A revised version of the Rehabilitation Code, which has done so much to promote the cause of rehabilitation in the claims process, is launched. The new Code is a response to feedback from users and the changes they have requested.
The IUA-ABI Rehabilitation Working Party is also distributing a “Rehab Lite” version – a two-side, laminated summary. This is intended to help practitioners who want an easily accessible distillation of the main points.
The underlying principle of the Code remains the same: to encourage insurers and personal injury lawyers to work together to consider the wider needs of the claimant at the earliest practical moment.
Changes include a timetable setting out the key stages in implementing care, starting with an immediate needs assessment. The new Code is also less prescriptive, allowing more flexibility for the parties to take into account the individual circumstances and the needs of the claimant.
This is the second time the Code has been modified since it was launched in 1999. In that period hundreds of thousands of injured claimants have received treatment. The Code is widely accepted as a benchmark of good practice and is now appended to the personal injury pre-action protocol, the legal document that forms part of the court rules and prescribes good behaviour between opposing parties.
Here is the full text of The 2007 Rehabilitation Code. PDF versions of the Code and “Rehab Lite” can be downloaded from this page – see below.
1.1 The aim of this code is to promote the use of rehabilitation and early intervention in the compensation process so that the injured person makes the best and quickest possible medical, social and psychological recovery. This objective applies whatever the severity of the injuries sustained by the Claimant. The Code is designed to ensure that the Claimant’s need for rehabilitation is assessed and addressed as a priority, and that the process of so doing is pursued on a collaborative basis by the claimant’s lawyer and the compensator.
1.2 Therefore, in every case, where rehabilitation is likely to be of benefit, the earliest possible notification to the compensator of the claim and of the need for rehabilitation will be expected.
1.3 The purpose of the personal injury claims process is to put the individual back into the same position as he or she would have been in, had the accident not occurred, insofar as money can achieve that objective.The purpose of the rehabilitation code is to provide a framework within which the Claimant’s health, quality of life and ability to work are restored as far as possible before, or simultaneously with, the process of assessing compensation.
1.4 Although the Code is recognised by the Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol, its provisions are not mandatory. It is recognised that the aims of the Code can be achieved without strict adherence to the terms of the Code, and therefore it is open to the parties to agree an alternative framework to achieve the early rehabilitation of the Claimant.
1.5 However, the Code provides a useful framework within which Claimant’s lawyers and the compensator can work together to ensure that the needs of injured Claimants are assessed at an early stage.
1.6 In any case where agreement on liability is not reached it is open to the parties to agree that the Code will in any event operate, and the question of delay pending resolution of liability should be balanced with the interests of the injured party.However, unless so agreed, the Code does not apply in the absence of liability or prior to agreement on liability being reached.
1.7 In this code the expression “the compensator” shall include any loss adjuster, solicitor or other person acting on behalf of the compensator.