Spinal Injury - Case Management and Support
Post-claim care and spinal injury rehabilitation
In cases of severe injury, such as spinal cord injuries, it is important to be able to obtain the right support and advice with day to day living needs, recreation and vocational pursuits. Irwin Mitchell have always been at the forefront of working with specialist case managers from an early stage in the claims process, to maximize the benefit for our clients.
What is a case manager?
Spinal cord injury case managers are professionals who are appointed to co-ordinate care, rehabilitation and other support for clients with spinal cord injury. They come from many different backgrounds including social care, occupational therapy and nursing. The important point is that a case manager must have the right skills to suit the needs of the person that they are working for – we match the right people with our clients to help secure the best outcome.
Do I need a case manager?
That entirely depends upon your situation, and the role that a case manager might have in helping you, whether that would be arranging for care, applying for disability benefits, accessing rehabilitation facilities or managing a return to work. In order to engage a case manager, it is essential for us to be able access interim payments for you – case managers charge a fee for their work but provided that this is reasonable, those costs will be included in your claim.
What about other sources of help?
It may be that regular care is required to help with everyday tasks, or to get out and about with activities in the community. That could involve engaging care agencies, or employing care staff directly. We are regularly involved in establishing care support packages, with the help of case managers, where clients would benefit from this. We also recognise the importance of establishing support at an early stage if the cost is going to be included within the claim – this helps to demonstrate to the Court and to the insurers the benefit of the support.
Support costs money – it is very expensive, and we will look at the available options before advising upon the best way forward. In most cases, this will involve applying for an interim payment to create a fund for care costs.
Long term planning
Irwin Mitchell has been at the forefront of fighting to ensure that clients with serious injuries can look forward to long term support being paid for by the damages, if that is what is needed. This may include arguing for a regular payment for care adjusted annually to meet the increasing cost of paying for support. In 2007, Irwin Mitchell acted for one of the claimants in a landmark Court of Appeal case which established the importance of periodical payments being adjustable to meet the realistic increasing costs of care which can often be above the rate of inflation.