Broadly, there are three categories of reports that your solicitors will obtain for the purpose of building your birth injury case.
The first category of reports are those relating to liability & causation.
The second category of reports are medical reports. If appropriate, some of these reports may be obtained from the child’s treating doctors e.g. GP, paediatric neurologist, rehabilitation consultant etc. These reports are obtained for the purpose of detailing the child’s current condition and future prognosis, from a medical perspective.
The third category of reports is what is referred to as quantum reports. These are the reports which your solicitors will use for the purpose of calculating the bulk of the value of the claim for compensation. Your solicitors will instruct a number of experts to assess the child’s current needs and what their needs will look like moving into the future.
Quantum experts can include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, care consultants, speech & language therapists, housing experts, assistive technology experts, vocational assessors, psychologists and rehabilitation consultants. Those experts will make a number of recommendations to help the child live a more independent life moving into the future. For example, the housing expert may advise in relation to the costs of building a home to make it fully accessible, the nursing expert will make recommendations in respect of the number of private care hours they may require, the occupational therapist will advise in respect of the equipment needs and their associated costs moving into the future, the vocational assessor will ascertain to the extent that is it possible what the likely future loss of earnings will be.
Finally, an actuary will review all of those quantum reports to calculate the total value of those future recommendations.
The costs that have been built up to date will also be included in the claim. For example, the cost of making any adaptions to the child’s home will be included and additionally, the hours put in by loved ones caring for the child will be valued (this is known as ‘retrospective care’).
The solicitors for the Defendant will typically obtain like for like quantum reports, meaning that for every type of expert that your solicitors send to you, the Defendant will arrange for you to see an expert of the same profession for them. Those experts for the Defendant will also ascertain the child’s past & future needs, however, the value of their recommendations is often much lower than the value of the recommendations made by your own experts. This is where negotiation will come into play.
As you can probably tell by now, obtaining the appropriate expert reports are crucial for firstly being successful and secondly, for achieving favourable compensation.