Rehabilitation for accident injury is the method and process of recovery following an injury, or coping in the best way possible with a lasting injury.
Whilst minor injuries will heal naturally, more serious injuries will need managed rehabilitation. The methods and processes of rehabilitation can be carried out in a variety of ways but generally when there has been a personal injury it will be either physical or psychiatric.
Physical rehabilitation if aimed at repairing injury that has occurred to the body while psychiatric rehabilitation is focused on healing the effects an injury may have had to the mind, for instance in cases of post traumatic stress disorder which some people suffer from after being involved in a serious accident.
It is not uncommon for people to have to deal with both the physical and psychological harm suffered as a result of a major accident.
Physical Accident Injury
Nearly all physical injuries will require some form of rehabilitation, whether they are simple cold presses for soft tissue injuries such as whiplash to power chairs for paraplegia.
Some basic equipment will be supplied by the NHS but where equipment is not supplied for free, claiming compensation for an injury that was not your fault is essential to ensure the funds are available for the costs of rehabilitation.
Where someone has been paralysed as a result of an accident there is various mobility equipment available to make coping with paralysis easier.
Whilst paralysis is incurable being able to buy the latest power chairs, stair lifts and other equipment, together with employing a carer will go a long way to helping with the quality of life beyond what is provided by the NHS. These are the types of costs that should be considered when making a compensation claim.
One main difficulty with paralysis – particularly paraplegia (paralysis of the legs) – is that it weakens the rest of the body leaving it extremely difficult to exercise the muscles.
Specialised training and physiotherapy on a regular basis with a physiotherapist is important to maintain fitness and good health.
There are a number of excellent trusts around to assist those with paralysis. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is committed to curing spinal cord injury by funding pioneering research, and improving the quality of life for anyone living with paralysis.
The charity Aspire also supports people with paralysis caused by spinal injury, by fund-raising, providing jobs and mobility aids.
Hearing & Eye Injuries
When an accident results in limited sight or hearing, lifestyles and possibly you job may have to change.
Compensation claims for industrial deafness are quite common. Where employers fail to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as ear protectors when employees are working in noisy areas, such as loud factory machines, industrial deafness could likely occur especially if the employee has been subjected to the noise levels for a significant period of time.
Accidents that lead to blindness are usually related to industrial incidents. This is also quite often the result of incorrect PPE being used, such as safety goggles that do not have side protection or worse still have none at all.
Eye injuries can be caused by head trauma, dirt and grit falling into the eye and intensely bright lights, which are all likely to happen in industrial occupations.
The NHS has a range of cochlear implants and hearing aids which are the most commonly used equipment for reduced. The range is however limited and many people opt to buy privately at an expense.
Also sign language lessons and books can also add to the cost when making a claim for industrial deafness.
For visual impairment and blindness Braille can be used as a replacement for reading. Again this also requires education and specialised equipment.
Fully blind people may have a guide dog. The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a charity that currently provides 4,500 dogs for blind and partially sighted people.
Supplies, advice and information can be found at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) who help nearly two million people with sight loss. The institute also organises events and helps those with sight loss find work.
Whiplash & soft tissue injury
A soft tissue injury such as whiplash normally sustained following a road traffic accident are the most common personal injury compensation claim received by solicitors.
Some people feel whiplash is part of today’s compensation culture and there is generally sniffed at as though it is not a credible injury.
Those that have suffered a whiplash injury will tell a different story as whiplash can be a very painful injury with 20% of people still having symptoms over a year later.
Many different methods are used to alleviate pain and cope with the stress and discomfort.
Heat packs, ice sprays, slings, neck supports, wrist splints and orthopedic pillows are all useful to reduce pain temporarily.
Physiotherapy is also recommended, especially when pain persists. Massage and acupuncture are less traditional methods but they have been known to have positive results.
The pain from whiplash can make it difficult to sleep and perform daily activities which can cause a great amount of distress. Counselling is often recommended when this happens as the stress can continue even when the physical pain has stopped.
Breaks & Cuts
Standard breaks and cuts also need a period of rehabilitation. One of the biggest setbacks for these types of minor injury is lost work days – especially for those in jobs that involve manual labour. A broken leg or arm can also make travelling difficult no matter what method of transport you rely on.
It is important to take note of lost work days and missed events that were caused by your injury as it is all considered when you take out your claim.
The DT (Disabilities Trust) Group offers services for those with a range of disabilities, including paralysis and brain injury. As an overarching trust, it is one of the largest charities in Britain and has set up a foundation to share its expertise and pilot new ideas in improving healthcare and welfare for disabled people.
If you have suffered an accident injury as a result of someone else’s negligence then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Please call our friendly and experienced claims advisers now to find out if you can make a compensation claim.
Psychiatric Accident Injury
Psychiatric recovery can take a long time, and some injuries unfortunately may never be cured. The two most common methods to improve mental well-being are psychotherapy, and medication.
Therapy, following an accident injury is very important for the patient to return to their previous way of living and a common issue for claims is post-traumatic stress disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder which occurs after a very stressful (or traumatic) event. It can attack immediately after an event, or can take years to develop.
Most traumatic events would not count as accidents. For instance, witnessing a violent death, or natural disaster, may come under criminal law. However, a serious road traffic accident is one of the biggest causes of PTSD. Medication and psychotherapy are vital for recovering from the worst cases but psychotherapy is usually the first port of call.
PTSD has been known to be successfully treated many years after its origin so it is never too late to seek help. Two thirds of people who develop symptoms usually recover within a few weeks, so there is a method of treatment called ‘watchful waiting’. As it sounds, this involves carefully monitoring of the sufferer to see if symptoms worsen, or improve.
A follow-up appointment will usually take place after a month but, if symptoms have worsened, treatment will be necessary. This will be through psychotherapy, where issues and emotions are discussed with mental health professionals like psychologists and psychiatrists.
There are two main types of psychotherapy that are used for PTSD: cognitive behavioural therapy (or CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
CBT involves talking through the traumatic experience with a therapist for around 90 minutes a week for 8-12 weeks. It focuses on removing blame from the situation, and establishing an acceptance of the experience. The therapist may also encourage gradually returning to old habits and activities, such as driving and sports, depending of course on any physical injuries.
EMDR is similar to CBT in that the patient is asked to recall the traumatic incident. However, this is combined with moving the eyes from side to side. It isn’t entirely clear how this works but it is thought that it allows the hippocampus (the affected part of the brain) to process the memory better and reduces its influence in the mind. Some people disagree with this method however, and say that the recalling alone helps, with, or without eye movement.
Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder may also require medication. This will only be if psychological treatment is insufficient, perhaps due to the severity of the condition. Medication will usually consist of antidepressants such as paroxetine, and it may last for 12 months if effective. Medication is not usually recommended for children: instead trauma-focused CBT is mostly used.
Brain injury foundations, such as Headway and the Brain Injuries Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT), aim to give help to survivors, as well as to families, carers and professionals through more than 120 groups and branches that provide physical, cognitive and social rehabilitation for injuries that lead to mental issues.
The Priory Group is more psychologically based, providing mental care for over 70 different conditions including stress, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It has over 275 facilities across Britain.
Please contact us today and speak directly to our experienced personal injury solicitors who will be able to off help and support and answer any questions you may have regarding rehabilitation for an accident injury.