The human body is an intricate machine. When a serious injury happens to the head, brain or spine, it is truly life changing. Legal action will never restore your health, but it can provide the means to improve your quality of life. Early rehabilitation, assistance with equipment and access to expert medical help are all issues on which you need solid, practical advice as quickly as possible and with the minimum of fuss.
Our specialist lawyers recognise that the most important issue for our clients is rehabilitation, getting you back to as normal a life as possible, as quickly as possible. Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other rehabilitation specialists are usually the first in line to assist the injured party and a lawyer is often the last person people look to for help.
However, while a good lawyer cannot advise on the medical situation, they can help to ensure that, where possible, there is money to pay for any course of medical treatment needed. We use our skill and expertise to press forward with getting interim payments from the defendant’s insurers to cover your medical and rehabilitation expenses.
1999 Rehabilitation Code
We have dealt with many claims for damages where the injuries sustained by our clients are particularly serious, often comprising of brain and spinal injuries or serious multiple injuries. With the more complex legal claims potentially lasting several years, it was recognised that the injured person could suffer poor mobility and pain, job loss, relationship breakdown, depression and a loss of amenity affecting all aspects of their lives whilst they waited for their case to reach its conclusion. So, in 1999 the Rehabilitation Code was introduced ensuring that the focus of all legal parties and insurers was to address the rehabilitation needs of the individual as a priority before the financial settlement.
By liaising with our client, their family and medical practitioners we endeavour to assist in improving your quality of life at an early stage in the claim by establishing your rehabilitation needs. This may involve the appointment of a case manager who will have experience of dealing with the management of both day to day and future needs, which if agreed by all parties, we will arrange without delay.
We will seek to engage the appointment of an appropriate case manager through interim funding as part of the claim and they will hopefully provide assistance by way of helping you and family members by organising carers and rehabilitation treatment. Also, there are often important issues concerning mobility, transport, home adaptations and employment concerns that can benefit from the assistance of an experienced case manager.
Who pays for early rehabilitation in a legal claim?
The NHS is often the first port of call for any healthcare treatment. However it is important to be realistic about NHS resources and waiting list times that often differ between areas. Sensible insurers recognise this also and there is often a willingness to pay for private treatment to ensure that it is accessed speedily and at a time when it is likely to be of most benefit.
Whatever the case, it is always important to ensure that private rehabilitation care does not conflict with NHS treatment. Currently, the British Society for Rehabilitation Medicine is very much involved in establishing a suitable interface between NHS rehabilitation provision and the medico-legal process. The idea is that as your lawyer, we will put to your treating NHS specialist details of any recommendations made by medical or other experts reports obtained during the course of a legal claim. This is to ensure that the treatment you receive remains consistent.
Our experience is that whilst this support does not solve all the problems a seriously injured person might have it can and often does make a significant difference to their long-term recovery. Our aim is not only to achieve the highest possible award of damages on behalf of our clients, but also to secure the best possible rehabilitation at the earliest stage within the claims process to ensure that our clients can begin to make the optimum medical, social and psychological recovery.