What Rehabilitation Can I Get after a Brain Injury Accident?
Many types of rehabilitation are available for people who’ve sustained a brain injury in an accident, such as:
- Pain management
- Residential assistance
As a Serious Injury Solicitor who specialises in Brain Injury Claims, it’s my job is to make sure that whoever is responsible for the accident that caused a brain injury, or their insurance company, pays compensation, so the injured person can be helped back into the position they were in before the accident happened; as much as possible.
That means getting them the help they need to live independently and cope with any physical or psychological problems that have been caused.
As part of that process, independent medical experts who specialise in brain injury assess the injured person and give their opinions on how the injury will affect them in the future.
Where possible, we’ll also employ a case manager before we get to this stage, often a former nurse or occupational therapist, so they can visit the injured person and their family. They can set out the immediate needs that should be dealt with and what it would cost to have these met privately. We can then ask the insurer to pay for this, provided they accept full or partial liability (fault).
The type of rehabilitation a person gets depends on the nature of their brain injury, and will be designed to help them deal with any problems they now have.
For more information on claiming compensation and accessing brain injury rehabilitation, get in touch with our Serious Injury Solicitors for a free claims assessment, and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation with you. We deal with many claims on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Why Rehabilitation is So Important
It’s said that the brain repairs itself after a trauma, but that this takes up to two years. Beyond that period, any problems that the brain injury has caused are usually permanent. So rehabilitation for the injury isn’t to cure these problems, but help brain injured people learn to live with them and overcome them, and enjoy a better quality of life.
The earlier that someone can have the help from clinicians who understand brain damage, the best chance the injured person has of maximising their recovery in those crucial two years post-accident.
Rehabilitation for Moderate Brain Injuries
Ironically, the more severe the injury, the better the assistance that’s usually provided, as brain injury units are dotted around the UK and patients can often be referred to them by the hospital that treated them or their GP.
I say ironically because those individuals who are so seriously injured that they need in-house care are often still likely to need huge assistance in the future.
The real problems surround what we call the walking wounded - people who’ve had a brain injury but look like they’ve made a complete recovery, except to trained professionals and those that know them well.
These people do have maybe a 10-20% change in their ability to function, which may present itself as:
- Short-term memory loss
- An inability to organise and motivate themselves
- General apathy towards life and work in general
- Great periods of fatigue, usually during a typical day because they have to concentrate far more than others when performing everyday tasks or making decisions
In some cases, it may show in the form of behavioural issues, such as acting inappropriately or like a child or teenager in situations where they’d once have been very focused and adult. Usually, family and friends are the first to notice these changes, which in some cases can prevent a brain injured person from returning to work.
Replacing work with meaningful activities, perhaps sheltered or voluntary work, can be a big help in this situation.
A brain injured person may also benefit from help from trained specialists known as enablers or buddies, who can work with them to help them regain their independence. This may involve:
- Taking someone to the gym
- Developing interests that help to fill the time lost by not being at work, such as fishing
A case manager may employ about three enablers to make sure there’s always sickness or holiday cover, or if one of them moves into a new job, as it’s unusual for a support worker to stay with the injured person for life.
Learning to Live Independently
A brain injury can mean many basic skills need to be learned or relearned. Also, memory issues could pose a safety risk, as a person may accidentally leave the cooker on, leave the front door open or misplace their keys.
An occupational therapist may be brought in to look at whether a brain injured person is able to cope at home, and provide training and therapy if there are any issues that need to be overcome.
Families and loved ones are at the heart of this therapy and the package put together by the case manager, and wherever possible, attempts are made to gradually try to bring normality back to the situation.
That means the injured person’s husband or wife, for instance, can stop being a carer and return to being a lover or friend, and be able to go back to a job they had to give up to take on caring responsibilities.
A brain injury can have a huge impact on often very stable loving relationships, so it’s important to help the injured person maintain these connections.
This case management package of care, therapy and support will continue while the brain injury claim is continuing. My job will be to make sure the insurance company pays for this and make sure the injured person gets the best possible rehabilitation package for life.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.