Should Radical Treatments Be Included In Costs?

In the ever evolving climate of medical science, we are finding new ways to compensate for injuries that heavy affect our life. Amputations for example have evolved from simple wooden replacement limbs to electronic and bionic limbs. Despite being expensive, we ask should these be included in personal injury claim costs?

New, expensive technology to be part of compensation?

Medical Advances

Back in February we looked at the history of prosthetic limbs. The article explored how much we’ve evolved from the first prosthetics, through to bionic devices which are now able to utilise brainwaves to move.

The newest brands of prosthetic limbs are more than simply replacements that look like the real article, they often now look to perform like the real article, and with more time and research could perform like the real article through the use of thought, just like a natural limb.

 

Prosthetics and Injury Claims

In the past, with prosthetic limbs being more primitive and easier to maintain, calculating the cost of the limb and its maintenance would be simple. With such advanced prosthetics available now, solicitors are requiring to think about demanding higher damages in order to give clients the closest possible replacement following an amputation with little to no compromise on the quality.

While the cost of prosthetics are increasing, along with the complexity of them, it is argued that no injury victim deserves compromise when it comes to attempting to put their life back as it was. With an amputation, we cannot replace the natural limb. However, we are able to try to get as close to a natural limb as possible. In the past this would be a wooden replacement. Eventually it became a lifelike plastic limb. In 2016, we have the ability to have a limb that reacts like a natural one.

In a piece for Solicitors Journal, serious injury specialist, Suzanna Trask, wrote “The compensatory nature of damages aims, as far as is possible, to put the claimant back into the position they would have been in, had the negligence not occurred. This means that it is open to the claimant to claim the cost of any available technology or development which an expert reports is likely to help them.”

“A claim should include not only the initial cost, but the price of ongoing maintenance and replacements or further necessary treatment during the life of the claimant.”

 

Is technology necessary?

In each case, the judge holds ultimate decision making power on what they feel to be “reasonable” in order to meet the needs of the injured party. They will be able to decide if a costly, high maintenance new limb is adequate compensation for the damage caused by the defendant.

Porsthetics and personal injury

In any personal injury case, what is considered as reasonable compensation is argued at length,  in order to set the injured person back to how their life was before the incident (as close as possible). With groundbreaking transplants now being performed,  including the UK’s first double hand transplant, which happened recently, we will soon be able to gauge the usefulness of the more high tech equipment and its ability to return a person to life as they knew it.

For more information on the effect of serious injury (including amputation) and what a solicitors firm such as ourselve does for our clients during a claim, you can visit our website here.

Serious injury cases require much more attention and expertise than other injuries, often requiring expert help like physiotherapists, doctors and councillors. We have spent more than 26 years building those links to help all of our clients with should they need them during their recovery.

For free advice on how we could help you or one of your family members or even a friend, call us today on 0800 092 2896 (lines are open weekdays from 9am to 7pm). Alternatively, you can get in touch using our online contact form here.

 

Brain Injured Teen’s Mother Backs New Research

One of the major problems of fully understanding the damage caused to brain cells in a brain injury is properly analysis of problems following brain injury due to the limitation of existing scanners. This is something that Action Medical Research (a brain injury charity) wishes to address.

New drug could limit brain injury damage

Understanding Kira

Erika Cullen’s daughter Kira suffered a head injury in a car crash aged 2. The crash left her unable to use her left arm and has also left her unable to perform numerous daily tasks including eating and washing.

In an interview with the Argus, Erika is glad that she retained her personality and happiness in life despite the injuries, saying: “She’s got the same happy personality she had before her head injury. Thankfully, she has no real understanding of what has happened to her. Kira is able to talk, but her speech is limited. She can read at about the level of a six or seven-year-old.”

Kira retaining her personality and not understanding her injury is something that Erika has come to learn through time, Kira now being 16, but one struggle for parents when a child suffers brain injury is that they often can’t tell what is going to happen to their child’s cognitive powers, physical powers and personality. This is something Action Medical Research are currently working on.

 

Better Scans

Action Medical Research is looking into the development of better scanning technology which can better diagnose problems following brain injury. Currently working alongside the Imperial College in London, they are searching for a way to help doctors “predict” how a brain injury will affect a child by looking at individual sections of brain.

Kira’s mother said of the research “The brain is so complex. There definitely needs to be more research into how different parts of the brain are used, and whether memory can be improved to help children in their everyday life.”

“I would love to know more about what Kira is able to understand and whether she thinks ahead.”

Other research in association with universities in Exeter and East Anglia are looking into the use of computer assisted learning programmes to try and boost memory, academic performance and social skills following a brain injury.

Action Medical Research Charity Logo

More Info

If you’d like to know more about brain injuries, you can take a look at our brain injury pages here. Sincere Law are specialist serious injury solicitors and have worked for years alongside charities and specialists to ensure all of our previous clients’ needs are met.

Brain injuries take huge tolls on the sufferer and their family, often affecting everyday life and working commitments for all involved. We are often required to appoint a team of experts to calculate what care is needed and how much it will cost post injury.

If you’d like to speak to one of our advisers for free, impartial, conscientious advice please don’t hesitate and call 0800 092 2896. Alternatively you can get in touch via our contact page online also.

 

New drug could limit brain injury damage

A late trial has begun to test a drug which could limit the damage done by traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Conducted by pharma company Vsopharm, the test hopes to show the drug can limit secondary problems that come with brain injuries.

New drug could limit brain injury damage

Traumatic Injuries

In the EU each year 1.6 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries. Of which 70,000 die and 100,000 suffer from disabilities. TBIs can leave some of the most devastating effects for sufferers including:

  • Cognitive problems
  • Communication difficulties
  • Reduced awareness
  • Emotional & behavioural problems
  • Affected mobility
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Weakness of muscles
  • Paralysis

Most TBIs require families and friends of the sufferer to take a large role in the care and welfare post injury. This could include handling their finances if they have suffered cognitive problems and helping to complete basic daily tasks. Doing so however puts a lot of strain on those that do help; financial, emotional and physical.

Sincere Law’s job with any traumatic brain injury is to assemble a team of experts able to properly plan ahead for the sufferer and their family to reduce the physical, emotional and financial strain long term following injury.

 

New Drugs

The new drug being tested has been given the name VAS203 or “Ronopterin” has been enrolled in third stage testing with first estimated results scheduled initially to be mid 2019.The drug’s ingredients assist the production of key enzymes which help brain and body functions.

Phase 2 of the testing was successful following delivery in 6 and 12 month trials ensuring it showed improvements to patients in both the long and short term. The third phase of testing will see VAS203 being given to 232 patients suffering moderate to severe TBI in 35 European countries including Austria, France, Germany, Spain and the UK among others.

Vasopharmss CEO, Mr Christian Wandersee said of the third stage of testing:

“The phase III trial is a key test to confirm our belief in the clinical efficacy of ronopternin (VAS203) and its role in the treatment of moderately to severely injured closed head traumatic brain injury patients and leads us another step closer to bringing a drug for a highly unmet need to market. We believe VAS203 will provide physicians with a real opportunity to improve long-term outcomes for patients with this devastating condition.”

Incorrect prescriptions can cause serious injury - Sincere Law

For more information on brain injuries including TBI, you can visit our brain injury page here. Sincere Law are specialists in serious injury cases. If you, a friend or family member have suffered a serious injury as a result of negligence you can call 0800 092 2896 for free, impartial, confidential, conscientious advice from one of our team.

We also have a contact page where you can get in touch directly. We ensure a professional service with links to the best medical, financial and psychological assistance in the UK. If you need advice on planning through a serious injury, call Sincere Law today.

 

Optometrist Given Suspended Sentence for Negligent Manslaughter

Optometrist Honey Rose who is being held responsible for the death of child Vincent Barker back in 2013, has been sentenced at Ipswich crown court.

The gross negligence manslaughter case over optometrist has finished

Sentencing

Miss Rose was found guilty during the summer and was scheduled to be sentenced at the end of the summer. Following her hearing, she was given a two year suspended sentence involving 200 hours of unpaid work. The judge for the trial, Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith had said it was the first trial like it he had proceeded over.

In 2013, Miss Rose carried out what was meant to be a routine eye examination and didn’t pick up on a build-up of fluid which eventually led to the boy’s death. The case presented by Vincent’s parents was that Miss Rose was negligent in her duty and should have picked up on the problem and suggested treatment. Meanwhile, Miss Rose’s team defended her by stating it was not beyond reasonable doubt that she could have missed the problem during the check-up.

While the sentence is a measure of justice for young Vincent, his parents will not be celebrating. Afterwards they admitted “The outcome of this case does not change our life sentence; we will never be able to fully accept that our special little boy is never coming home.”

 

The cost of a life

As serious injury solicitors, Sincere Law has witnessed the impact that a loss of life can have on a family (particularly a young life). A fatality not only leaves a large emotional void for those left behind, which can never be filled, it also robs the opportunity for the person involved to grow up, enjoy life and fulfil their potential.

In cases such as these it is common for us to arrange for a specialist team to help those left not only organise necessary requirements and grieve, but also to ensure they have the best possible mindset following a death.

It is not easy to return to work or regular life after losing a family member, whether it is a child or adult. We often arrange a team of experts dedicated to sorting any further financial and emotional support to those left behind. In the case of Vincent this would possibly be part of the case to help his parents try and get back to everyday life.

Medical Negligence Severity

Any instance of medical negligence has the potential to be serious or fatal. When a doctor, nurse, GP or any medical professional does not fulfil their duty of care it can have very serious consequences as evidenced.

With the medical world involving drugs, dangerous medical equipment and procedures, it can be no surprise that the smallest issue can lead to a very serious medical negligence claim which involves arranging prolonged treatment, recovery, financial planning and aftercare.

If you would like to know more about how Sincere Law assists with the healing process following a serious injury or death, you can call one of our advisers for free, impartial advice on 0800 092 2896.

If you feel you, a friend or family member may wish to make a serious injury claim and gain a measure of justice for injuries caused, you can either call our number above on weekdays from 9am to 7pm or get in touch via our contact page here.