Trauma to the scalp, skull or brain is considered a head injury. Head injuries can vary greatly in severity, from minor bruising of the skin and lacerations, to concussion, a fractured skull or brain damage.
Even a relatively minor head injury can result in long-lasting symptoms, such as memory loss, headaches, dizziness, cognitive problems and impaired vision. More serious head injuries can lead to permanent brain damage, or death.
Head injuries can arise from any kind of incident that involves an impact to the head, including vehicle collisions, violent assault or slips and falls.
If you’ve suffered a head injury as a result of an accident that you weren’t responsible for causing, you may be able to claim damages from the responsible party.
First get medical help
All head injuries should be thoroughly examined by a medical professional as soon as possible, no matter how minor they might appear at first. This is because symptoms may take time to emerge. For example, swelling may continue for several days after initial injury, putting pressure on the brain or leading to other complications.
Proper medical evaluation is also necessary to support a claim you might have for a head injury.
Determining if you can claim for a head injury
The circumstances in which you sustained a head injury will determine whether you can claim damages. If your head injury was caused by your own negligence – such as falling from a ladder while washing windows – you can’t claim for damages.
However, if the accident was a direct result of someone else’s negligence, it’s possible you’re entitled to compensation. For instance, it’s likely you have a claim if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident that was another driver’s fault, or if you were struck by something falling from overhead due to construction work in a public area like a shopping mall.
If your head injury requires long-term treatment and affects your quality of life and/or future earnings, it’s worth submitting a claim.
How to claim
If you wish to claim compensation from the person responsible for your head injury, start by collecting all evidence of the injury you sustained and the surrounding conditions. For example, get contact details of witnesses who can verify how the accident occurred, record details of the party you believe is responsible for the incident and collect all relevant medical records, including your medical bills.
Then consult an attorney. Personal injury cases can be complex, and obtaining the assistance of an experienced attorney gives you the best chance of securing fair compensation.
A suitably qualified attorney will help gather and evaluate all relevant information regarding your accident and resulting injury, analyse your medical records and determine how best to proceed, filing required documentation, suing for a settlement and, if relevant, presenting your case to the courts.