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Tag Archive: Serious Injury Claims

Injuries are part and parcel of sport, but clubs and medical staff have a duty to put their long-term health first

Rugby Injury Guest Post with Jamie Peacock

By Jamie Peacock MBE, former England rugby league captain.

Over the past five or six years the protection of players following injuries in rugby league, particularly with regard to head injuries, has improved dramatically.

We now have clear protocols and systems in place to ensure players suffering any head injury during a game are only allowed to return to action when they are fully recovered and have proved, through a dedicated test, to be so.

At the start of each season, all players now have to undergo a concussion test which sets a recorded base level for the individual player. If they then suffer a knock to the head in any game, they have to be tested and meet that base level to return to the field.

You can’t just send your best player back out onto the field because it is a big game and he is crucial to your chances of winning. Player safety comes first.

It’s fair to say this was not the case in the early days of my career. In days past it was often the player’s decision, and in the heat of the battle, in a big game, no competitive player would choose not to continue.

I can remember a number of occasions when I’d tell our medical team that I felt fine to play on when I was still dazed and not sure where I was, either to get back out on the field or to prevent them from taking me off.

It’s that competitive spirit and desire to win.

Initially, the changes around head injuries were not something welcomed by many players.

I have to say that I have always been someone who believes it is my decision as to how much I put my body on the line. In the same way, I would probably now be against the introduction of head guards becoming mandatory. It’s just my nature.

Rugby players expect to get hurt and expect to have to go through pain to have success. But I think that we’ve now accepted as a collective sport, as individual players, and as coaches that players need extra protection, despite the pressure on all involved to win.

I have come to accept and understand that the safety of players has to come first, and that set standards and procedures are there for a very good reason.

Head injuries can have a life-changing impact, but when it comes to other lesser injuries, the right balance needs to be found between the decision of medical staff and that of a player who is desperate to play.

When is it right for a player to return from a lesser injury such as a back or hamstring strain, and who makes that decision?

With so much at stake in professional sport these days, striking that balance is difficult.

I’d suggest that if all players had to be 100% fit to play a game of rugby league, you’d hardly ever get two teams out on the field, or you’d have to play games much less regularly.

No matter what the medical opinion, most players would choose to play every week. But as sports professionals have short careers, decisions and treatment around injuries do need to be considered with a long-term view, rather than just with the next game in mind.

As I say, it is a difficult balance. Medical professionals have to put players first, but understand their desire to play.

Players have to understand the responsibility placed on their medical teams, and the sport as a whole.

We have come to accept that such decisions can’t always be made by players themselves, and that sports bodies and their clubs have a duty to care for players’ careers and long-term health.

Nobody can really argue with that.

Hudgell Solicitors offer rehabilitative support to sportsmen and women whose injuries have been poorly managed by medical staff. To find out more, visit our sports injury claims page or contact our team today.

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21/07/2017 No Comments

Hudgell Solicitors and Hastings Direct shortlisted at national Rehabilitation First Awards for support to man with life-changing injuries from RTA

rehab logo

Hudgell Solicitors has again been recognised for its dedication to making the rehabilitation of seriously injured people its top priority as it has been shortlisted at a prestigious awards event for the second year running.

The firm is again a finalist in the Rehabilitation First Awards, run by The Insurance Post to recognise the very best rehabilitation support provided to those most in need.

Hudgell Solicitors has been shortlisted in the Collaboration category for Rehabilitation Initiative of the Year, for its work with insurers Hastings Direct in supporting Thomas, 30, to rebuild his life after suffering life-changing injuries in an RTA in November 2013.

Thomas has benefitted from an ongoing package of physical, emotional and psychological support which has helped him to make an impressive recovery, and recently begin a University course in Occupational Therapy.

Thomas, who was aged 26 at the time of the accident, suffered a head injury, chest injury, fractured ribs and pneumothorax, fractured left tibia and fibula, fractured left scapular, damage to the liver and a perforated bowel.

When returning home from hospital two months later he was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), memory loss, nightmares and had difficulties with speech.

Solicitors and insurers worked together to identify ideal rehabilitation strategy

Experienced personal injury specialist Vicky Houghton, of Hudgell Solicitors, sought support from the outset from defendant insurers Hastings Direct in terms of covering the costs of a much-needed package of rehabilitation for Thomas.

Despite the matter of liability still being disputed in the legal case, Hastings Direct agreed to put the needs of Thomas first and cover the cost of his full rehabilitation.

An experienced case manager with extensive knowledge of the assessment and care of people with brain injuries was jointly appointed to oversee the rehabilitation support which has included a dedicated team of specialists including a consultant orthopedic surgeon, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, neuropsychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist.

Supportive approach of insurers helped ensure treatment matched client’s changing needs

Solicitor Vicky Houghton said: “We have been delighted with the success of collaboratively working with Hastings Direct to deliver a much-needed comprehensive package of rehabilitation support to Thomas via the claims process.

“At Hudgell Solicitors, we know the key to the best recovery is through providing a complete, tailored rehabilitation support package, and thanks to the great support of Katie Jamieson at Hastings Direct we have been able to do this.

“The willingness of Katie and her team at Hastings Direct to trust the expertise and knowledge of the case manager, and agree to cover the cost of updated support packages for Thomas over the past couple of years, has been outstanding.

“Crucially, this has ensured that we have been able to provide relevant and timely support, meaning there have been no breaks or delays in rehabilitation, ensuring continued progress over the years.”

Katie Jamieson, Senior Large and Complex Loss Handler at Hastings Direct, said: “As signatories to the Serious Injury Guide, Hastings fully supports putting the claimant at the heart of the process to ensure the best possible outcome. We are always willing to work collaboratively and consider early intervention rehabilitation.

“In Thomas’ case, once Hudgell Solicitors had hold of the case, the need for rehabilitation was identified and a collaborative approach adopted despite the fact liability had not yet been established.

“We have fully supported the rehabilitation programme in this case without seeing any medical reports to date, as we appreciate and understand that Thomas has required timely support, both physically and psychologically, to make the best possible recovery, and that his long-term prognosis is still to be fully assessed.

“Thomas has come a very long way thanks to the support and collective work of all involved. Everyone involved at Hastings Direct has been delighted to help make such a positive impact on Thomas’ journey.”

Read Thomas’ story

Hudgell Solicitors recognised for second year at Rehabilitation First Awards

The shortlisting for this year’s awards night comes on the back of similar recognition last year for Hudgell Solicitors.

In 2016, chief executive Amanda Stevens was presented with the ‘Outstanding Individual Achievement’ prize, an award selected by judges to recognise those who have ‘set themselves apart from their peers by the sheer weight and significance of their contribution to the UK rehabilitation industry.’

Hudgell Solicitors were highly commended in the Rehabilitation Initiative of the Year category for claimant solicitors, as judges were impressed by an ongoing package of financial, physical, psychological and personal support provided to a family left devastated by a road traffic accident in 2005, which tragically caused the death of a 29-year-old mother-of-three, and her six-year-old daughter.

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19/07/2017 No Comments

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