It is clear that the sooner an injured party begins to receive treatment and undergo rehabilitation, the higher the chances of success in their recovery are. We know that with brain injuries, the greatest visible progress occurs in the first six months post-injury.
The Rehabilitation Code (updated in 2015) recognises this, and puts in place a framework for collaboration between parties to a claim with the aim of obtaining treatment for the claimant early on in the process, to be paid for by the defendant. The claimant will be reviewed in an Immediate Needs Assessment, which will recommend treatment and equipment that would be beneficial and provide ongoing support for the claimant. The defendant will then be presented with these and will consider whether to fund these. This can mean that the claimant will have access to equipment or treatment that can help them in their day to day recovery perhaps more quickly than they would be able to have under the NHS, or perhaps treatment that wouldn’t be available at all under the NHS.
Brain injuries are inherently complex, and can involve loss of function or mobility in the body or limbs, cognitive issues, changes in personalities and psychological effects. During this time of technical development as well as greater understanding of injuries - including the psychological impact of a brain injury - the Rehabilitation Code is a very useful tool at the disposal of a claimant’s solicitor to ensure that their client is given the best tools for a successful recovery.
Recently developed technologies and techniques include the use of virtual reality (VR) to aid recovery. VR is used to increase stimulation of the brain and also to help with patient mood and engagement. There have also been huge developments and progress made in the exoskeleton arena, and developments in technologies used to help with physical mobility and function. As a society, we have a greater understanding of treatments that are also beneficial to us psychologically, and this has led to greater availability of therapies, counselling, mindfulness, art therapies and many more. Defendants are also having to accept these and are becoming more willing to fund these types of treatments.
One common symptom of a brain injury, and something that has a huge impact on claimant’s lives following an accident, is fatigue. This is becoming an increasingly recognised issue, with techniques and advice available to help to manage fatigue - techniques such as “chunking” which encourages breaking activities up and pacing exercise. It is also important to recognise fatigue for what it is, and make sure that a pattern of restorative sleep is implemented, as well as asking for help when it is needed. Recognising stress or depression is also key, and using techniques such as mindfulness and art therapy for instance can help to keep these in control.
During the Action for Brain Injury Week, where we are supporting the exceptional charity Headway, we are hoping to bring awareness to the fact that early intervention and rehabilitation is the key to achieving optimum recovery for a claimant. Developments in rehabilitation techniques and technology, along with the Rehabilitation Code, create a way in which we as solicitors can have a meaningful and positive impact on client’s lives after devastating accidents.
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- Timescales for Rehabilitation after Brain Injury (read article)
- How do I get help after suffering an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)? (read article)
- Effects of brain injury on the family and the stress and strains it causes (read article)
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- Brain Injury - Overview (read article)
For further advice on the above topics, please call us on 01483 464222 or alternatively email email@example.com