Unless you have been involved in an accident and sustained significant injuries, or know someone who has been in the same position, you probably won’t have come across the role of a case manager. The person is often a qualified therapist such as a nurse, occupational therapist, social worker or physiotherapist. They are paid for by the insurer for the party who caused the accident and instructed by the injured person’s solicitor usually with input from the insurer.
The case manager will assess the injured person’s rehabilitation needs and address what is needed to rehabilitate them so that they make as good a recovery as possible. They look at every aspect of the person’s physical, intellectual and emotional wellbeing. They plan to forestall problems before they occur and help to solve any problems that do occur . Their sole duty is to the injured person. The solicitor makes sure that their client is happy with all the recommendations made and advocates for them if there are any issues.
They often specialise in one area, for example in acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury or orthopaedic injury. They liaise with the treating doctors and make a case to the insurer for payment for private treatment or therapy where needed. If the insurers have reservations the personal injury solicitor steps in to assist.
The case manager will assess what care and domestic assistance is needed. They make sure the right accommodation, adaptations, aids and equipment are in place. They make sure vocational assistance is put in place if a person needs to adapt or change their job. They will assist in obtaining advice about what state benefits are available. They will help with applications for benefits and appeals.
What they do can make an enormous difference to their client’s life and wellbeing. This also has an impact on the person’s family and friends.
With the correct help and support a person can learn to cope with the terrible situation caused by a life changing accident. Rebuilding your life can be challenging, but there are effective measures that can be put into place to help and insurers are usually very happy to pay for your reasonable needs. If your health improves more than it would have done without such help, your quality of life should become as good as it can be. If you recover completely without long term needs the insurance company’s liability will be limited, which should help everyone who pays insurance premiums.
Claire Watson. Partner & Head of personal injury and clinical negligence.
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