Our first port of call is to fully understand the mechanics of the injury, and to use our experience of similar injuries to provide initial guidance, albeit we are not medical experts. With this information we will ensure that expert opinions are sought appropriately. For example, even with minor injuries to the frontal lobe, clients can experience quite extreme personality changes, together with symptoms of depression and anxiety. These symptoms are often coupled with physical symptoms such as headaches, visual disturbances and changes to senses such as smell and taste. Discussing these symptoms allows us to then pass on the relevant information not only to the Defendant/their insurer, but also to rehabilitation providers.
Concurrent to that process, we also engage with insurers/Defendants under the Serious Injury Guide and/or The Rehabilitation Code 2015 to ensure that an Immediate/Initial Needs Assessment (INA) can be funded and obtained from an experienced rehabilitation professional, who will meet with you and your family to discuss the impacts of your injuries and put in place rehabilitation recommendations. We usually refer to these specialists as Case Managers.
Generally, these professionals have a background in physiotherapy, nursing or occupational therapy. With brain injured clients, we ensure that they have had appropriate experience and exposure to working in neurological rehabilitation. We often try to ensure that the individual is accredited with British Association of Brain Injury Case Managers (BABICM) as this accreditation is only awarded to Case Managers and Rehabilitation Providers who have the appropriate experience to deal with these injuries.
At Moore Barlow, we ensure that clients and their families are fully involved in the process of choosing an appropriate case manager. It is important to remember that after the INA, the aim is that the Case Manager will continue to work with you and your family to provide on-going support. It is therefore crucial that the Case Manager has experience and awareness of the potential neuropsychological implications of the injury. They will keep abreast of the fact that whilst test results may be clear, the day-to-day reality of living with an injury may be completely different. We will liaise with them to make sure that your/the injured client’s needs are correctly identified and appropriate support is put in place.
Where a brain injured client may lack capacity, this process still applies, but we will support the litigation friend and ensure that appropriate financial safeguarding procedures are put in place to ensure rehabilitation funding is ring-fenced by way of deputyship.
The advantage of instructing solicitors who are experienced in this field is that we will ensure that you are best placed with your rehabilitation team, to ensure that you and your family are fully supported through a stressful and difficult time, adjusting to life after brain injury.
Rehabilitation is a crucial outcome for making an insurance claim if you have suffered major brain injury trauma through no fault of your own and, therefore, the choice of the solicitor handling your claim is an important one.