Traumatic brain injury is life-changing. It happens suddenly and disrupts lives, families and hopes for the future. The experience is so profoundly shocking, both for the injured individual and their family, that its effects last forever. I have seen the harsh reality of life after brain injury through the experiences of hundreds of my clients. Even after 25 years as a brain injury specialist, I am still inspired by their courage every day. I believe that my brain-injured clients deserve the best chance of recovery and restoration, and that the best way to provide that is by early, individualised, properly coordinated rehabilitation. Here is one of the success stories that remind me why we fight so hard for rehabilitation funding, and that spur me on when I’m having a challenging day. Jessica Jessica’s dad came to me after his daughter had suffered severe brain injuries in a car accident. She was in a coma in hospital and he didn’t know if she was going to survive. At that time we couldn’t be sure that a claim would succeed. The police report wasn’t available and we had no witness evidence from the accident. However, the Rehabilitation Code is clear that the injured person’s rehabilitation should be the first priority for any insurer whose driver may have caused serious injuries which may lead to a compensation claim. We approached the other driver’s insurance company and they agreed to fund Jessica’s rehabilitation. We brought in a case manager whilst Jessica was still in hospital, so her rehabilitation started as soon as she came out. She received occupational therapy (OT), speech and language therapy (SALT) and physiotherapy. She didn’t need rehabilitation for as long as some of our other clients, but what she had was really intensive. Most importantly, by approaching us early, her dad had helped us give her the best chance of recovery by allowing us time to secure funding and begin her rehabilitation without delay. From the start, Jessica had a very positive attitude towards her rehabilitation. She refused to let anything defeat her. She and her family were remarkably resilient. They trusted me to manage the rehabilitation and the claim, so that they could focus on supporting their daughter. She had to learn to walk and talk again and, after such a devastating injury, everyone wanted to see Jessica back up on her feet again. She is a very pretty girl and, like many young women in their early 20s, she cares about her appearance. It meant so much to her when, after extensive physio to restore fine motor movements, she was able to dry her own hair and paint her nails again. As with so many clients, after everything she had lost and worked hard to regain, it was the little details that made her feel good about herself again. Within 14 months of her brain injury, and with the support of her MDT rehab team, Jessica made a phased return to work. Since then, I’ve attended the launch of her book about her experience. We had lunch recently and she took me to see the house that she was able to buy with some of her compensation. It was really lovely to see her settled and happy in her new home after all that she’s overcome. I believe it’s really important as a brain injury solicitor to get to know your client and understand what they need to be able not just to recover or survive, but to feel they can move forward and live their best life. Rehabilitation and restoration goes beyond the bare minimum. It involves understanding the client and helping them see a future in which they can recognise themselves. How that works will be different for each client. It takes experience to get it right. If you or a family member have suffered a brain injury in an accident, and would like to find out more about how we can help you obtain rehabilitation and compensation, you can talk to one of our experienced solicitors, free and confidentially, by contacting us here.