If your injury or illness has been caused by the fault of your employer or another party, then you may be able to claim compensation not only for your symptoms, but also for any treatment you may need in order to get you back to work, or on the mend, as soon as possible.
As part of the Personal Injury Protocol for dealing with claims and to help you recover from your accident or illness, your legal representative and your opponent’s insurers (compensators) have to consider whether your treatment needs can be met as part of the claims process. It is widely known that early treatment can help prevent the depression or anxiety that can sometimes develop due to trying to cope with painful symptoms or from being absent from work for too long.
The Rehabilitation Code was published in 2007 by a working party made up of insurers, legal groups and the National Health Service (NHS). The aim of the Rehabilitation Code is to promote the use of early rehabilitation and treatment to improve your physical and mental health.
When you start a claim, your legal representative will to consult with you about your claim and also discuss your treatment needs, including the use of aids, adaptations or adjustments to employment so that these needs can be addressed as part of the claim.
The Code also encourages compensators to address the need for that treatment or intervention at the earliest practical stage and throughout the claim. In a joint approach, your legal representative and the compensator will agree on a joint but independent assessor who will speak to you or visit you to discuss your treatment and support needs. The assessor will prepare a report and recommendations for treatment, often in consultation with your own GP with your authority.
Once your treatment is agreed, arrangements are made for it to take place at the most convenient location to where you live. The assessor will continue to monitor your progress and provide updates to your solicitor, the insurer and your GP.
Throughout your claim you have a duty to mitigate your loss. This means that you should seek treatment that will assist your recovery or reduce your symptoms to a lower level as soon as possible. You can, of course, do this through your GP, but where NHS waiting lists are long, the Rehabilitation Code is another way of ensuring that your health and welfare are looked after as part of the claim. Your legal representative will not only pursue your claim for you, but will also get the medical help you need so that you recover or your symptoms improve in the quickest time available and, where possible, you can get on with your life.