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Peter Reid, litigation executive at Minster Law, talks about the benefits of having a case manager involved as early as possible on non-catastrophic cases.

On the surface some cases may not seem suitable for a case manager as the client may appear to require straight forward physiotherapy or psychological treatment which could be dealt with by a standard treatment provider. The client may also have reasonable mobility and support from friends and family to help them with domestic duties as they recover following their injury.

However, cases involving, what seem at the start, to be straight forward fractures and possible surgeries, needing standard treatment to aid recovery can develop to an extent that further and more complex treatment is required.

As such it is important to have a case manager involved as early as possible on these cases. They can facilitate the initial treatment such as physiotherapist and monitor the recovery and consider the need for further complex treatment as and when required. They can remain in touch with the claimant up until the receipt of medico legal reports and assist with any treatments that are recommended by the medico legal experts, such as surgery and pain management programmes. They can also help put in place any recommended radiology that would speed up the claims process for all involved.

I would like to share two examples of early involvement by case managers who initially arranged physiotherapy before then getting involved in more complex treatment following the receipt of medico legal evidence.

In the first example a case manager was instructed on a case involving a motorcyclist who suffered a fractured collarbone. They were initially instructed to facilitate physiotherapy for the client, but following a medico legal examination, the client was recommended for surgery. The case manager was able to arrange a private orthopaedic surgeon consultation to arrange the required surgical intervention. The case manager liaised with Minster Law, the client, defendant insurers and the orthopaedic surgeon to ensure surgery was arranged and funded. The involvement of the case manager was vital, as trust was already in place with all parties and a swift surgical date was arranged. The client underwent successful surgery followed by further physiotherapy and a gym membership which has allowed the client to return work and move forward with his life much earlier than if the case manager had not been involved.

On the second example, a case manager was instructed on a case involving a motorcyclist who suffered a fractured leg which required surgery and the insertion of metal work. The case manager was initially instructed to facilitate physiotherapy for the claimant which took place swiftly and saw the client improve well physically. The client subsequently struggled with psychological symptoms and CBT treatment was also arranged once the NHS treatment had ceased. The client was also left with significant scarring following his surgery and after a medico legal examination with a plastic surgeon, arranged by the case manager, some scar revision was recommended, with the treatment due to take place shortly. Again, this would not be able to take place so swiftly if a case manager was not on board from the outset.

These examples give a good indication that the involvement of a case manager is vital on a variety of cases, not just those which are catastrophic, as they can lead to swift interventions when more complex treatment is required during the development of the claim.

Without a case manager being in place in the above examples, there could have been significant delays whilst case manager nominations were made and CVs studied. It then takes time for an immediate needs assessment to take place and trust to be built between the client and case manager in order for the client to agree with the steps being put in place to aid their recovery and also for the defendant insurers to agree funding.  It also helps provide a smooth transition should further, more complex treatments be required.