Code Of Practice

    Solicitors can choose to subscribe to a code of practice which sets out a framework for any agreements between them and the compensators (usually insurance companies), to make sure that the needs of the claimant (the injured party) are paramount.

    Purpose

    The code was developed to help claimants make claims that are quick and beneficial to them, with the main focus on their financial, physical, mental or emotional recovery from their injury.

    The individual person should be restored to the position they were in before the accident, including their health, independence, ability to work and quality of life.

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    When does the code apply?

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    The code applies from the moment the claimant’s needs are first assessed to the conclusion of their claim. There is no set process which must be followed, but rather, it is assumed that parties collaborate with each other to ensure the guidelines are met. It is irrelevant whether the claim is for a large or small amount, or whether the injured party suffered a minor or severe injury – the code still applies, although its aims may vary. There are specific provisions for certain types of claim however, due to the recognition that claimants will benefit from clearly defined rules regarding them:

     Lower-value claims (below £25,000)

    Soft tissue injury claims

    Higher-value claims (£25,000 and above)

    Cases will be decided on their merits though, with apparently ‘minor’ claims sometimes having a long-lasting impact on a claimant and the rules for higher-value claims therefore applying to them.

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    Rehabilitation

    One of the key benefits of following this framework is that it promotes early rehabilitation, which benefits the individual personally and also offers economic benefits to both the individual and society.

    This should be sought even when there is no admission of liability by the defender of the claim, because early treatment can have long-term impact on both their ability to recover and the time it takes them to do so.

    Even when there is no immediate admission of liability, the defender is encouraged to consider whether there may be a partial admission later on in the claim, in order to agree to rehabilitation.

    Duties under the code

    The solicitor will:

    • Consider if there is a need for mobility aids, employment adjustments, or alternative work roles.
    • Work with the claimant’s employers to secure practical and proportionate workplace adjustments.
    • Communicate these needs to the compensator to ensure all rehabilitation needs are collaborated on.
    • Discuss any suggestions for rehabilitation with the claimant and their family as soon as possible and reply to the compensator within 21 days.
    • Ensure there is no conflict between this suggestion and any medical interventions.
    • Appoint a Case Manager for claimants with particularly severe injuries.

    The compensator will:

    • Consider at the earliest stage whether claimant would benefit from rehabilitation or medical treatment.
    • Work collaboratively with the claimant and their solicitor to address these needs.
    • Respond to the solicitor’s request for rehabilitation within 21 days, confirming or rejecting it.

    Scot Accident Claims subscribes to the Code of Practice.

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