Lawyer Monthly - November 2022

be severely detrimental in terms of their marital relationship with the claimant as they transform from being life partners to being carer and patient. It is vital to bring in external support in order to service the majority of the care needs and avoid this scenario. One of the main ways to address this is by way of rehabilitation. Defendant insurers, particularly on catastrophic claims, are keen to engage in rehabilitation. At the outset of the claim it is normally all that is available to the claimant, so they will agree to accept the offer and arrange for some treatment and other services to be provided. Ideally, a substantial interim payment should be obtained at an early stage so that the claimant can arrange for their own rehabilitation and pay for their own private care needs from this sum of money. It is important that if a case manager is required – which they normally are on catastrophic injury claims – that the claimant and their family have the opportunity to meet with the case manager to see whether they feel that they would get on well together, as they have to work closely. They should also meet their team, such as the occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and physiotherapist, to name but a few. There may also be a need to instruct accommodation experts and architects for purpose-built homes or adaptations for the claimant, with a single level of accommodation employing the latest technology to provide some independence for the injured client as far as is possible. Specially designed transport may also need to be considered, especially to accommodate a wheelchair user, and have adapted controls. These are just a few concerns relating to the treatment requirements, aids and equipment and adaptations. If we look at the financial side, it is essential that the claimant is provided with the best independent financial advice along the journey of the claim, from looking at the entitlement to benefits to considering personal injury trusts, Periodical Payment Orders and investment vehicles to ensure that, if a PPO is not made, the sum of damages that is awarded or achieved at settlement is looked after in the right way to ensure that the claimant has enough to provide for their family and themselves for the remainder of their life. Even settlements over £1 million can soon be exhausted without the right level of investment choices when the claimant requires round-the-clock private care. If, in a catastrophic case, the claimant does not have capacity, then it is probable that a deputy will have to be appointed and the Court of Protection involved in order to protect the claimant’s interests. The lawyer who deals with catastrophic claims must be skilled in all these areas and have defined pathways established in order to provide access to those services if they are not directly part of the offering of a personal injury firm. Finally, the personal injury firm needs to have access to the very best medical experts in their particular field. These can be the difference between a £1 million and a £10 million claim based on the strength of the medical expert team that is involved. Often as these experts are at the top of their profession they will require payment for their services at the highest level, sometimes in advance and the Claimant and their family need to know that the firm of Solicitors that they use are prepared to fund the suite of expert reports which can often be many tens of thousands of pounds, throughout the duration of the claim. EXPERT INSIGHT 55 About Damian Bradley Damian Bradley is a partner and Head of Legal Operations at Express Solicitors who specialises in employers’ liability claims. With over 20 years of experience as a qualified solicitor, Damian deals with claims arising from all types of serious injury following an accident at work, including brain injuries, spinal injuries, and musculoskeletal injuries as well as claims involving pain syndromes. He is also a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, having served as the group’s North West Co-ordinator for six years, and has been recognised by the Legal 500 as “hugely experienced”. About Express Solicitors Express Solicitors is one of the largest specialist personal injury law firms in the UK, ranking among the UK’s Top 200 firms in addition to many other accolades. With a team of more than 200 lawyers, Express Solicitors handles a range of claims involving medical negligence, work accidents, road traffic accidents and public liability, among other areas. Contact Damian Bradley Partner, Express Solicitors Resolution House, 311 – 319 Palatine Road, Northenden, Manchester, M22 4HH, UK Tel: +44 01619 044660 E:

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