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Clinical Negligence Principal Lawyer Paul Sankey discusses steps towards rehabilitation following a serious injury

A clinical trial of a brain implant in the USA has apparently enabled a paralysed woman to raise her robotic arm. The 58 year old woman had lost the use of her limbs and was left unable to speak after a brain-stem stroke 15 years ago.
 
The story sounds like the stuff of science fiction and, for those old enough to remember, evokes the ‘bionic man’. Although it is unlikely to cause a revolution in treatment overnight it does suggest progress in finding new ways of restoring some degree of quality of life to people who have suffered catastrophic injuries.
 
For clients claiming damages after suffering Medical Negligence the goal of compensation is to put them back in the position they were in before their accident. For most that is an unachievable goal. If someone can no longer walk, no award of damages can make them walk again. But what it can do is fund ways to improve their mobility in other ways. So we may be claiming the cost of high-tech wheelchairs or motorised scooters, adapted vehicles or just taxis to take them to their hospital appointments. Around the home we might claim the cost of a live-in carer, equipment to get them out of bed or into the bath. Some clients are able to buy a house with easy access, lifts so they can avoid stairs and space for their carers.
 
Working out what can best help people at a reasonable cost requires help from experts and we regularly rely on help from care experts, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, architects and even specialists in IT.
 
So whilst one brain implant working a robotic arm may be only a small step, it is part of a bigger issue of how we can make sure that our seriously injured clients get the best possible quality of life as a result of their claim.

Many of our clients have benefited from the Rehabilitation Code. Under the Rehabilitation Code solicitors have a duty to consider in consultation with the medical team whether there is an immediate need for rehabilitation, drugs, aids, adaptations, additional mental health treatment, adjustments to employment that would help alleviate problems caused by the injury.

If you need advice on Injury Compensation to help your recovery please call us on 0800 916 9046.

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