Road accident victims are now more likely to survive devastating head injuries and need decades of specialist care during their lives, say personal injury solicitors at Coles Miller.
But government spending cuts mean that victims are now less likely to get that care after leaving hospital - leaving family carers to cope as best they can with the help of charities.
Victims are now more likely to need compensation payments from personal injury litigation to help pay for the specialist care they need.
They could survive for decades with significant life changing injuries and no hope of ever working again.
Head of Coles Miller Solicitors’ Personal Injury department, Partner Adrian Cormack said: “We seem to be seeing more young people involved in road accidents this year, mainly young men.”
Many families of brain injury victims completely underestimated the task that lay ahead of them, added Mr Cormack, a Legal 500 recommended personal injury solicitor.
“A number of the head and brain cases that come to us involve young men in their early 20s. Many of these involve road accident compensation claims,” he said.
“A lot of them will be motorcycle accident claims but we are seeing an increasing number of claims relating to pushbikes.”
Decades ago many of the victims would have died of their injuries but advances in crash scene medical treatment mean that many more now survive what would previously have been fatal injuries.
“Family members look after them and think that they will be able to cope. But six months later they realise that they can’t cope. Some people will lose their jobs, marriages break down,” said Mr Cormack.
The time limit for a personal injury compensation claim is three years after the accident.
This means that carers who struggle on for three years or more and then realise that they need help to look after an injured loved one cannot then claim for compensation to cover the extra costs.
Every year Dorset-based Coles Miller deals with thousands of personal injury claims. Around one per cent of those involve serious head and brain injury claims.
Despite personal injury protocols speeding up the legal system, some of these claims can take up to four years to settle.
After that, Coles Miller’s brain injury solicitors help families to set up trusts to administer the compensation payouts for the benefit of the victims.
Coles Miller helps road accident victims and their families from all over the country.
As well as dealing with road-related injury claims, Coles Miller can also help people to claim accident at work compensation.
Common causes of workplace injuries include faulty equipment and practices or slips and falls. These can also occur on pavements and other public places outside the work environment.
Coles Miller now has 30 fee-earners and support staff dealing with personal injury and clinical negligence.
Coles Miller has five offices in Dorset: Poole, Bournemouth, Charminster, Broadstone and Wimborne.
For further information about claiming for personal injury, please contact Coles Miller Solicitors Partner Adrian Cormack, 01202 673011.