My mother was involved in a serious car crash and I want to know about what is included in head trauma compensation? She will probably need health care for the rest of her life.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

A head injury sustained in a car crash must be taken very seriously, and a number of factors should be considered in head trauma compensation, assuming that your mother was the innocent party and did not contribute to the accident or her injuries. Naturally, the severity of your mother’s injury and her pain and suffering will be included in her compensation settlement but any psychological trauma she experienced can also be included, along with any financial expenses and her “loss of amenity”.

Medical experts acknowledge that victims of any kind of accident may suffer with some degree of post-traumatic stress disorder and if it is shown to be quantifiable and attributed to the accident, the victim may be compensated for their emotional trauma.

An aspect of head trauma compensation that many potential plaintiffs do not realise is the affect that their injury has had on their quality of life. Known as “loss of amenity”, this refers to how their injury has prevented the victim from enjoying the same quality of life that they had prior to the accident, if they cannot perform everyday tasks, for example, or if they are no longer able to participate in a social or leisure activity that they once enjoyed.

Something else that is considered when calculating a head trauma compensation claim is the recovery of any financial expenses that are directly attributable to the injury sustained in the car accident. This could include anything from public transport fares if the victim is unable to drive, the renovation of their home to accommodate a wheelchair or loss of earnings and the compensation awarded should also cover life-long medical needs and home help, if required.

In the complicated and important case that most head trauma compensation claims are, your mother would be highly advised to engage with the services of a solicitor. The solicitor could give her breakdown of the compensation process and give a preliminary indication of how much compensation she should qualify for. This information would be useful to know when contemplating pursuing legal action and would be beneficial if she is approached by the negligent party’s insurance company with an unsolicited offer of compensation.