Rehabilitation should be heart of government’s civil justice review11 January 2011
Survey showed that rehabilitation helped recovery
Leading personal injury law firm Thompsons is calling on government ministers to put rehabilitation for injury victims at the heart of its 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 after being injured.
All respondents who had received rehabilitation while off sick said that the treatment had helped them return to work earlier than they would otherwise have done. The majority also said that it had reduced the amount of assistance they needed with day to day tasks and helped them to return to their leisure pursuits.
Everyone who responded said that rehabilitation had helped in their recovery, that it had been a positive experience and believed that Thompsons should continue to press for rehabilitation for their clients.
Our survey is evidence of the value of rehabilitation
A voluntary code of conduct on rehabilitation is being reviewed by the Association of British Insurers and the International Underwriting Association.
However, Thompsons’ experience of the attitude to rehabilitation by defendant insurance companies in personal injury claims has not been 100% positive. It appears that some insurers are reluctant to engage with the rehabilitation process or to offer interim payments to ensure that rehabilitation can take place at an early stage. In addition, some insurers seem to view rehabilitation as a means of getting injured clients back to work, before the client is fully fit and ready to return.
Judith Gledhill, Thompsons' head of personal injury said: “Our survey is evidence of the value of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation should however never be used as a stick to beat claimants with and compulsion should be out of the question. The reality for defendants is that rehabilitation 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.
“There is a rehabilitation code and if all parties act within the spirit of the code and ensure that claimants are offered and accept appropriate rehabilitation at an early stage, the outcome will generally be better for all involved in the litigation process. For insurers promotion of early rehabilitation will generally result in a reduction in the amount of damages and costs paid, whilst the injured person will have the benefit of input and treatment from experienced healthcare professionals.’’
A survey of Thompsons’ clients
- 100% of responders said rehabilitation helped in their recovery injuries
- 30% said it had helped them return to work earlier than they would otherwise have done (30% reflects the proportion of all respondents who were absent from work as a result of their injuries and where rehabilitation helped them to return to work).
- 100% said rehab had been a positive experience for them
- 80% said it had helped them return to their leisure pursuits
- 70% said it had reduced the amount of assistance they needed with day to day tasks
- 100% would recommend that we continue to offer rehab to clients.
- Respondents had an average of 6 sessions of rehab each.
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