Brain injury trust

I have been going through a compensation claim for 5 1/2 years now and my solicitor has put me in touch with a brain injury trust to manage my compensation for when my claim finishes.

Two main points really,

Has anyone had a brain injury trust and how did they get on? Should I try and have a local firm or does it not matter? Any advice on the subject much appreciated really!

Also for anyone who's gone through a compensation claim, how long did it take to reach settlement?


Charlie. X

36 Replies

  • That's a very sensitive subject. I'm in the same situation so I'll be keeping an eye on this post! Mines only for around three years though and I'm not done yet. I'm with ASB Aspire, they have strongly advised for me to set up a trust account. It's hard to tell, but to me it sounds like maybe you can't make the decision because you don't understand the options fully?

    I think that the best thing about claiming compensation, is the treatment you get. Money does make life a bit more comfortable, but it can't make you happy, and that's why I'm so grateful to be in that position. I don't think that many people realise that.

    Best wishes.

  • I totally agree, if it wasn't for the opportunity to see the fantastic specialists (with little waiting time) I'd be in a very dark place. They have pulled me up every time I couldn't see a way out.

    I find the conversation of the money very difficult, nobody understands my injury and there for the only comments I get are.. I hope your making the money from it I would! This really only upsets me, Id like to say I hope you work all the hours you can and can afford rent or a mortgage because I can't!

    In the first year I discussed it with close friends but since then it's only my family that know. After being with my fantastic boyfriend for almost 3 years I recently discussed it with him, not in any detail mind.

    Every year around this time I want to pull out. It's been the most difficult thing to be dragged through when I'm not at my best anyway. The only thing that has is the thought of being stuck without the money to afford the cbt I have needed, and will continue to need. Also I have done this for 5 1/2 years, the assessments and reports that break my heart have finally finished, I can not do another one even if they want me to. Soul destroying stuff. I'd feel like I've wasted 5 1/2 years for nothing, nothing to protect me in my future.

    I work 20 hours a week, have tried 30 but couldn't do it. It's embarrassing. I don't talk about my injury to anyone outside of my family and that works best for me. When I reach settlement I won't be broadcasting it.

    That's all I can come up with too, I have no idea what's best but the thought is freaking me out.

    I'm 21 years old and have brain damage on top! I don't think I'm capable of working this out?b

    Thanks for your post,

    Sorry about my essay.

  • I too felt like pulling out many many times.

    I didn't go 'all the way'. I was exhausted by the whole procedure and every time it asked when it would be finished I got a date that just kept on moving. Hearing dates, paperwork dates, report dates it seemed to go on and on and on.

    Then I was informed I needed a senior silk as well as a barrister and my solicitor. In the end I settled at a meeting prior to court where all involved were there trying to hash out an agreement. I walked out of it numerous times as I was so angry frustrated and overwhelmed. In the end they made an agreement and I just said yes, give me the paper and I'll sign it. My 'team' were horrified and tried to talk me out of it saying I had come so far and if I saw it thru to the end it would mean security etc and they kept saying amounts they wanted to acheive.

    I told them all I don't care about money. It won't change what happened or who I am and what I'll be able to do. I was at the end of my tether.

    I could not face anymore trips to London, and I just felt I would not cope being picked at in court.

    When I got the money I started to spend it on everyone else. Paid off bills and paid for a holiday. Then I felt like everyone wanted something.

    It didn't make me any different, I didn't make a miraculous recovery. When the case stopped I started to work thru the process of acceptance.

    I wouldn't wish that stress on anyone.

  • Hi Charlie

    I have the BI but was aquired through infection etc so have no experience of Compensation Claims. Sorry to hear it has been such a traumatic process to go through and that most people don't understand the issue about receiving it and that have all the naff comments to make as if it makes everything ok. Which it doesn't at all. I am wondering if Headway can maybe explain things to you and may know something about the Brain Injury Trust and Trust funds?? Just a thought and sorry if it is a crap one.

  • local or not depends depends on ease of access to them for for you but more importantly make sure you get someone with knowledge/experience in this type of claim. Having once worked for a local solicitor their experience lies more in conveyancing, wills and divorce. Try phoning the Law Society in London to ask about how to find a specialist Lawyer - alternatively I'm sure you soon have some good advice from one or two I know have written about their claims on here, sorry I can't remember their names now. Good luck.

  • I so wish I had been given this advice !!!

  • :-) Hi Stace, hope your claim procedure wasn't too horrendous. I didn't mention before but I was contacted by AXA France, where I live, just 2 weeks ago - 14 mths after my car accident...... (other diver hit me, I had emergency stopped when I realised he was coming straight towards me and wasn't stopping or taking avoiding action, so the airbag went off hard in my face/head - 9th months after my inital BI, I also fell on a ceramic floor hitting back of head inbetween both. all of which happened over here. I felt I was getting better gradually since bi, was capable and able to drive without problems, even 3x from S to N there and back on autoroutes just under 600 kms each way but ever since Nov '13, much has got worse, with confusion, memory and balance/walking problems - not a problem to any degree before then - if I had felt it was I wouldn't have driven. Axa knew about the haemorrhage and weren't bothered about me driving again from 1 month after, my doctor had cleared me to drive. Now AXA are talking about a compensation claim (I haven't made one!) and so want the medical - how is a doctor going to determine the difference between me then and now I ask myself? The only Neurologist I saw for about 10 mins Feb 2014 asked me 4 questions, I only now remember 1 (who is prime minister of UK? - ha ha! I think when I wrote on here about that 'test' I did say what other questions were but don't remember - don't even know if I need legal representation or not - don't know if the compensation claim is for me or the other driver. After rounding a bend in road when I saw him and when I saw him, I pulled tight into left kerbside of road and ended up facing wrong way on wrong lane. Sorry just a need I have to keep getting this out of my system and not easy to do that The info I gave above was from my past days in UK, 6 months before I left there. Axa have told ME to provide a translator at the medical. I was interviewed by police a few days after accident - 2 of them - no english and no translator. Now this compensation claim has just come up and I haven't a clue how to proceed - daft isn't it. I'm not fluent in french - so still easy to confuse me when I don't understand everything being said to me. I had only been up here 4 days when accident happened, so no car and still don't know the area. Think I might phone British embassy for advice! I can see myself getting right in a muddle out of fear and anxiety if it means going to a verbal interview with AXA or even to court because I still haven't heard from police since 2013, and they may want med med result! I think I should phone British Embassy for advice.

  • Surely a company so big has a translation service. They should have many English speakers. I don't understand how a multinational company can't accommodate you!

    You definitely need to understand what is going on and why.

  • I can't be much help... I could not go through the full was just too much for me to handle and I settled. I had to sign that no further claims could made in this case and that I would not disclose the details of the agreement. One lawyer wanted to fight for more money but I could not devote precious energy and limited brain power to something that felt so so negative. Once it was done I felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

    To be honest I never wanted the money. I think I really just wanted someone (at the firm) to acknowledge how badly I had been affected. Had they treated me differently I may not have bothered at all.

    The money I received still sits untouched. I can't bring myself to use it. I guess one day I may have no choice but to use it, but for now it can stay where it is.

    I hope you get this resolved soon so you can put this part behind you and move on with the rest of your life.

  • It took around 5 1/2 years to reach settlement and it was a horrible thing to go through. It took the defense 3 years to admit liability! I came away thinking the lawyers were playing a cruel game, where I, but they don't have to live with the consequences. They speculate on my future, then washing their hands of it and not being held to account if things didn't turn out as the way they had guessed. They might as well be replaced with fortune-tellers.


    My money isn't in a trust fund, but in several banks that I manage. I was referred onto financial managers, but for whatever reason it wasn't placed into a trust. And since I don't want to risk this money by investing it, theres no extra benefit to having it in a trust as opposed to a bank, as I believe that's where'd place it anyway. Plus if its invested, I haven't got access to it, which is a drawback of a trust.

    I must admit though, managing it is a pain and I'd prefer someone else do it, I'm a bit paranoid that I'll lose my money somehow. Does anyone else feel that way? Does anyone else manage their money themselves instead of in a trust fund?

  • My claim took 8 years.

    My money was managed locally.

  • Doesn't bare thinking about I'm only at the begining. Its out of sight out of mind until the solicitor contacts me -I've got the rough bits to come.18 months only gone and no liability admitted yet obviously because its early days.

    Its a good job i never think about it if it takes that long but what's time when the little progress or lack of progress in getting better is far slower in comparison to that anyway!It doesn't have any significance without your previous health state other than some rightful sort of justice.

  • As I was saying to Charlie, make sure U get a solicitor who is experienced in head / brain injury. Also make sure liability is in writing, because the insurance company we were claiming from originally admitted liability until they found out how much we were claiming for & then took it back !!!

    And that is more important, making sure U sort yourself out the best U can after all, money isn't everything. As has been said earlier on in this post, money helps obviously but your health is. more important.

    Have U not got anyone who can deal with the legal aspect for you. If not citizens advice might be able t help find someone who has knowledge regarding head / brain injury


  • Hi Stace i do have a really good solicitor i know that because hes known to do well in cases and the firm is an excellent one( i worked in the court service for 17 years so know of them).

    I'm sorry that your claim didn't have the outcome you must have all worked so hard to get and so deserved. I know that i for sure would hope eventually for a positive outcome but wont let my world fall apart if it isn't - as you say my health means more to me.

  • Good attitude Karen - mine fell apart ;o( Only kiddin, well kind've. Still, 20 years later I'm still goin up n down like a bloody yoyo when under stress & I've just been through a few bad days for no apparent reason - what's that all about ???

    Karen, perhaps U can advise me, how do I sue my solicitor cos he was so clearly negligent, but all the way through the case, not just within the last few years.

    We've been told that U only have 3, or is it 6 years t make a complaint from the time he was negligent, but obviously his negligence was from '94 for the fist 10 years but how were we t know, so I believe it's too late, or is it ???

    We did try changing solicitors after about 16 years cos we were certain he was sittin on his fat ass & within a couple of months it's goin into court with a due date.

    Every time we queried him, there was always an excuse & he contacted whoever yesterday (hadn't heard anything for 6 months & when we ring t find out why, ' 'yesterday......

    Any advise would be appreciated ;o)

    Thanx a lot

    Stace Xxx

  • Hi Stace unfortunately I'm not ''legally trained'' because i was on the admin side- worked for the civil service. I picked up alot on the small claims side.. There you have 3 years to submit your claim into court from the date of the accident.

    I have a solicitor friend i can ask when i spy the chance and i will n let u know if i can find anything out. Otherwise i don't know anything about it unfortunately.

    I don't know if i could go through all that stress your have to be strong and extremely patient ready for yet another round!


  • At the end of the day you have no choice & having read some of the stories on here, I feel lucky not to have gone through what they have. The one thing we all have in common, the general public really haven't got a clue !!!

    Thanx anyway Karen but I'm in contact with a solicitor who posts on this site & she's given me some good advise. Coincidentally she contacted me thsmornin. I wonder if she read the post or if it was a genuine coincidence ;o)

    Either way I think I know what I need t kno ;o)


  • As it goes, whilst reading through the posts I notice she has been on the sit,e so I assume it prompted the reply which I'm extremely grateful for ;o)

  • Hi Charlie 6 years mine took, would have been longer but I'd had enough. My legal guy set up a trust to receive interim payments so have used a trust for a while now. As the trust has 2 signatures it's helped manage my impulse buys and been good to shelter settlement from affecting benefits. Cater Allen are the bank used in my case. They pay NO interest but that's not a issue in short term. Just this week seen a chap from frenkel topping who are specialist financial advisers for personal injury trusts and they are very good. They have been involved in setting up trusts and also court of protection so I feel quite safe with them, hope this helps

  • Hiya Charlie, look carefully into the solicitor you use and what he is actually doing.

    I never had any advice & my family went to a local solicitor who claimed he had experience in both head injury & Portuguese law ( the accident was in Portugal btw ;o) which after 17 years when the case finally went into court I lost the case. I'm sure your case will take nowhere near as long though.

    The solicitors we used were obviously not experienced in either matter & a case they claimed I couldn't lose, they lost !!!

    I was claiming for £1.2 million, only expecting about half of that to be honest & I came away with nothing. I'm sure yours won't end like this ( assuming it was in this country rather than Portugal, but even so should never have been dealt with the way that it was ) ,

    My solicitor was so confident that he would win the case, he didn't put in a claim to the Portuguese insurance board whereby if U don't get any compensation from an insurance company they would have paid out between £100,000 & £150,000.

    I assume U are unable to deal with this personally but make sure your family or whoever it is helping you, do their research if it's not too late, although the chances are your current solicitor is doing all he can. If however U don't think he's doing his job properly, you can change solicitors.

    Also keep on his back, make sure he is working for you !!!

    Putting U in touch with a brain injury trust I'm sure would be a good thing & I wish we had been given advice, but as I wasn't & went through a local solicitor, the only advice I can give is do your research & also find out what your solicitor is doing & what he has actually done so far & if U aren't happy get a solicitor who is specialised in head injury, but make sure U see previous claims that he has dealt with.

  • I got sod all, nada, diddly squat, zip, nil, zero, bugger all.

    It took the great nation of Germany five years to decide that they wouldn't grant me their equivalent of legal aid and thus I was unable to take the fight any further.

    Hey ho, I'm still alive and happy

  • We were advised that legal aid would be nowhere near as good as a real solicitor & it took the great nation of Portugal 17years to decide I wasn't gonna get anything & that was after my mum managing to struggle t get the finances & we must have spent well in excess of about £30,000 over the 17 years,

    Luckily half of that was money raised by the family for an air ambulance t get me home and pay medical bills etc in Portugal, in the first place !!!

    But as you say, hey ho - I'm still alive and happy too ( most of the time ;o)

  • OOO DON'T YOU HAVE A 2 PERSONS YOU CAN TRUST. COSTS AROUND £400 for solicitor to SET UP A PI TRUST . just go to your bank. don't no how difficult it would be to get funds out of a trust company...if and when you like.and they may be a charge like a wage for them running it for you. do your homework hun. xx

  • oops soz I didn't see all the responses. still think what they charge for a trust deed is ridiculas for a bit of paper. we could of just opend an account our selves and named it PI trust of -------.

  • Hello Charlie (and other responders!). I'm a brain injury Solicitor and have read with interest (and alarm) some of the posts.

    From my perspective it's really important not only to have a Solicitor with brain injury experience but also a Solicitor who looks at what you need and want to achieve - what treatment, therapy, equipment, adaptations, financial advice etc you need as an individual and to tailor the service to suit you.

    The compensation at the conclusion of a claim is a means to ensure that any future financial needs are met - essentially to provide security for the future. Therefore setting up a Trust is probably a good method of investing funds as well as providing some structure and guidance. It is difficult to advise any more than that to be honest because each case would be dealt with on its facts.

    As with selecting your Solicitor you may want to select a company who specialises in setting up personal injury Trusts. Otherwise you could obtain some advice from an independent financial adviser as to other investment opportunities. It does really depend on what ongoing financial obligations there are and what level of risk you may be prepared to accept.

    I hope that helps?

  • Hi there

    Yes, mines been four years - probably going to be 7.

    Does it mean the organisation will arrange/ensure you get treatment or is it just looking after money on a persons behalf.

    Sorry, I am a bit dim sometimes



  • Hi misswingit,

    Just to let you know, at Headway we produce a factsheet called 'A guide to personal injury trusts' which you may find helpful to read through, you can download the factsheet from this page of our website:

    If you would like to talk through any of this information you can call us on our helpline number (0808 800 22 44), we're available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you all for your posts,

    Unfortunately I'm completely overwhelmed by them all at the moment, as soon as I'm having a good day I'll do my best to get back to you all properly, just thought I'd let you know I'm not ignoring just got my head scrambled!

    Reply soon!

  • misswingit: no idea but I've heard they don't use ethical investments (if that worries you?) and charge a fortune for managing it. So I've read, dunno if true.

    The trouble is all the money in the world couldn't ever buy me anything even remotely near to the life I had before my ABI: every facet of my life is changed and money can't change that.

    I FINALLY did a bit of art today (first time in many months doing it alone = problems with motivation, freezing house that I can't use or live in properly etc.), loved doing it, absorbed (but neck hurting very bad). Starving hungry, tum rumbling but afraid to stop: as soon as stop realise I'm exhausted then can't start again,must rest then don't, lose it.

    Suddenly more ideas, needed special felt pens I'd bought some months ago (but never used), but chaos here = had to look for them. I get sort of dizzy looking for things, can't pick things out or see them properly - told GP at start: 'my eyes don't/can't keep up with (my) movements' but he ignored it and sent me to optician who also ignored it = can't still see the room and bloke sort-of.

    So I tried to find the felt pens but looking for things EXHAUSTS me and after a few minutes (hungry) I gave up. So I ate then too tired and that was it for the day. How can money make up for that or help me looking for/finding things? It can't! But less chaos (and warmer home with proper light where need it) could a bit. But I know I'll always be like this, money can't undo it or 'compensate' for it.

    And it's same when I try to cook or try find papers = EXHAUSTING and eyes/brain just can't do. And no, nobody else can do it for me and I want to do things MYSELF.

    I've looked at the silly 'compensation' system and that judges decide how much money people get for different injuries. How can you possibly put a VALUE (a cost) on a brain injury = it's MASSIVE, touches every part of life and even with many millions for even a mildish brain injury you'd never have anything near the life you had before. They say it's meant to put you back (or as near as possible) to how you were before but that's STUPID, money can't do that and if they believe it can then they're MAD.

    For example I can't (we can't) ever do as much in a day as we used to. So what then? You get money to BUY people to help you? But nobody can look for what I need to use right now and I wouldn't want them to! I'd like to go to the cinema but after driving and parking (if busy) I'd be tired. Then need to put my right foot up, then need t rewind where I've missed/can't keep up. Then need neck rest coz it hurts and better I'm lying flat. And so on. And after all that I'd be WAY too tired to drive home. So cinema's out. What 'value' do they put on not being able to go to cinema (used to love it) and see films on BIG screen?

    And that's just ONE tiny facet, rare but important. And there are millions of these things can't do, can't access or too tired/stressed by everything else must try do. But there's a silly list of injuries and a 'damages' amount = which is totally meaningless and nonsense. Then the rest is for costs but they have crazy systems of accounting and multipliers and discountings and guessing how long somebody will live = no way any injured person will ever get a real compensation.

    And families trying to live with a kid injured at birth ('cerebral palsy' = what a victorian out-dated term!), even with many millions as 'compensation' they can never ever have anything like a normal family life. In the USA damages awards are FAR higher than in the UK, much more realistic to cover real life needs. But in the UK people say that big damages payouts are excessive and unnecessary = because they haven't ever counted up our real losses and how we can/must try to deal with them.

    About time the UK got real and made proper damages awards. Been bad for so long and insurers (and governments who manage our funds and insurance for NHS unless doctors use MDUs, private insurers = which we pay for through what we pay GPs etc. = we pay for all insurances but have none ourselves and must try to make a legal claim = I'm getting very scrambled.)

    What I'm trying to say is prevention is better than cure, accidents will always happen and people will always get ill and have accidents for which nobody can be help liable. So states MUST have systems in place EQUAL to what people achieving a financial settlement get = for EVERYBODY. Errm, that's Social Security isn't it, aren't we meant to have that already?

    Yes, but it doesn't work, way past time it did. And way past time that ABI and OUR needs were taken seriously and our TRUE and REAL losses (exclusions, what we can't do) added up and REAL strides made in the real world by everyone to allow us to live as full a life as we can.

    So come on silly UK judges and co., get real and count OUR difficulties sensibly otherwise your counting (of costs) might be shown to be complete mumbo jumbo and not of this world = they are VERY DELUDED. But the media and insurance industry (and ALL except the injured, ill, disabled and those who NEED services/help) are so powerful: they all sing from the same song-sheet and constantly present the opposite view: we are who need benefits and social services are GREEDY. And that hurts more than we can bear: we know how we all struggle daily, try to keep going, try stay cheerful. How DARE they say that about us or that we are lazy?

    Wish someone would MAKE them see OUR reality. And fast.

  • Oh and forgot to say: with periodical payments the guilty party (well their insurers actually, usually) have NO incentive to keep the claimant alive, the opposite: in their interests (for profits) for person to die as EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Hmm, insurers go to extreme lengths not to pay out = just HOW FAR would they go? Random accidents anyone?

    For those of us with ABI (and some other illnesses) who suffer from paranoia = to have periodical payments would cause the most severe paranoia. But a lump sum = their guess of when claimant 'will die' would never be spot-on: it'd either be too early or too late. But doesn't matter: ALL damages payments in UK way too low. Please somebody SORT THIS MESS OUT. And STOP insurers ruling everything including the law and justice = coz it certainly isn't the latter and cannot be said so to be.

  • Hi Charlie,

    I maybe a little late to provide any advice but I have read some of the comments below and hope that you have had some answers. I thought I would still comment as others might read this and it could be of use.

    A personal injury trust is important as it ring fences the monies awarded from being looked at for any means tested benefits. You can still have access to the money and spend it as you see fit. Even if you return to work I would recommend having one if you are awared a substancial sum because who knows what is around the corner. You only have a year to set the trust up and then you cannot do it so if things change you could be too late.

    I would recommend that you speak to an expert in personal injury trusts and not a general financial adviser as this is a separate area and they will often not understand how to put the protection in place.

    I am sure that Headway will be able to put you in touch with suitable experts but the Brain Injury Group also have a list of Court of Protection Deputies that would be able to advise you on trusts.

    I hope the information is of use.

    All the best

  • Saw this old post come up in the newsfeed, as kent brain injury commented 7 hours ago. hope you don't mind me replying for the sake of following / keeping track of this thread, which I don't know how to do.


  • Thanks for keeping it in the newsfeed EleanorS - I'm new to this site and in the final stages of my compensation claim, and so found this really useful. I wondered what I would do with the money that is (hopefully!) rewarded, and this discussion has answered lots of questions for me! I hope it does so for other people too!

  • Thank you for all your comments!

    I have finally reached settlement! It took 5 years 11 months and a few days! I still can't believe its finished!

    I set up a injury trust and my monies are now safe. I have to trustees which have to sign off any money I wish to take out and they protect me fantastic!!

    I'm currently setting up meetings with financial advisors (which at 21. Is all a little too grown up for me!) I am also trying to set up my will!

    Thanks for all the help!

    Hopefully onwards and upwards from here!

    Good luck everyone! Xxx

  • thankyou missie! world's your oyster....

  • Pleased to see this newsfeed is still going and has helped people.

    I just wanted to raise the other option which no one has mentioned which is the court of protection and a professional deputy.

    This is where you might not have the ability to manage a large sum of money because you are under 18 or may not have capacity to manage the funds. In this case the money is protected by the court of protection but managed by a professional for you for as long as needed or until the money runs out.

    What is important here is that the court of protection costs and the professional fees are recoverable as part of your claim but solicitors who are not experts in brain injury often do not know this and do not include this cost. They are negligent if they have not done this. I am aware of these costs running into over £350,000, hence to miss this head of claim could have a massive effect on the injured person and their family.

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