Ensuring support and advice considers long-term solutions following brain injuries
THE importance of ensuring families receive the correct advice as they plan for long-term care and support is being highlighted by a senior medical negligence solicitor as part of Action for Brain Injury Week which runs from May 14 to 20.
The special week is organised by Headway, a charity with more than 100 branches across the country, Headway exists to help, and support, people affected by brain injury.
Jonathan Baker, a senior solicitor with the region’s largest law firm Wilkin Chapman, wants to highlight the complex issues that arise when a family is faced with what is often a highly stressful and emotional time.
As a legal expert in his field, Jonathan handles cases on a regional and national level and has seen first-hand the impact of medical mistakes on adults who receive the wrong, or negligent treatment, or errors that occur in childbirth or the early days and weeks of life, which lead to brain injury.
These often upsetting and sensitive cases involve acting on behalf of the patients themselves, or their relatives if the person can’t act for themselves, or if a child is at the centre of the case.
But, explains Jonathan, it is not just the medical negligence claim that needs to be considered, but the immediate needs of the patient and their family, as well as analysing what their likely needs will be in the medium and long-term.
Brain and head injury cases can often involve ‘significant compensation settlements’, and this is where families often need practical as well as emotional support, he explains.
“There is no doubt that every individual situation is different, but they all come with a real need to look at the best way forward for all those involved, and that can involve getting the best care solution as well as how best to handle any compensation that is awarded during the lifetime of a case, or once the case has resolved,” said Jonathan.
This could involve assisting a family in applying to and dealing with the Court of Protection and with a view to using compensation to maximise a person’s independence.
“It could be a case of purchasing appropriate accommodation, assisting with adapting properties or arranging case managers to provide aids and equipment, or to arrange therapy and treatments. While in very serious cases, a person or their family may be unable to manage the situation themselves and requires someone to manage and use those funds, on their behalf or that of the family,” he added.