Rehabilitation: A Noun: The action of restoring someone to health or normal life through training and therapy after imprisonment, addiction or illness
In my practice as a Personal Injury lawyer I see myself as an essential part of a team of professionals who aim to restore the injured person to as a productive and independent lifestyle as possible.
The injured person will need medical, functional, educational and vocational intervention.
Early collaboration with medical and other professionals and crucially the insurers of the person who has caused the accident is essential to getting the client well on the way to recovery.
In my 20 years of experience I know of no one who has been injured who would not swap their compensation for their life before injury.
Compensation has developed to “put the party who has been injured in the same position as he would have been if he had not sustained the wrong for which he is now getting his compensation”.
This is the raison d’etre of all lawyers no matter the type of accident. From a simple car accident, to obtain a client money to replace a damaged car to a catastrophic injury seeking money to fund rehabilitation, targeted to putting the person in the position where if it wasn’t for the accident.
Effective rehabilitation can help injured people get back to the same position they would have been if it were not for the accident.
Although, compensation monies can never properly reflect all that is lost, the money can help to make the journey towards a good recovery easier and better.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers ( APIL) of which I have been a member for over 15 years advocates an holistic approach to personal injury litigation; so considering rehabilitation as well as compensation as it can only be of benefit to injured clients. In my practice this is always at the forefront of my mind.
The Rehabilitation Code 2015 sets out that in every case rehabilitation should be considered that is from a simple slipping accident at work where a client may have injured their back to the most serious cases I deal with involving brain injury.
Rehabilitation should be considered in every case to get the best possible outcome for the injured person, meeting the client and discussing with them about their medical needs is paramount. However, involving the insurer to try and agree the best way forward at any early stage can be beneficial for early recovery and resolution. The first step on this is to obtain agreement from the insurers to fund an Independent Needs Assessment (INA).
This is usually carried out by an experienced Occupational Therapist who has experience in dealing with rehabilitation. It is essential that the INA is carried out by the most appropriately qualified person and by the person who takes over the case management.
Early rehabilitation means an individual will get better faster (in theory) therefore the overall level of damages may be reduced. It puts the client and their recovery first.
Anne is a partner in the Personal Injury Team who deals with serious injury claims, including complex brain injuries. She is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme and advocates of putting the client’s rehabilitation at the forefront of any claim for compensation