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.

 

500 Injured in UK theme Parks in 2015/16

Statistics have emerged indicating that the UK currently holds a particularly dismal record of safety at it’s theme and amusement parks. The new figures reveal that over 500 people per year suffer injuries from malfunctioning rides leading to us to ask, is it time for the government to look into the safety records and regulations of UK parks to ensure this number drops?

 

Two major incidents

Over the last 12 months, Sincere Law has commented on two serious incidents in two UK theme parks. Last year, it was well documented the extent of the injuries suffered by those on board The Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers, when it malfunctioned and crashed, causing multiple passengers to require amputations. More recently a crash at M&D’s theme park in Scotland occurred when a car derailed causing multiple injuries to passengers which included children, many of them being kept in hospital for weeks.

In both cases, park officials were adamant that the safety standards were being adhered to and that they were freak accidents. These, plus a host of other injuries at local funfairs reported in the last 12 months, has in total led to 500 injury cases in the UK. This is up from a reported 489 in the 2014/15 season (of which around 120 were serious enough to require an investigation).

The Smiler ride required multiple riders to have amputation injuries

 

Tighter legislation?

Given the potential risks of injury (particularly among the larger rollercoasters and thrill rides) to those on board, the statistics create a worrying picture. Ideally the UK would like to have a zero injury rate but with increasing numbers year-on -year, could beg the question “do we need tighter health and safety regulation on theme parks?”.

Doing so could be problematic when dealing with small, travelling funfairs. This is because the owners of these can attempt to avoid investigation and fines easier than the static theme parks like Alton Towers, Thorpe Park or M&D’s. There is also the fact that theme parks are already subject to stringent health and safety laws.

Sincere Law’s Head of Catastrophic Injury, Chris Walker, believes that it is the tightening of safety laws AND the management of staff that could be the key to lowering the number of injured.

He pointed out that a lot of injuries are the result of faults not being picked up when checking a ride.

“Many injuries sustained at theme parks are often due to mistakes made when inspecting rides. This element of human error is the biggest risk when it comes to safety in theme parks. To lower the number of injured each year, there must be safeguards in place to hold people accountable for not carrying out proper checks and also ensure that these errors do not happen in the first place”.

Theme park accidents can cause a host of serious injuries

Will theme parks learn the lessons of the past few years and combat the rising number of injured in the 2016/17 season? Only time will tell.

Having dealt with clients facing this situation previously, Sincere Law can ensure that, in the instance that you or someone close to you suffers a serious injury at a theme park, you will receive the right level of support and care you need to recover.

For more information or to get some free advice without obligation call us today on 0800 092 2896 (lines are open from 9am to 7pm).

Alternatively you can get I touch using our contact form or arrange a for us to call you at a more convenient time using our request a callback feature.