You may be entitled to private medical treatment after an accident
August 18, 2014
If you are involved in an accident that wasn't your fault, you may be able to make a claim against the person who caused the accident for compensation for your injuries and any loss of earnings. You may not realise that you could also claim the cost of private medical treatment if you need it.
Almost inevitably, the NHS will provide the initial emergency treatment you need whether you need an ambulance to take you to the emergency department or you visit your GP. The insurers of the negligent party will normally have to repay the costs of this initial treatment to the NHS if you make a claim for compensation.
You may spend time in hospital or have to return as an outpatient to the fracture clinic. But it’s quite likely that the NHS will only provide a limited amount of follow up treatment such as physiotherapy or treatment from an osteopath or chiropractor.
If you are lucky enough to have private health insurance, it may well cover you for the cost of any therapies you need. Normally, your insurers will then ask you to recover their outlay as part of your claim.
But there is good news too for people who don’t have medical insurance. The Rehabilitation Code agreed between solicitors and insurers says that both sides of the claim should consider what rehabilitation treatment, such as physiotherapy or counselling, might benefit a claimant and this should then be organised as early as possible.
Liability insurers won’t normally agree to pay for treatment if they know they are likely to defend the claim because they don’t think their policyholder was to blame. But where it is likely that you will win on the issue of liability, or that the policyholder was at least partly to blame, insurers will often agree to fund the treatment early on.
If they won’t pay, it doesn’t mean you can’t have the treatment you need. If you are successful in proving that the other party was to blame for the accident, you can claim the cost of private treatment – physiotherapy, surgery, counselling, etc… even if the treatment might be available on the NHS. The only question is whether the treatment is reasonable, not whether you could get it free on the NHS. Even before liability has been agreed, we may be able to arrange the treatment for you and add the cost to your claim.
And in the end, it seems right not only that the negligent person’s insurers should bear the cost but also that you won’t be using up NHS resources which could be used by someone else.
If you've had an accident and need physiotherapy or other therapies, call us on 020 8313 1300 020 8313 1300 for advice about a possible claim.
Marsons Solicitors - August 2014
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.