Posted by Stuart Brazington, Partner
How to secure rehabilitation after a brain injury
When someone suffers a brain injury it can be an extremely frightening and confusing time, both for the person concerned and their family and friends. But after the initial shock, one of the first things everyone wants to know is what services and rehabilitative therapies are available to help the person’s recovery.
It has been proven that early rehabilitation is important for recovery, and in particularly severe cases it can also increase the chances of long term survival. This may be reassuring, but without the correct advice and guidance it is difficult to know who to turn to first.
Whilst some exceptional services and highly skilled therapists are still available on the NHS, it is probably of little surprise that access to these professionals is becoming increasingly difficult and competitive.
However, where a person has been the victim of an accident or injury of some kind, they may be able to make a claim to pay for their ongoing rehabilitation, and care needs. It is at this stage that a legal team should be involved. A team that works together to help someone with a brain injury secure the best treatment, as soon as possible.
How does someone with a brain injury get rehabilitation?
Under something called the Rehabilitation Code 2015, legal advisers will be able to arrange an Immediate Needs Assessment. Even where liability is not immediately admitted, rehabilitation can still be accessed as the parties are bound to promote the collaborative use of use rehabilitation and early intervention. This will usually be done by agreement with any other Solicitors/insurers involved and will often be funded by them straight away.
The code’s purpose is to help the injured Claimant make the best and quickest possible medical, social, vocational and psychological recovery. There may have been significant changes to the persons’s ability to work, or even changes to their personality and temperament. All off these need to be assessed and an action of support implemented.
An Initial Needs Assessment will usually be carried out by a Case Manager, who is an independent professional with a background in brain injury.
The Case Manager will arrange to visit the Claimant and assess the immediate needs and also those needs long after the brain injury occurred. A report will then be produced with the recommendations for treatment and details therapists and costings will be provided, which will allow the legal team to source the appropriate experts and where possible to agree these with the other Solicitors involved in the case.
Types of treatment available
There are many possible types of treatment, some of which are only available on a private basis but the recommendations could include treatment from the following:
- Occupational Therapist
- Specialist Counsellor
- Support Worker
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Vocational Therapist
- Educational Psychologist
- House Adaptions expert
- Equipment Specialist
- Orthotics Expert
This is by no means an exhaustive list and just an overview of the sorts of experts and therapies which may be recommended in a brain injury case with the right team to source them.
Every brain injury is different and so each Claimant will require a completely different team of experts around them and it will be the job of the Case Manager, who will sometimes then be employed to work with the Claimant throughout their claim, to make sure the treatment is tailored to suit an individual’s needs.
Once an initial team has been put in place it should be monitored regularly depending on how the client progresses. Brain injuries often change in nature as time goes by so different experts will either become more important or unnecessary depending on how recovery is going.
It is therefore, important for Claimants to seek legal advice and help in respect of rehabilitation at the earliest possible stage and give them the best chance for the future.
Taking action by bringing a personal injury compensation claim can help ease a stressful situation