Thompsons has called on the government to put rehabilitation for injury victims at the heart of the review of civil justice.
A survey of Thompsons’ clients who received rehabilitation in the last year revealed a strong belief in its ability to get people back to work.
All respondents who had received rehabilitation while off sick said the treatment had helped them return to work earlier. The majority also said it had reduced the amount of assistance they needed with day-to-day tasks and helped them return to their leisure pursuits.
Everyone who responded said rehabilitation had aided their recovery, had been a positive experience and believed Thompsons should continue to press for rehabilitation for their clients.
However, neither the Jackson review of civil costs or the recently closed Ministry of Justice consultation on Jackson LJ’s recommendations addressed the issue of rehabilitation and the role it can have in helping the injured return to work.
Thompsons has written to justice minister Jonathan Djanogly urging him to ensure rehabilitation features in the debate about speeding up compensation claims and reducing costs. Some insurers are reluctant to accept rehabilitation or to offer interim payments to ensure rehabilitation can take place at an early stage. Further, some insurers seem to view rehabilitation as a means of getting injured people back to work, before they are fully fit.
Judith Gledhill, Thompsons head of personal injury said: “Our survey is evidence of the value of rehabilitation. While it should never be used to force injured people back to work too early, the reality is that it usually does reduce the amount of time an injured person is off work and the amount of help they need with day-to-day tasks.
“If all parties act within the spirit of the rehabilitation code and ensure claimants are offered and accept appropriate rehabilitation at an early stage, the outcome will generally be better for all involved. We are convinced that, for insurers, early rehabilitation will generally result in a reduction in the damages and costs paid, while the injured person will have the benefit of input and treatment from experienced healthcare professionals.
“We would welcome positive action by the government, as part of its response to the consultation on civil litigation funding.”