About one million people attend hospital with head injuries every year. This accounts for around 150,000 admissions a year, the largest group of which are young people. Contrary to popular belief, disorders of the brain and spine are tremendously common, frequently affecting children and adults in the prime of life.
Despite this huge clinical problem, Britain is served by only 130 neurosurgeons and around 170 neurologists. This means that roughly 95% of head injury victims never see a specialist in the field and it is likely that some, more subtle, brain injury symptoms are missed or misdiagnosed.
Note: it is important to distinguish between the head and the brain. It is theoretically possible to have a serious injury to the head (for example, a fractured skull) without there being any physical injury to the brain. Similarly, it is possible to sustain a significant physical injury to the brain even though there has been no visible injury to the head.
Injuries to the brain can be very difficult for lawyers because they produce widely differing results ('outcome') and there is no simple test by which the lawyer can judge severity in the initial stages. It is very important that the solicitor is experienced enough to understand that serious disability can result even though there has not been a fracture of the skull, and that it is possible for what seems to be a minor accident to cause very severe injury and disability.