Lawyer Monthly - July 2022

As the cost of care is now extremely high, and whilst the Defendants will face their own significant challenges in absorbing these costs within litigation, a greater challenge will be faced by those who have already received their settlements. It is now becoming apparent that the sums awarded to many Claimants over the last two decades are unlikely to be sufficient for the individual’s lifetime, save for those who settled with periodical payments and therefore will have a small degree of protection, as they are linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI). The inevitable outcome will surely be further pressure on the already struggling statutory services. Whencompilinganexpert witness report, what rules must anexpertwitness adhere to? As experts, we must comply to Civil Procedure Rules Part 35 and Practice Direction Part 35. All our reports for the Court have an Expert Declaration which also includes the Statement of Truth. All of Jane James and Associates experts receive a 1:1 induction, and in addition to this we provide two days of in-house medico-legal training from a solicitor. The training covers the relevant topics, which include expert roles, rules and responsibilities, case law, breach of duty reporting, quantum reporting and procedures, from enquiries through to trial. What does theprocess for becomingamedico-legal careexpert generally look like?Andwhat advice doyouhave for those wanting toenter the sector? In general terms, most medico-legal care experts come from either nursing or occupational therapy backgrounds; however, at JJ&A we have an increasing number of case managers joining the team whose experiences give them a unique insight into the needs of clients with complex care needs, as well as substantial knowledge of setting up and managing care packages and working alongside legal teams. The key skills that we look for at JJ&A are those most associated with working in the community. The role of the care expert is very specific, and experts need to be able to carry out detailed and holistic assessments. It is then essential that experts can convert their findings into a report that fully informs non-medical partners, such as solicitors and judges. Experts need to be able to create reports that provide robust recommendations. Therefore, it is essential that care experts have a clear understanding of not just what an individual’s care needs are, but how they can be delivered and how much that will cost. The costing element of a Court report needs to be very detailed and care experts need to fully understand how unit costs are determined. They need to have a clear understanding on both private and statutory resources, and they also need to identify all ancillary costs, such as case management and ongoing therapy costs. Working as a care expert is challenging but ideal for professionals who feel they can bring their knowledge and expertise to assist the Court in awarding appropriate levels of compensation. As set out above, it is important that anyone who is interested in becoming a care expert is able to bring substantial experience in assessing and calculating care costs. Unfortunately, there is no basic entry into being a care expert, as you are either an expert in your field or not. At JJ&A, we ensure that all experts have robust training and ongoing mentoring. The training is based on their legal duties and responsibilities as an expert and ensures that they are fully familiar with Part 35 CPR. However, they are responsible for their own continuing professional development. 72 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUL 2022 EXPERT WITNESS Jane James andAssociates Tel: T: +44 (0) 1249 456360 +44 (0) 7741 553693 E:

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz