What Can I Do if I Need Non-Financial Help?
Every citizen has a right to claim compensation for an injury or loss that they have sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Through a fairly simple legal process, damages can be awarded to these individuals in order to recompense them for that injury or loss. The British compensation process is geared very much towards financial assistance to complainants – but what options are available to those who require non-financial help?
In reality, there are few legally established methods by which non-financial help can be given to those who are in these circumstances. The courts offer damages that are seen to be proportionate to the injury suffered, taking into account easily quantifiable aspects such as lost earnings or alterations to the home that have been required as a result of the injury. Furthermore, the award will take into account any lasting impact on the quality of life of the complainant and will recompense them accordingly.
RehabilitationIn serious personal injury cases, however, rehabilitation is of paramount importance to the complainant. For example, in circumstances in which the individual has sustained brain or spine injuries, perhaps the most important aspect of recovery is efficient and sustained medical treatment.
The compensation process does not facilitate ‘early intervention’ for these injuries. This means that, while a court may rule that the negligent party must contribute to the continued medical care required by the injured individual, no provisions are made for rehabilitation or medical care that is required between the times at which the injury is sustained at the eventual settlement.
Interim FundingThere are ways around this significant problem. Some more reputable personal injury solicitors can offer what is known as ‘interim funding’ to ensure that sufficient care is received before the settlement of the case in court. This funding might be sought by those who have sustained serious injuries but cannot afford to pay for the care that they require.
Some solicitors will appoint a medical practitioner to individual cases of this kind; this practitioner will ensure that the rehabilitation process is started as quickly as possible, and that its efficiency is therefore maximised.
Interim funding is seldom available for all but the most open-and-shut cases. Solicitors will generally only offer this facility in instances in which it is clear that the case will be successful, as they essentially finance it themselves. The costs of this care will then be deducted from the eventual compensation settlement.
TestimonyThere are other benefits associated with the appointment of an individual medical practitioner to your case. Primarily, it should be remembered that the damages awarded will depend upon the severity of the case and the impact that the injury has had on the day-to-day life of the complainant. A medical practitioner will be able to give expert testimony regarding the nature of the injuries and the long-term care that might be necessary.
In the final settlement, the judge will take into account this testimony and will award damages accordingly. As a result, if it is ascertained that continued care will be required, the compensation payment should be sufficient to meet the costs of this care. It should also be remembered that the interim funding put up by the solicitor will be paid for from the compensation award.