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Subtle Brain Injury Case Study

£4.78m settlement for 26-year-old motorcycle head injury crash victim

The Hon. Mr Justice Dingemans, a judge of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, approved a £4.78m settlement for a 26-year-old victim of a motorcycle crash. He suffered a head injury during the incident, which left him with enduring behavioural symptoms.

As specialist brain injury solicitors, Hatch Brenner represented the victim; instructing Barrister Marcus Grant of Temple Garden Chambers to represent him in the High Court.

The victim was an apprentice vehicle diagnostician when he had the accident aged 20. He was left with ‘dysexecutive syndrome’, which is a group of symptoms resulting from brain damage that occur together. These can inhibit executive brain function like planning, abstract thinking, flexibility and behavioural control.

Read more: Brain Injury: Your legal right to select your own legal advisor

Solicitor Colin Cook, Hatch Brenner Partner and brain injury expert, commented: “We are delighted to have settled this case on behalf of our young client. While the neuropsychological test scores of the victim were unremarkable, after six years of rehabilitation following the accident, the patient was still unable to maintain employment due to his associated symptoms affecting the judgement centre in his brain. His settlement will enable him to have the necessary support and assistance over the remainder of his life.

“We often see the subtle symptoms in the years following a brain injury putting great stress on the victim and their family and friends. With the assistance and encouragement of his wife and mother, and by learning strategies to cope from his support workers, the victim hopes to continue to gain greater independence over time.”

Traumatic Brain Injury Case Study

Six-figure settlement for a teacher who sustained a subtle traumatic brain injury

Colin Cook, Partner and personal injury solicitor at Hatch Brenner on Theatre Street in Norwich, helped a local teacher recover a large six-figure settlement from an injury sustained in an accident at work.

The Claimant sustained a blow to the head resulting in diffuse axonal injury. The disruption of the axons in the brain gave rise to a number of symptoms that affected the Claimant’s ability to continue in the teaching profession. Those symptoms included memory problems, difficulty with multi-tasking, audiovestibular (balance) problems and fatigue.

The case was further complicated by the fact that the Claimant was a high achiever, driven and motivated to succeed. Given the subtle nature of the injury, the case was presented on the basis that the Claimant had the very top percentage of ability removed, but by ordinary standards was still a very capable individual. The Claimant was also a performance dance artist and was similarly unable to perform to previous standards.

The insurers for the Defendant were dismissive of the symptoms from the outset. The legal team deployed to defend the claim were highly aggressive, disrespectful and similarly dismissive of the symptoms and restrictions complained of. They unsuccessfully sought to defend the case by deploying the use of surveillance evidence and refused interim payments.

The Claimant’s tenacity and patience proved worthwhile and the case settled by negotiation for a sizable six-figure sum within three weeks of an 11-day trial scheduled to take place in the High Court in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The insurers were persuaded that the medical and witness evidence presented by the medico-legal team instructed by the Claimant provided compelling evidence of symptoms and restricted ability.

Colin Cook commented: “The Hatch Brenner Dispute Resolution team is delighted to have reached this settlement for our client. Insurers are generally dismissive of subtle TBI cases despite the fact that the research in the fields of neurology, neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry tends to be moving in one direction; generally recognising the symptoms my client has experienced and providing a medical explanation for them. The medicine in these cases is cutting edge and putting together the correct combined expert legal team is of huge importance.”

Mr Cook added: “I was particularly pleased with this result as my client informed me that at the outset of the case a beauty parade of local firms was conducted; one of which left the client in tears after advising the claim was worth in the region of £3,000 at best.”

Marcus Grant of Temple Garden Chambers was the instructed barrister for the Claimant on the case.

Subtle Traumatic Brain Injury Case Study

Six-figure settlement for statute-barred claimant

Colin Cook, personal injury specialist and Partner at Hatch Brenner Solicitors on Theatre Street in Norwich, helped a Claimant secure a six-figure settlement, which the Defendant’s insurers argued was brought out of time. The Claimant was a passenger in a car involved in a high-velocity accident when she was 16 years old.

The Defendant’s insurance company is known to operate an aggressive business strategy of early intervention and settlement without medical evidence. The insurer in this case persuaded the Claimant’s would-be litigation friend to accept £10,000 despite early indications that the case could be much more valuable and before solicitors could be retained to provide full advice and protect the interests of the child.

Several years later the Claimant approached Hatch Brenner and following a meeting with Colin Cook it was determined that the Claimant’s injuries were potentially much more profound, resulting in a settlement at an undervalue.

Hatch Brenner acted immediately by securing medical evidence and lodging a claim in the Royal Courts of Justice in the High Court within weeks. The Defendant’s insurers maintained that their settlement was legitimate and that the claim was being brought out of time (the Claimant was by now over 21 years old).

An application was made to the Court (pursuant to Section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980) essentially seeking permission to proceed with the claim in spite of the time that had passed since the accident. The application was conceded by the insurers in the days leading up to the Court hearing.

Neurology evidence was obtained confirming the presence of a subtle traumatic brain injury and the case subsequently settled for a six-figure sum.

Colin Cook commented: “The Hatch Brenner Dispute Resolution team is delighted to have reached this settlement for our client. Whilst I was confident that the agreement with the insurers would be set aside by the Court, this unusual case involved a level of risk many legal firms might not accept on a no-win-no-fee basis. These types of unusual cases are our bread and butter. We relish the opportunity to provide the best service for clients struggling to find quality legal representation.”

Mr Cook added: “The insurer’s conduct at the outset, in this case, was quite astonishing; only made worse when they were provided with the opportunity to hold their hands up at a later date but refused to do so until the 11th hour.

“It shows the importance of appropriate legal representation when dealing with insurance companies in both personal injury and brain injury cases. Although there are many insurers who deal fairly with would-be claimants there are also those who do not. As a serious injury is usually a one-off event, in my experience, claimants do not have the necessary experience and expertise to handle these sorts of cases without good quality legal representation.”

Marcus Grant of Temple Garden Chambers was the instructed barrister for the Claimant on the case.

Assault Brain Injury Case Study

£400k settlement for assault victim with life-changing brain injury

Colin Cook helped an East Anglian man in his forties recover a £400k settlement following a life-changing brain injury sustained following an assault outside a popular fast-food chain.

The Claimant, a self-employed worker, sustained extradural haematoma with life-long lasting effects requiring a period of hospitalisation on the neuro-rehabilitation ward at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

This case was particularly challenging as the claimant had no recollection of the circumstances surrounding the assault. The Defendant’s employees were the perpetrators of the assault and the only witnesses. They alleged that the Claimant was inebriated and initiated the assault. With our assistance, he resisted pressure from the local police to accept a caution for a public order offence, which would have been devastating to the prospects of bringing a successful case.

Tenacity paid off and CCTV footage was secured that exonerated the Claimant’s conduct and led to a sizable six-figure settlement to compensate for injury, lost earnings and ongoing care and rehabilitation needs.

Colin Cook commented: “The Hatch Brenner Dispute Resolution team is delighted to have reached this settlement for our client. Following his injury, he required a rehabilitation package funded via a collaborative approach between the lawyers for both sides. The risks involved agreeing to act on a case in circumstances that were unknown, with the odds mounting against the client.

“From the outset, something didn’t feel quite right about the way in which pressure was being placed upon the client to accept responsibility without any direct knowledge of what occurred. Having faith in our client and the determination to uncover any independent evidence was the key to success.”

How we can help with your brain injury case

Brain and head injuries can have a wide range of effects, many of which may not be obvious immediately after an accident. As a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Colin Cook has represented brain injury victims in a wide range of cases.

To find out more about our expertise in cases involving brain injury, please call 01603 660 811.

Colin Cook has considerable experience in dealing with all manner of cases from minor low value road traffic cases to catastrophic cases involving acquired brain injury, in which he has a special interest.

‘From first contact to completion of my case, Hatch Brenner have been consummate professionals in every aspect of my claim. Thank you.’

‘We cannot thank you enough for all that you did for our son and …. family’

‘[Colin] spent good quality time with me and my family to evaluate every possible consequence…..I would recommend Colin to anyone going through something similar. I was always kept informed of progress and felt like he had a genuine care for my future.’

If you would like further information about any service, call us on 01603 214220