Building a Compensation claim.
Making a successful claim for personal injuries is frequently compared by legal practitioners as similar in many ways to building a house. You start with the raw materials being an injured person; maybe some information about how the accident happened, the nature of the injuries and perhaps some details of the losses caused.
Having resolved the blame aspect, the foundation to constructing your successful case is reliable, comprehensive and detailed medical evidence. This report then becomes the cornerstone upon which the case is built. But how do you know your foundations are solid?
Pawel Oltuszyk, Director of Optimal Med Ltd, a specialist medico-legal reporting agency says “There are two key features of any request for examination. The first is knowing what expert will do the best job for the client. The second is knowing what the clients specific needs are.” He says that thorough vetting of any proposed expert is essential to ensure that they properly understand what factors can enhance the merits of the case. “There is no point sending a client to see an expert who has no idea about the many factors that influence a positive outcome.” Moreover, he says that in his experience there is no such thing as an “average” client. “Everyone is different. Typically we are arranging examinations for clients who have cultural or language barriers, who cannot properly express themselves at examination.” He sees the route to success as being to engage with the clients to discuss their injuries and any specific requirements with them before making any decision about the right expert for the job. In his view it’s a marriage of client with expert that leads to a successful case report.
Many clients come to Optimal Med not knowing why they are sent to the medico-legal agency nor what to expect. Sometimes clients are very wary about why they have been asked to see a doctor, presuming this must be to get treatment for their injuries. Some clients even wrongly believe it is the opposing insurer who has sent them to the expert as a means of trying to invalidate their whiplash claim. Clearly, communication is the key. Sometimes clients need the services of a translator, or assistance in getting to the examination, both of which Optimal Med are happy to provide.
The service doesn’t however end once the client has seen the expert. Reports once received have to be carefully proof read to ensure accuracy and quality of reporting. Feedback to the expert of any issues is a key quality control factor. Frequently, the expert will mention treatment needs, diagnostic tests or recommend examination by a different expert, all of which require follow up by the Agency. “Sometimes it is difficult arranging the right treatment in the locality of the client, but we haven’t been beaten yet!” says Pawel.
With all of the ingredients provided by a reputable medico-legal agency the groundwork has been done and hopefully a solid foundation laid. Then it’s over to the caseworkers to build upwards with details of losses, culminating in a professional, well built, secure and successful personal injury compensation claim.