Return to pre-accident employment following serious leg injuries

Posted 01/08/2012 : By: Netmatters Support

Mr N was a 56 year old, who worked as a driver for a small manufacturing firm. He had worked there for 36 years, and was the only driver who was licensed to drive their 7.5 tonne lorry.
He was knocked off his motorcycle, and sustained a severely fractured left tibia, multiple fractured ribs, fractured right clavicle, bilateral hip fracture, a pneumothorax (punctured lung) and multiple cuts and abrasions.

When our Case Manager assessed Mr N he was non weight bearing, using a walking frame, and having to sleep downstairs.

Our Case Manager arranged for him to have private physiotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) at home, as he was struggling to get outside.

She also arranged for bespoke grab rails to be fixed to his front door as he was unable to get in or out of his house without help from two people, usually ambulance men taking him to appointments.

During the initial stages of his recovery he required a second operation to revise the metalwork. The private physiotherapist saw Mr N throughout this time and ensured that all his injuries received treatment. He began to mobilise as quickly as possible.

When NHS physio started the private physio pulled back and monitored the input the NHS was providing. Unfortunately they only treated his leg, and did not look at his shoulder.

Private physiotherapy recommenced as the NHS treatment finished reconciling all treatment provided and ensure the optimum recovery.

At an early stage our Case Manager discussed Mr N's job with his employer, and agreed a return to work plan which was to start when it was appropriate. Our Case Manager wrote to Mr N's consultant and asked for specific information regarding his ability to return to his pre-accident job. Unfortunately it took the consultant 3 months to respond, however, during that time all those involved, physiotherapist, CBT and Case Manager helped to maintain his motivation, and he negotiated an even more gradual return to work with his employer, and agreed a return to work date. All his employer required was a letter from either his GP or his consultant to confirm that it was suitable. Whilst we were still waiting for the consultant to agree our Case Manager wrote to the GP and asked him to provide the same information based on the very graded return to work plan that had been agreed.

The consultant's report arrived in time, and Mr N was able to return to work on the date agreed with confirmation from his consultant and the GP that it was appropriate.

Mr N returned to a job he loved full time within two months of starting his return to work plan. With early information regarding the progress of his rehabilitation the claim settled within 3 months of starting his graded return to work plan.