Brain injuries

The effects of an injury to the brain can vary hugely. A serious brain injury at birth may mean a child has little or no language function for the rest of their life. They may require full time nursing care and have no prospect of every working again.

Less severe brain injuries may not be immediately obvious to a stranger, but family members may notice effects on memory or a change in personality which can affect someone’s ability to function in a job or at home as they did previously. Other brain injuries may affect someone’s sense of sight or smell.

Brain injuries can occur in many ways through potential negligence. It may be that anti-coagulation treatment has not been managed properly, leading to a stroke. Delays in delivery at birth and starvation of oxygen are also a common way for babies to become brain injured.

Case studies

Air embolism causing stroke and permanent brain injury during mitral valve repair

Our client was a gentleman in his 60s who underwent an operation to repair a valve in his heart. Complications occurred during the operation and a large amount of air was noted in the heart during the operation. The operation was technically complex and the manner in which the air was allowed into the heart was not entirely clear. Our independent experts were supportive of the case and concluded that the air could only have entered the circulatory system through negligence. Sadly they concluded that the air had travelled to the brain and caused a stroke. This led to significant cognitive difficulties which meant our client was unable to properly manage his financial affairs and lacked capacity. He had impairment of the following higher mental functions:-

  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of initiation
  • Difficulty with multitasking
  • Difficulty with sequencing
  • Difficulty with language function
  • Impaired insight
  • Impaired judgement
  • Difficulty planning and decision-making
  • Slow mental processing

Proceedings were issued against the private hospital, surgeon and anaesthetist. Although liability was strongly denied, the matter was eventually settled and the court approved a global settlement of £600,000.

Diabetes mismanagement causes permanent brain injury

We obtained supportive independent expert evidence which prompted Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to admit failures in care when treating our client (a gentleman in his 60s). They accepted failures in respect of:-

  • Referring to the Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurses following his initial hypoglycaemic event
  • Treating hypoglycaemic episodes according to Protocol
  • Performing adequate blood glucose monitoring and ensuring that the patient was offered a snack

Unfortunately, as a result of the failures, our client went into a hypoglycaemic coma. He suffered from an acquired brain injury and a profound personality change which was understandably distressing for his family. His mobility was more restricted and he became aggressive, angry and frustrated, which was hugely different to his personality before with his family describing him as a funny, loving and engaging man. After approximately 2 years he died from an unrelated illness and his widow pursued a case which was subsequently settled for £57,500.

Mismanaged medication

Our client was a man in his 70s who pursued a case against Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust having sustained a stroke following a routine hernia operation. We had supportive evidence which said that his anticoagulation medication had not been correctly managed in the build up to and following his operation.

Unfortunately, as a result of the alleged negligence the gentleman suffered a stroke and sustained brain damage. He lost sight in one eye and had significant effects on his memory. He was unable to carry out many of his hobbies and could not drive. He had significant additional care needs and, although the matter was strongly defended, settlement was eventually agreed at £375,000 about a month before a Trial was to start.

Sub-arachnoid haemorrhage

We pursued a case on behalf of the estate of a woman in her 30s who sadly died as a result of a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage. Her family described that, several weeks prior to her death, she described very severe headaches and vomiting. She had been assessed by GPs who diagnosed a neck strain. We suggested that an alternative diagnosis should have been considered and a scan would have resulted in the correct diagnosis and prompt surgery. Had surgery taken place she would have gone on to have a normal life expectancy. She was not married, but left behind a teenaged son. Liability was denied by two GP Defendants, but the case was eventually settled for £40,000.

What can I claim?

The value of your claim will depend on a number of factors including:

  • The nature of the injury or illness
  • Whether your child (or you) recover fully from the injury or illness or if it has a long term effect on their health and wellbeing
  • The amount of any losses you incur as a result of the injury

You can claim compensation for the following things if they are a result of your injury:

  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical and nursing care costs
  • Special equipment needed to carry out daily activities and any costs involved in adapting your home
  • Other expenses incurred as a result of your injury, for example, travel expenses incurred whilst receiving medical treatment.

Contact us to speak to one of our specialist lawyers in total confidence and they will discuss the details of your claim.

Here to Help

Email us with details of your situation and an experienced lawyer will respond within two hours*, to advise you on your next steps.



We have legal experts near you

If you are interested in understanding how Taylor&Emmet can help you with your medical negligence claim then please contact:


James Drydale

James Drydale

Head of Clinical Negligence

Call 0114 218 4058

Email James

Office: Sheffield

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