The importance of early and continuing rehabilitation
My colleague Sana Bibi recently wrote an article about how often, people who have suffered major injuries as a result of an accident don’t want the money, they simply want their life back. In my own experience as a personal injury lawyer, I have also found this to be true.
The purpose of a personal injury claim is to put the injured person back in the position they would have been in “but for” the accident as far as this is possible. Money secured by our top-rated personal injury lawyers, both as interim payments where needed during the claim, and in the final settlement, goes a long way to achieving this for our clients.
But a big part of what we strive to do for our clients at Anthony Gold focuses on early access to rehabilitation. In all cases, one of the first things we consider is whether our client will benefit from access to early rehabilitation to improve their recovery.
Although the answer is almost always “yes”, not all personal injury law firms operate this way. I was recently speaking to another mum at my daughter’s school whose husband had been involved in a motor-cycle accident some time ago. She was surprised to learn that access to early rehabilitation was one of the first priorities of Anthony Gold; she told me that the law firm who had acted for her husband had made no effort to secure this for him.
When bringing a personal injury claim, the insurers have 3 months to investigate the claim before either accepting or denying that their insured is responsible. But under the Rehabilitation Code 2015, insurers have a duty to consider whether the injured person would benefit from rehabilitation even before a decision has been made on liability.
In many cases, the insurers will be prepared to fund an Immediate Needs Assessment (INA) at an early stage in a case, via an independent case manager. An INA sets out the injured person’s immediate rehabilitation, care and support needs. This can include but is not limited to private medical treatment, adaptions to the home, aids and equipment, access to benefits advice, funding for a taxi account or other services such as a cleaner or gardener or even dog walker.
When the insurers engage with this process, it can make a huge difference to the injured person’s quality of life. Take my client, Mrs K, who sustained major traumatic injuries when she was run over. The defendants engaged with the Rehabilitation Code early on and agreed to fund an INA. I was able to arrange for a case manager to visit my client whilst she was still in hospital. In the INA, the case manager made a raft of recommendations to support my client whilst she remained in hospital, and on discharge. The insurers agreed to fund the vast majority of these.
Unfortunately, because of the life changing injuries suffered, Mrs K was not going to be able to return to living independently. The case manager was able to support her daughter in choosing the most suitable nursing home, and helped to facilitate the move. Mrs K also had access to the best private physical therapies. She also had a specialist wheelchair, and several necessary adaptions were made to her room. The case manager also organised for Mrs K to have a private carer, and a support buddy for several hours a week so that, when her family were unable to visit, Mrs K always had a companion. The case manager also visited Mrs K regularly and supported Mrs K’s family in any meetings with the nursing home so that the standard of care remained consistently high.
Whilst very sadly, my client was never going to return to her pre-accident health, access to this rehabilitation as part of her personal injury claim made a huge difference to her quality of life. Our personal injury team have a wealth of expertise in acting for clients with life changing injuries, and recognise that, usually, it’s not just about the money.
*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*