What is a case manager?
A case manager is someone who is appointed to support you with your rehabilitation. Case management is about assessing your needs and linking you with right resources and services to help you maximise your quality of life. The role of case manager is incredibly important and they will work closely with you to understand your short and long-term needs.
Case managers are usually employed following an accident, whether that’s road traffic or an accident at work, that results in serious injuries such as brain or spinal injury, following an amputation, or as a result of medical negligence that causes life-altering injuries.
What is the role of a case manager?
The case manager’s role is a wide and varied one, but their primary duty is to the injured claimant, regardless of who's paying for the rehabilitation. Case management involves planning, implementing, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the options and services available that will help meet your needs. The overall aim is to help you return to your pre-injury quality of life as closely as possible.
Some of the areas a case manager may get involved with include:
- Setting up and monitoring your commercial care regime
- Finding appropriate accommodation if your current residence is unsuitable
- Coordinating with various health and social services to ensure your needs can be met and ascertain how much funding would be required
- Liaising with statutory and private therapy and rehabilitation services
- Arranging or organising assessments with statutory and private healthcare professionals, including therapists, psychologists and other professional services, such as orthotics
- Ensuring you have the correct equipment that will help promote confidence, increase independence and aid comfort and safety
- Working closely with you and your family. Offering help, support and guidance
Find out how a case manager we appointed helped coordinate the rehabilitation of our client who suffered severe spinal cord injuries following a road traffic accident.
Why is a case manager needed?
Personal injury and medical negligence claims can be long and complex. The case manager role is vital in helping you secure the compensation you need for the best quality of life possible.
A case manager will assess your needs and identify the best course of action. They are responsible for carrying out an Immediate Needs Assessment. This report is essential for identifying how the injuries sustained have and could impact your ability to carry out all aspects of everyday life.
After the assessment, the case manager will create a personalised care plan that ensures your needs are met on a long-term basis, not just for the duration of the litigation process. It is the case manager's advice and connections that can help speed up the whole rehabilitation process.
Holding a wealth of knowledge about rehabilitation and care, case managers provide invaluable insight for your litigation team. Alongside helping the legal team access medical records and funding costs, the case manager can often act as a mediator.
How long does case management last?
Like any personal injury or medical negligence claim, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. Because every case and client is unique, the duration of a case manager’s involvement is dependent on a number of factors.
Case management can be specific and short-term, for example, to source rehabilitation facilities. Or it can be a long-term process, such as assisting with complex needs that will require lifelong care.
When will a case manager be appointed?
When a case manager will be appointed depends on whether you are involved in a personal injury claim or a medical negligence claim.
A case manager will usually be appointed following an independent assessment of your needs. They will then act as a liaison between you, your solicitor and healthcare providers.
In a personal injury claim, a case manager will be appointed as soon as possible under The Rehabilitation Code. This is usually within 21 days of starting the claims process. In a medical negligence case, a case manager will often be appointed once liability is established and interim funds have been secured to fund the rehabilitation.
How is a case manager chosen?
It is the responsibility of your solicitor to appoint a case manager. The solicitor will conduct an assessment to ensure they are suitably qualified and are a good match with you because of the close level of interaction required. Sometimes your solicitor will arrange for you to meet with a number of case managers to see who is the best fit as it is important that you feel comfortable working with them.
Consideration will also be given to the case manager’s qualifications, experience, areas of specialism, as well as professional memberships they hold. It is also vital that they have up-to-date knowledge within their professional area.
As part of Shoosmiths' due diligence, we will work with you to ensure your case manager is suitable for you and your needs.
Who pays for a case manager?
If you're pursuing a personal injury, case management is funded by the insurers of the defendant under The Rehabilitation Code.
That is what we secured for our client Mr. Smith, who sustained physical and psychological injuries following a serious road traffic accident. Under The Rehabilitation Code, we were able to appoint a case manager who took care of his needs following his release from hospital. Read about how Shoosmiths helped Mr. Smith get his life back on track with the help of our appointed case manager.
If you're pursuing a medical negligence claim, liability must be established before funds can be obtained as interim payment from the defendant.
Are there specific case manager qualifications?
Case management requires extensive expertise, as well as a compassionate approach to dealing with individuals and their families who have undergone a traumatic experience.
Case managers play a pivotal role in ensuring you receive the care you need. They should have excellent communication skills and understand your short and long-term needs.
Case managers may have a degree in a related field, such as nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy or osteopathy. Often they will be a registered nurse or social worker.