immediately or days after the injury.

Difficulty Speaking or Understanding: Slurred speech, difficulty finding the right words, or trouble understanding spoken or written language.

Memory Problems: Difficulty remembering recent events, conversations, or important information.

Unusual Sensations: Tingling, burning, or prickling sensations in the body, known as paraesthesia.

Changes in Taste or Smell: Altered sense of taste or smell, which may be temporary or permanent.

How do I make a claim?

Once your solicitor has gathered the information they need about your brain injury, you can then submit your claim. It is very important a solicitor that specialises in medical negligence files your claim.

Discuss your case with our Medical Negligence Solicitors 

If you feel you didn’t receive the right treatment from a medical professional and it resulted in an injury or worsening of an illness, you need to consult a medical negligence solicitor immediately following the incident.

Under Irish law, filing a medical negligence claim can be complex.
It is important to discuss your claim with a specialist medical negligence solicitor before filing to ensure every detail of your case is thoroughly scrutinised.

Your claim could be delayed if you file it without consulting a solicitor first. You can find out about the time limit associated with your medical negligence claim with help from a solicitor.

Obtaining all relevant medical records before filing for a claim

A medical negligence claim must prove that your brain injury was caused by the doctor or medical staff providing your care. To help build your case, your solicitor will request access to your medical records, and enlist a third-party medical expert to assess them.

This assessment will determine whether your doctor or medical staff provided substandard medical care and if negligence caused the brain injury. The assessment of your medical records needs to prove that if you had received the right medical care, your injuries, or the outcome of the error, might have been avoided.

Letter of Claim

If the third-party medical expert determines that medical malpractice has occurred, your brain injury solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim. The purpose of a Letter of Claim is to outline the nature of your case and to invite the medical practitioner to settle it and agree to financial compensation. The response to your Letter of Claim will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled out of court. While this may sound daunting, your solicitor at Gibson & Associates LLP will be by your side to guide you through each step of the legal process.

At Gibson and Associates LLP, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors have years of experience handling brain injury cases. We understand the pain and mental stress of injuries caused by medical malpractice, and have supported many people in similar situations to pursue medical negligence claims in Ireland. Our solicitors will approach your case with care and compassion, and are here to support you throughout the case with the understanding and attention you deserve.

FAQ's for medical negligence claims

Is there a time limit on making a claim?

Legal proceedings must be commenced within two years of the date of knowledge of the injury, subject to certain exceptions. In a lawsuit, the ‘date of knowledge’ refers to the date on which the plaintiff knew or ought to have known that he or she had suffered an injury.

An important exception is in the case of persons under the age of 18, who are described in law as minors or infants. For minors, the Statute of Limitations ‘clock’ does not begin until a child reaches their eighteenth birthday. For more information see Child Injury Claims.

What will compensation cover?

Compensation for a brain injury claim may cover medical expenses, lost wages, future medical bills, future lost earnings, and will take into account the impact of the injury on the individual’s quality of life. Our brain injury solicitors assess each case thoroughly to determine an outcome that is in your best interests.

How do I access my medical records?

A copy of your medical records can be requested from the hospital, clinic, or medical professional that treated you under the Freedom of Information Act. Alternatively, we can arrange to obtain a copy of your records on your behalf; to do so, you will need to sign an authority form that gives us permission to obtain your records.

What does 'No Win, No Fee' mean?

The concept of “no win, no fee” (also known as “no foal, no fee”) is common practice among solicitors in Ireland. Under this type of agreement, the solicitor will take on your personal injury or any other type of case, and if the case isn’t won, the solicitor won’t charge you a fee. The sole purpose of “no win, no fee” is to give you the legal power to pursue a claim regardless of your financial state or legal experience.

How long will the medical negligence claim take?

As a term used in personal injury litigation, general damages refer to the amount placed on the victim’s pain and suffering, which may include psychological trauma, loss of consortium, etc. In essence, general damages relate to non-monetary losses suffered by the claimant and which are not capable of exact quantification.

The term special damages refers to monetary losses that are quantifiable, such as medical treatment expenses or income loss that has been certified. These are consequential financial losses suffered by you which are directly to the negligent treatment and harm caused.

In other words, these are ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses incurred which might also include the cost of corrective surgery or treatment, medication, rehabilitation costs, travel expenses, and so on.

Our brain injuries solicitors help people all over Ireland to receive fair compensation for their injury.

Our experienced brain injury solicitors will work closely with you to determine the nature of the brain injury and its impact, before sourcing the expert medical reports required to support your case. You can be confident our brain injury solicitors will handle your case with compassion and sensitivity, and make the claim process as straightforward as possible.

For a confidential discussion about your situation, please reach out to our team on 01 264 5555.