Orthopaedic injuries guide
A serious injury can have a life changing and devastating impact on your life.
Brain injury guide
Traumatic brain injuries can have a catastrophic and life changing effect for those people who have been involved in accidents and their families.
What may help you prove fault after a road traffic collision
There is no automatic right to compensation following a road traffic collision. It has to first be established that the third party driver is at fault, and then you need to prove what losses flow from the collision. In this blog I look at what you can do to help yourself prove fault following a road traffic collision.
First, it may be helpful to just remind ourselves of what each of us could readily do to reduce the risk as far as we can from being involved in a road crash.
Is there a time limit for bringing a personal injury claim?
There will almost always be a time limit for you to have either settled a claim for personal injury compensation or to have started formal court proceedings.
The safest approach is to instruct a solicitor shortly after the incident who can then advise you on the applicable time limit for bringing a claim in your particular case. The below is intended to give some guidance on the applicable time limits but is not intended to be a substitute for formal legal advice.
The time period for bring a claim for personal injury compensation will vary depending on where the incident occurred, and whether the injured person at the time was below the age of 18 or had mental capacity.
As a general rule the claim for personal injury compensation must have been concluded, or formal court proceedings started, within 3 years of the incident date otherwise Statute will prevent the injured person from pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation unless you have secured from the Court permission to proceed.
There are a few exceptions to the above rule being:-
1. If at the time of the incident the injured person was below the age of 18 then the claim must have concluded or formal court proceedings started by their 21st birthday;
2. If an incident occurred on water then a different time period may apply, typically 2 years;
3. If an incident occurred in the air then a different time period may apply, typically 2 years;
4. If the incident occurred in a country other than England and Wales then you may be restricted to the time period set down by the laws of that country.
5. If the injury was sustained over a period of time, such as a repetitive strain injury at work, then the point in time is taken as the date of knowledge when the cause of the injury is identified.
If you make an Application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority then you must have submitted to them the Application within 2 years of the incident date.
It, therefore, is important if you wish to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation that you instruct a solicitor as soon as possible after the incident to enable your claim to either be concluded or court proceedings issued within the set time period.
Matthew Claxson is a Solicitor and Partner at Moore Blatch specialising in serious injury and fatal incidents.
26 miles to raise Smiles4Wessex
20 members of the personal injury and private client teams at local law firm Moore Blatch recently took part in a 26-mile walk from the firm’s Chandler’s Ford office to its Lymington office, raising over £2,200 for Smile4Wessex. Smile4Wessex provides charitable support for the Wessex Neurological Centre, one of the largest and most highly respected neurological centres in the UK.
The devastating effects of catastrophic lower limb injuries
Catastrophic injuries to the lower limbs can take many forms from complex compound tibia and fibula fractures to multi-ligamentous injuries of the knee joint including the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Following a traumatic event such as a road traffic collision, our clients, particularly motorcyclists, often suffer such complicated lower limb fractures that specialist internal or external metalwork is needed to treat the complex mal-union and non-union fractures.
We often act for clients where their prognosis has been complicated by an infection or a failure of the bones to re-unite despite medical interventions. In these situations our clients often remain at risk of requiring an amputation in the future. Where an amputation remains a possibility, we work to ensure that when we fight for compensation, we reserve the right to apply to the Court for additional funds should it become necessary to do so. If an amputation is later required we then apply for additional funds to be secured to enable our clients to have access to the most suitable treatment and equipment such as prosthetic limbs.
At Moore Blatch solicitors we recognise that early rehabilitation is crucial to getting our client’s lives back on track.
The Rehabilitation Code
The Rehabilitation Code 2015 (the Code) provides a framework for the Claimant’s and Defendant’s legal representatives to use in relation to personal injury claims. The very purpose of the Rehabilitation Code is to promote a collaborative way of working to use rehabilitation to help the injured individual to make the best possible recovery both physically and psychologically.
The Code helps to ensure that the needs of the injured individual come first to enable a specialist case manager to be appointed to ensure that the proposed rehabilitation is suitable to the individual needs of the injured person so that attainable and specific goals are set. Once a case manager has been appointed, the case manager will then carry out an Immediate Needs Assessment (INA) and provide a report with a focus on short term interventions to meet the instant needs of the injured person.
The Code is a framework to be applied outside of the litigation process which removes the parties concerns about prejudicial evidence. This enables injured individuals to access crucial rehabilitation without having to reimburse the provider of the rehabilitation package if he or she was found to be responsible for causing or contributing to their own injuries.
As the Claimant proceeded on the road on his motorcycle, the Defendant’s vehicle travelling towards the Claimant from the opposite direction, negligently turned right into the motorcycle causing a collision. Having been thrown from his motorcycle, the Claimant sustained life changing injuries to include an open right distal femoral fracture which required two internal fixations.
Further to discussions with the Claimant’s legal representatives, the Defendant’s insurer agreed to invest in an INA report pursuant to the Code which included a detailed occupational therapy and physiotherapy assessment. Having reviewed the INA report, the insurer agreed to fund full rehabilitation for the Claimant pursuant to the Code, before liability had even been admitted. Even if the insurer were to successfully argue that the Claimant acted in a way which contributed to causing the collision, the insurer would not be able to recover the agreed rehabilitation which has been implemented under the Code.
The lengthy road to recovery is different for every client and we ensure that no stone is left unturned in commencing the rehabilitation process and securing compensation for our clients who have suffered life changing injuries through no fault of their own. If you have suffered traumatic orthopaedic injuries in an accident which wasn’t your fault, please do not hesitate to call Moore Blatch Solicitors today for the legal advice and practical support needed to help to get your life back on track. Freephone 0800 157 7611.
Moore Blatch approach to brain injury
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 Blatch, 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.
Brain Injury Rehabilitation – are you getting the right support?
Brain injuries sadly affect more lives in the UK than one may think. According to Headway, one of the UK’s leading charities offering support to those who have suffered a brain injury, there were 348,453 UK admissions to hospital with acquired brain injury in 2016-17. That is 531 admissions per 100,000 of the population.
With statistics at that alarming level, one would assume that there would be consistent, streamlined rehabilitation offered to those who have suffered a brain injury. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Not only can this present a problem for those who are injured, but can also have a profound effect on the families and colleagues who are supporting the injured person. Minor brain injuries in particular can often go un-diagnosed for some time after the injury is acquired.
Sometimes, unless someone has suffered a ‘catastrophic’ brain injury, there can be very little support provided. This can sometimes stem from the fact that the medical focus may be placed on other injuries, such as orthopaedic injuries. Whilst an MRI or CT scan may not necessarily show a physical manifestation of a minor to moderate brain injury, the reality of the symptoms that may present after a ‘bump to the head’ can be serious and debilitating for the sufferer, and have a profound impact on the relationships they have with those around them.
Coupled with the fact that NHS resources are scare, and can vary dramatically depending on geographical positioning, it is important that sufferers get early and appropriate rehabilitation and support. When someone has suffered a brain injury (be it minor to serious), it is important that this is not only identified early, but that there is an appropriate rehabilitation plan put in place.
When we are first instructed by clients who have a confirmed or suspected brain injury, our priority as solicitors is to ensure that this investigated appropriately as quickly as possible.
10 firm-wide promotions at Moore Blatch
With the firm’s continued growth and success, Moore Blatch, a top 100 law firm focused on supporting people, families and growth businesses for the long term, is delighted to announce 10 key promotions firm wide.