BOOK REVIEW: GUIDE TO CATASTROPHIC INJURY CLAIMS
I have been sent a copy of the 3rd edition of the Guide to Catastrophic Injury Claims by Stuart McKechnie QC and others. I can review it briefly. This is a book that needs to be on your shelf if you are involved in any kind of work relating to major injuries. It covers all the bases in a practical and reader friendly way.
DECLARING AN INTEREST
Many years ago I was on the APIL publications committee at the time when this series of books was being planned. We knew what we wanted – books that were practical and of direct help to practitioners. I don’t think we ever anticipated that the series would ever by as popular as it is, or that that we would get books of this quality.
WHERE DO I START?
The book starts with an introduction to the role of solicitor/practitioner in a catastrophic injuries claim. It covers everything from first instructions/evidence funding, and QOCS. It goes on to cover pre-action steps, capacity, the pre-action stages.
One matter of particular importance is the chapter on witness statements, and the matters that statements need to cover in catastrophic injury cases. There is detailed guidance as to the matters that statements need to cover and who should give those statements. There is a reminder of the practical difficulties, in head injury cases the claimant can fall out with family and friends.
Most of the issues a practitioner faces when dealing with catastrophic cases are considered in this book, after dealing with dealing with experts it goes on with specific chapters including:
- Neuropsychological injures.
- Traumatic brain injury.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Psychiatric injury.
- Birth brain injury.
- Pain after catastrophic injury.
- Life expectancy
- Neuro-imaging for Traumatic Brain Injury.
REHABILITATION AND INTERIM PAYMENTS
Those most important aspect of most of these cases is dealt with in chapters 2 and 4. Firstly rehabilitation where chapter 2 stresses the proactive approach and takes you through the Guide to Conduct of Cases Involving Serious Injury and APIL’s Best Practice Guide on rehabilitation. The importance of getting interim payments is stressed and the procedure, is set out in detail.
Chapter 19 is deals with every item of damages, PSLA, special damages, heads of loss, periodical payments and provisional damages. This chapter alone is just under 100 pages. It is complemented by three model schedules and a draft model periodical payments order and schedule.
THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS
- Do you need this book if you are involved in serious personal injury work? Yes.
- Is it value for money? Yes.
In fact this book could save hours and hours of non-chargeable time. It will be £129,99 well spent.