Russell Worth Personal Injury Blog:

Rehabilitation – The Essential Part Of A Personal Injury Claim

Sep 28, 2017 | Personal Injury

Russell Worth Personal Injury Blog:

Rehabilitation – The Essential Part Of A Personal Injury Claim

Most personal injury cases focus on claiming financial compensation. And although this is important, the arrangement of a comprehensive rehabilitation programme is also an integral part of the recovery phase and a key part of the service provided by a personal injury solicitor.

One of the primary objectives of the pre-action personal injury protocol which all parties to a personal injury claim must follow, states the needs of the claimant through the provision of medical or rehabilitation treatment, should be addressed as soon as possible. 

The pre-action protocol references the Rehabilitation Code considering how to identify the claimant’s needs and how to address the cost of providing for those needs.

The Rehabilitation Code

The purpose of the Rehabilitation Code is to provide a framework for personal injury and clinical negligence claims within which claimant solicitors and insurers (usually an insurance company) can work together. This is with the aim of helping the injured claimant make the quickest possible recovery to restore them to the position they were pre-accident as much as possible. The claimant’s need for rehabilitation is addressed as a priority.

Claimant solicitor obligations under the Rehabilitation Code

These are set out in detail in part 2 of the 2015 Code. The claimant’s personal injury lawyer must:

  • act in the best interest of their client, over and above securing financial compensation for them
  • consider as soon as practicable whether additional medical or rehabilitative intervention is required to aid the client in recovery
  • have an initial discussion with the claimant about their needs in relation to employment, for example, can they continue to perform their job?
  • communicate the claimant’s rehabilitation needs to the insurer as soon as possible
  • provide detailed and adequate information to the insurer about the rehabilitation needed and likely continuing disability. These details should be communicated within 21 days of becoming aware of them, once the insurer is known
  • respond to the insurer’s rehabilitation suggestions within 21 days
  • ensure early engagement with the insurer to discuss any potential issues, e.g. any steps that might conflict with a treating clinician’s recommendations or unnecessary delay in rehabilitation
  •  consider the appointment of a case manager where appropriate

As you can see, the Rehabilitation Code provides for short time frames for each party to respond to the other’s correspondence. This is designed to ensure rehabilitation is organised as quickly as possible.

Insurer’s obligations

The insurer’s obligations are set out in Part 3 of the Code. For example, insurers (which includes any person acting on behalf of the insurer), must:

  • consider as early as practicable whether the claimant would benefit from additional medical or rehabilitative treatment
  • if the claimant may have rehabilitative needs, contact their solicitor as soon as possible to seek to work collaboratively in relation to those needs
  • respond to any request to consider rehabilitation within 21 days, confirming the request or setting out reasons for rejecting it

The insurer should not refuse rehabilitation unreasonably.

The Rehabilitation Code divides injuries into categories; ‘lower-value injuries’ (for example, whiplash) and ‘medium, severe, and catastrophic injuries’.

Case Managers

A good case manager is worth their weight in gold, especially where the injuries are serious or catastrophic. When an experienced personal injury solicitor is looking to appoint the right case manager for you, they will consider the following:

  • does the case manager have the required qualifications and experience related to your injuries?
  • can they provide evidence of ongoing Continued Professional Development?
  • do they have a good peer support system/supervisor?
  • does the case manager live/work close to you?

A case manager should only accept a referral if it is within their field of expertise and they are able to help the injured person.

In summary

The Rehabilitation Code is designed to put the client at the centre of the claim. Although most insurers make every effort to swiftly organise rehabilitation, sometimes they do require ‘encouragement’ from the claimant’s personal injury solicitor.

At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have suffered an injury because of an accident that was not your fault and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.

Excellent. The service was efficient from start to finish and I would not hesitate to recommend Russell Worth Solicitors to anybody who is unfortunate enough to meet with a personal injury that is not their fault.
Hilary Ann

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