Brain injury claim definitions

The language associated with head or brain injuries can be complicated and difficult to understand. We have identified some of the key terms in every day use in relation to brain injuries.



Acceleration or deceleration describes a type of closed head injury where the brain smashes backwards and forwards against the skull, damaging the frontal lobes and back of the brain.


Amnesia is a loss of memory.


Anosmia is a loss of sense of smell.


Aphasia is a complete loss of language.


Brain stem

The brain stem is in the posterior part of the brain providing a connection between the brain and spinal cord.



The cerebellum is a region at the back of the brain below the cerebral hemispheres which plays an important role in movement, coordination, balance and posture.


Cerebral means of or relating to the brain or cerebrum.

Cerebral cortex

The cerebral cortex is a sheet of tissue covering the brain which plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language and consciousness.

Cerebral hemispheres

The cerebral hemispheres are the right and left halves of the cerebrum.


The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain, made up the two cerebral hemispheres.


Concussion is a loss of consciousness following a blow to the head.


coma is a deep state of unconsciousness lasting more than 6 hours.

Cranial nerves

There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves that emerge directly from the brain at the brain stem.



Disinhibition describes a lack of restrain and impulsivity.


Dysathria is a weakness or lack of coordination of the speech muscles leading to difficulty in speaking.


Dysphalgia describes difficulty swallowing.


Dysphasia is a partial loss of language.


Emotional lability

Emotional lability describes uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing or other emotional displays.


Epilepsy is a condition characterised by seizures.


Frontal lobe

The frontal lobe is the largest lobe at the front of each cerebral hemisphere controlling movement, speech, affecting thinking, reasoning, decision making and planning, social behaviour, personality and emotions.


Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)

The Glasgow Coma Scale is a scale used to record the conscious state of a head injured person for initial and subsequent assessment. A lower score of 3 indicates deep unconsciousness, a maximum score of 15 indicates that a person can speak coherently, open their eyes spontaneously and obey commands.


Interim payments

Interim payments are amounts paid by a defendant as part of a settlement before final judgment is reached. It can help with immediate costs and ease the financial burden on an injured person where, for example, he or she is unable to work.


Mild brain injury

Mild brain injury is usually defined as a brief period of unconsciousness or concussion.

Moderate brain injury

Moderate brain injury is usually defined as loss of consciousness of between 15 minutes and 6 hours or a period of post traumatic amnesia of up to 24 hours.

Motor cortex

The motor cortex is a part of the brain affecting planning of voluntary movements.



Neuropsychologists are experts trained to assess and treat changes in intellectual skills, emotions and behaviour as a result of brain injury.


Occipital lobes

The occipital lobes are the visual processing centre of the brain located at the back of the cerebral hemispheres.

Occupational therapists

Occupational therapists are experts trained to assess and treat physical and psychiatric conditions using specific, purposeful activity to prevent disability and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life.



Physiotherapists are experts trained to help and restore movement and normal body function in cases of illness, injury and disability.

Post-traumatic amnesia

Post-traumatic amnesia is a period after loss of consciousness following a traumatic brain injury where there is no memory of day to day events that occur after the injury.



Rehabilitation simply means the methods used to enhance and improve a person’s recovery after head injury.

Rehabilitation Code of Conduct

The Rehabilitation Code of Conduct is a code of practice to encourage insurers and personal injury lawyers to work together to consider the wider needs of an injured person at the earliest practical moment.

Retrograde amnesia

Retrograde amnesia is a loss of memory of events prior to traumatic brain injury.


Sensory cortex

The sensory cortex is located in the middle part of the brain and receives information from the spinal cord about the sense of touch, pressure, pain and the perception of the position of body parts and their movement.

Severe traumatic brain injury

Severe traumatic brain injury is usually defined as an unconscious state of 6 hours or more or Post-traumatic amnesia of 24 hours or more.

Speech and language therapists

Speech and language therapists are experts who assess and treat speech, language and communication problems to enable a person to communicate to the best of their ability.



The vestibular is an area in the middle ear responsible for sensing movement, damage to which can cause dizziness.

If you have any questions then please call us on the number below, get in touch using our quick contact form or email us at for quick, friendly advice with no obligation.


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