Early intervention of rehabilitation care for victims of personal injury is paramount

If you have suffered a personal injury as a result of another party's fault you may well be able to make a compensation claim. Whilst the process of litigation to secure financial reimbursement for physical damages aims to take care of monetary matters, the wellbeing of the claimant needs to addressed at the same time.

In the past, lawyers for the victims of non-fault accidents were only able to focus their efforts on obtaining a lump-sum compensation when the case concluded. This could take some years, especially in complex medical negligence cases and where interim payments for medical care were requested, they were often resisted by insurers.

Today, under the remit of the 2007 Rehabilitation Code, the immediate quality of life for the claimant is one of the first and foremost issues to be addressed by lawyer and insurer jointly.

The key aims of the code are to:

  • Promote the use of rehabilitation and early intervention in the compensation process so that the injured person makes the best and quickest possible medical, social and psychological recovery.
  • Apply all objectives whatever the severity of the injuries sustained by the claimant.
  • Ensure the claimant's need for rehabilitation is assessed as a priority, and that the process of so doing is pursued on a collaborative basis by the claimant's lawyer and the compensator.

The code aims to ensure that if rehabilitation is likely to be of benefit to a person who has sustained personal injury then the earliest possible notification to the insurer or compensator of the claim and of the need for rehabilitation will be expected.

The process of early intervention rehabilitation begins with the claimant's needs being assessed by an expert. If the insurer feels the recommendations are fairly costed and appropriate they can pay immediately for the rehabilitation to be implemented.

The reasoning behind these changes is that the claimant will hopefully recover sooner, more fully and so, may be able to return to a more normal' life sooner, rather than waiting for the litigation to conclude.

This may mean that, in the end, an overall compensation award could be smaller, but it is hoped that the ability to get well, suffer less trauma and pain and return to work is of more consequence than a larger financial reward, at the cost of loss of health and lifestyle. 

Published on 2013-02-06 22:00:00