29 January 2018
Personal Injury Claims – Accessing Rehabilitation
The vast majority of people who suffer injuries would rather not have been injured at all and they’re main concern is who they’ll get the support they’ll need to live their lives as independently and fully as possible.
Rehabilitation plays a key role in an injured person’s case. The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) encourages all of its members to consider rehabilitation, from minor cases to those involving life-changing injury.
In most cases, insurance companies recognise the value of rehabilitation to the injured person who may achieve an optimal outcome sooner rather than later, and many insurers are ready to invest in rehabilitation.
The Rehabilitation Code
Slater and Gordon Lawyers were recently instructed on a case in which the injured person was a front seat passenger in a HGV. The driver lost consciousness at the wheel, causing the vehicle to leave the motorway and crash down the embankment. The driver sadly died and the passenger sustained a serious injury.
In the early stages of a case like this, the cause of the driver’s loss of control is unknown. If the loss of control is due to an unforeseeable event, then it’s unlikely that negligence will be established against the driver and no payment of compensation will be made.
Regardless of the ongoing liability enquiries to determine if anyone was at fault, the insurance company involved accepted a proposal for them to fund rehabilitation under The Rehabilitation Code. This means that, whatever the outcome of liability, the cost of the rehabilitation provided under the Code is born by the insurer. In this instance, this meant we were able to put rehabilitation into place following our client’s discharge from hospital, ensuring he was supported and cared for during this difficult time.
Another example case involved a road traffic accident where Slater and Gordon Lawyers represented a car driver who was involved in a frontal collision, when another driver approaching from the opposite direction, negligently crossed over into our client's traffic lane.
Our client suffered serious lower limb injuries. The other driver’s insurer admitted liability and made substantial upfront interim payments to pay for our client’s treatment needs. This has the advantage of ensuring money is available to invest in treatment.
While these two examples are successful instances of insurance companies committing to rehabilitation, there are many other cases where insurers may resist investing in rehabilitation. In these instances, personal injury solicitors are left with no other option but to take legal action and seek the Court's decision on whether the insurer should be compelled to make a payment and at what level.
Furthermore, insurance companies often want the injured person to rely on NHS treatment. While the NHS can do a great job in looking after those who’re injured, it might not always provide the treatment you need. What’s more, it can also mean long waiting lists and lower numbers of treatment sessions. There’s no requirement for the injured person to rely on the NHS where responsibility is established against the other party. The treatment can be sourced privately, subject to the injury being caused by the negligent act, and the cost being reasonable.
Types of rehabilitation
In minor cases, rehabilitation often consists of physiotherapy and psychological treatment.
In moderate cases involving orthopaedic injuries, rehabilitation can include treatments such as:
- psychological therapy
- vehicle adaptations (perhaps to an automatic car)
- domestic help in the home
- support in returning to work
In these cases, the injured party may engage the services of a Case Manager to lead the rehabilitation and arrange treatment on his or her behalf.
In severe cases of life-changing injury, such as with spinal cord injury, brain injury and limb loss, rehabilitation is substantial to cater for complex needs. The rehabilitation often includes the above, and consideration is also given to:
- accommodation needs
- prosthetic needs (in amputation cases)
- aids and equipment
- support workers
- speech and language therapists
- neuropsychology needs
In these cases, there’ll almost always be a Case Manager who’s experienced in dealing with the client’s injury to manage both the therapists and the needs of the injured person.
A solicitor specialising in personal injury claims ought to recognise and investigate rehabilitation on behalf of the injured person at the outset.
Why choose Slater and Gordon?
If you’ve suffered from a personal injury and you need assistance accessing the appropriate rehabilitation and treatment, we can help.
Our clients are our top priority, and we make it our mission to help you live the fulfilled and satisfying life that you deserve despite the injuries you may have sustained. We’ll discuss and examine your individual needs and requirements to create the best strategy in moving forward with your case.
Together, we’ll establish what’s important to you and what you need to live happily and as independently as possible.
We appreciate that rehabilitation can mean different things to different people and that no two clients’ situations are the same. As a result, you can trust us to help you access the care you need. Our team of specialist solicitors have the expert knowledge and resources to handle your case with the utmost sensitivity and care. We’re friendly and professional in our approach, and we’ll work closely with you every step of the way.
We can provide you with immediate legal representation and rehabilitation support from anywhere in the UK.
Regardless of the details of your case, don’t hesitate to get in touch. For a personal injury rehabilitation consultation, you can call us on freephone 0808 175 8000. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Alternatively, you can contact us online and we’ll call you back at a convenient time.