Man involved in car accident has sustained complex muscular skeletal injuries and brain injury

03 May 2019

R suffered multiple complex muscular skeletal injuries and a brain injury as a result of a car accident.

R was driving on his way to work when he was involved in a Road Traffic Accident involving 8 other vehicles. It was the result of negligent driving by one driver resulting in the pile up.

R’s last memory was of taking a previous junction onto the motorway and the next memory that he has is of waking in hospital. He had lost consciousness at the scene and having been cut from his vehicle, he was taken straight to hospital.

R sustained numerous orthopaedic injuries, including a complex pelvic fracture, pneumothorax and multiple rib injuries, fractured clavicle in 3 places, left hand fracture, ligament damage to his right knee as well as a head injury.

We were instructed by R and we contacted the insurers of the Defendant driver straight away to get an agreement under the rehabilitation code in relation to obtaining private rehabilitation for R to get treatment underway as soon as possible. The Defendant agreed and a case manager was instructed on a joint basis. The case manager went to visit R at home once he had been discharged from hospital to do an Initial Needs Assessment at which stage she agreed with the likelihood that R had sustained a brain injury and made recommendations for further investigations including Neuro-psychological assessments and MRI investigations. As a result, a number of treatments were put in place to assist his physical and cognitive recovery; including psychological treatment, speech and language therapy and adaptations.

One of the biggest concerns for R was his ability to return to work as soon as possible. Initially it was his physical limitations that meant that travel and sitting for long periods would be a struggle. His employers were on board to assist and provided him with an ergonomic assessment which identified the sort of adaptations and equipment he required at home. This was put in place to ensure that he was as comfortable and safe as possible when working both at home and in the office. They were willing to adopt a phased plan for his return to work, to allow him days off for appointments and to limit the amount of travel he required. They also re-allocated some of his clients to lessen his workload in the short-term His employer was also willing to liaise with his case manager to ensure that the right ongoing support was available and that there was cohesion between the treatment being given by the company doctor and the treatment being facilitated by the case manager.

In R’s own view, the actions taken by his employers did certainly assist. He has a high pressured job and career that he had worked hard for. He voiced his concerns and that he is certainly fearful of the future and what might happen to him if he does achieve a full recovery.

A brain injury and the implications of this mean that the road to recovery is long and for some individuals a full recovery is unobtainable and part of the process is learning to manage your deficits. R was lucky in that his employers have been supportive and understanding as being able to maintain and succeed in his role is a major concern for R. R like many clients feels that there is a lot of pressure to get back to your pre-accident levels and reports that the feelings of uncertainty, frustration and vulnerability are some of the hardest to overcome. There is also a lot of financial pressure to face over the possibility that you may lose your job as a result of an acquired brain injury, having an employer willing to accommodate his adjusting needs is a helpful step.

Although R still has a long-way to go in terms of his recovery he is now back to working his full-time hours. Although he is doing a lot of additional work in his own time to ensure that he is able to keep on top of everything. We are working with the case manager to ensure that R is honest about how he is managing and to ensure that the support is available to him should he feel is taking on too much too soon.

This case is ongoing and R’s symptoms are continuing to improve as he regains his ability to partake in his daily activities once more.

By Hannah Nelmes

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