How To Bring A Catastrophic Personal Injury Claim

How To Bring A Catastrophic Personal Injury Claim

Suppose you or your loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury and believe it was caused by another person, business, or public body’s negligent acts (or failure to act). In such a situation, you need the support of an experienced Personal Injury Solicitor who has an in-depth understanding of the legal issues involved and how to support early access to rehabilitation. Catastrophic personal injury claims can take around three years to complete. Therefore, you must choose a Solicitor who you not only get along with but has a real passion for helping people whose lives have been changed forever by a tragic event.

What is a catastrophic personal injury?

Personal injuries that dramatically affect the brain and spine are classed as catastrophic, as are major burns and amputations. These injuries are life-changing, and the compensation awarded can be used to adjust the Claimant’s home, pay for full-time care, and ensure the Claimant and their family have money to live on for the rest of their lives, especially if the Claimant was the primary household earner.

How do I begin a catastrophic personal injury claim?

The family of the Claimant often contacts a Personal Injury Solicitor in the first instance as the Claimant is normally in hospital and often unable to speak for themselves. The Solicitor will gather as much information as possible. At this stage, especially in the case of brain injuries, it is usually too early to understand the long-term prognosis.

What steps does a Solicitor take when running a catastrophic personal injury claim?

Your Solicitor’s priority will be to secure an interim payment from the Defendant’s insurer and arrange a case manager for the Claimant. Having these in place will ensure that a comprehensive rehabilitation program can be put in place and the Claimant can begin their recovery. This is achieved by both the Claimant and insurer using the framework set out in the Rehabilitation Code 2015 to ensure the former’s quality of life, health, and independence are restored at the same time as the compensation claim progresses through the various pre-action and, if necessary, litigation stages.

Multiple interim payments may be required depending on the scale of the injury and the Claimant’s rehabilitation needs. An experienced Catastrophic Personal Injury Solicitor will use the Rehabilitation Code to negotiate the funds you need to access rehabilitation services.

At the same time as organising interim payments and putting together a case management team, your Solicitor will be following the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury. All personal injury claimants must follow the Protocol, designed to encourage the early exchange of information between the Solicitors involved in the case, promote early, out-of-court settlement, and ensure establishing a rehabilitation plan is made a priority by all parties.

To establish negligence, you, as the Claimant, must be able to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that:

  • The Defendant owed you a duty of care,
  • They breached this duty, and
  • The breach resulted in you suffering damage.

Although this may seem relatively straightforward at face value, complications can arise when establishing whether or not the damage suffered by the Claimant was foreseeable and/or whether the Defendant breached their duty. To build your compensation case, your Solicitor will examine your medical records, the scene of the accident, and call on expert witnesses to provide an opinion on matters such as how the injury was caused and your long-term prognosis.

What happens if compensation is awarded?

Your Catastrophic Personal Injury Solicitor’s role does not end once compensation has been awarded. In cases where the Claimant needs life-long care and renovations made to their property (or a new property purchased), as well as money for living and ongoing medical expenses, your Solicitor will refer you to a Court of Protection Solicitor. They will place your compensation payment in a Personal Injury Trust. This will ensure that you can continue to receive any government benefits you are entitled to, and the money is safeguarded for your present and future welfare needs.

Wrapping up

Complex catastrophic personal injury claims require the talent and experience of a Solicitor who is both compassionate as well as determined. You need to be confident they will not give up until they get you the rehabilitation and compensation you and your family need to move forward. Although the catastrophic personal injury claims process can be long, with the right Solicitor fighting to get you what you need, you can leave the legal case to them and concentrate on your recovery.

Our Nicholson Jones Sutton Serious Injury Team has decades of combined experience in successfully advising and representing clients in catastrophic personal injury cases. We are sympathetic and understanding and are here to help you every step of the way.

Call us on 01 625 667166 or email us today to discuss your claim.


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