Catastrophic injury claims—preliminary considerations
Produced in partnership with Andrew Wilson

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note produced in partnership with Andrew Wilson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Catastrophic injury claims—preliminary considerations
  • Definition of catastrophic injury
  • Nature of the role of claimant’s solicitor
  • Liability
  • Limitation
  • Cases outside the Limitation Act 1980
  • Limitation and ‘protected parties’
  • Funding the claim
  • Rehabilitation
  • General
  • More...

Catastrophic injury claims—preliminary considerations

Definition of catastrophic injury

It is common for practitioners to categorise only the most severe of injuries as 'catastrophic' injury. This might restrict the classification to injuries so severe that they render the victim dependent on round-the-clock care.

These Practice Notes have not adopted such a restrictive and precise definition or classification. Rather, they cater for cases of injury which will change the claimant’s life permanently, often depriving them of the capacity for fully independent living and reducing or removing their ability to work. Where the change brought about by the accident and resulting disability is so fundamental, the quantum of the award obtained will have a very significant impact on the quality of life that the claimant (and very often their family) is able to enjoy.

Nature of the role of claimant’s solicitor

In the catastrophic injury case, the claimant’s solicitor may first be instructed when the claimant is still hospitalised and domestic life is on hold. As the claimant progresses from the acute stage of injury and on to discharge from hospital inpatient care, the practitioner must be alert to the need to, at the very least, be involved in establishing what assistance can be obtained for them. The enquiries may be with:

  1. local social services—regarding care, accommodation and therapies

  2. state benefits agencies

  3. local branches of charities or other support organisations

The claimant practitioner

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