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Serious Injuries Interview with Ian Johnson – Personal Injury Partner at Bray & Bray Solicitors

Q: What types of catastrophic injury claims have you dealt with?

A: Nearly every type of catastrophic injury – severe brain damage suffered by children and adults; spinal injuries including those involving paralysis; multiple trauma cases involving orthopaedic and internal injuries; and finally amputation cases to the upper and lower limbs.

Q: In your opinion what are the most common ways that people are becoming disabled through an accident or an incident that was not their fault?

A: It is unfortunately true that despite technological advances aimed at improving safety as well as increased awareness of the dangers, road accidents are still responsible for a huge number of fatal and serious accidents causing disability each year.

Q: What types of serious injuries and disabilities can people claim for?

A: If a person suffers injury that was caused by the neglect of someone else then a claim is possible not only for the pain, suffering and disability but also for the financial consequence of the accident.

Q: How have you come to specialise in serious and catastrophic injury claims?

A: Injuries of the utmost severity require a specialist approach. They are not the same as any other personal injury claim. Once I gained experience in such cases, reputation and recommendations meant new clients began to instruct me and I am now instructed by clients in the knowledge that I will ensure the best possible outcome for them.

Q: What is the first thing that people need to know about claiming after they or a family member has had a serious accident?

A: Whether or not they are likely to succeed in claiming for their loss. If so, the next most important thing is arranging rehabilitation as soon as possible to ensure as good and as quick a recovery as possible is made. Once rehabilitation is in place interim payments are vital to ensure clients can get back to living as normal a life as is possible despite being unable to work and earn an income.

Cases involving injuries of the utmost severity routinely take years to come to a conclusion and it is not necessary or acceptable for a client to have to wait until the end of the case to receive any compensation. It is always a priority to secure often substantial interim payments to pay for private medical treatment, for aids and equipment and even for accommodation required because of a person’s disability.

Q: Can you do anything for people when a family member dies as a result of a serious accident?

A: Providing liability can be proven then a claim can be made following a fatal accident. However these differ from personal injury claims that do not involve a fatality because the law is codified by statute which sets out precisely what can and cannot be claimed. There are strict rules on who can bring the claim and who can recover compensation. Family members who were dependent upon the deceased either financially or non-financially can benefit from a fatal accident claim. 

Q: How do you do things differently to other personal injury lawyers?

A: My firm has members with expertise in different types of accidents. Anybody who has suffered a serious injury such as brain or spinal damage or has suffered an amputation will be directed to me as these cases are my specialisms. From that point onwards I would be your only contact and available to meet and speak to you by phone or communicate by email on any problems that arise. Whilst supported by other members of the team you would always have access directly to me and be kept fully updated. We do not operate a system using numerous case handlers where every time you telephone you will speak to a different person.

I regularly see clients, generally at their own home following a serious accident but also in hospital and meetings are often in the evenings or at weekends to suit the wishes of my clients.