The Role Of A Case Manager In Personal Injury
The worst has happened―you’ve been the victim of an accident, and you’re hurt. You may have had your vehicle totaled and have sustained physical and traumatic emotional injuries. You’re in no shape to handle all the difficulties ahead as you struggle to recover physically and mentally and cope with either working or being off work due to your accident.
The process of getting better should be your first priority, but we all know, life has to go on and there will be many tasks and follow ups associated with your personal injury case that need attending to promptly and on schedule during the recovery time following the accident. That’s where your case manager can fill an invaluable role for you in handling the myriad of details that need to be managed.
ADVOCATING FOR YOUR CARE AND YOUR CASE
A case manager’s primary function is to serve as the injured party’s advocate in the healthcare and legal environments intertwined in the personal injury process. They oversee the wellbeing of their clients and guide them through all the details and processes related to their cases. Case managers can also be known as paralegals, legal assistants, patient advocates, but the role they are serving can best be described here:
The Commission for Case Manager Certification (‘CCMC’) defines the role as follows: “Case management is a professional and collaborative process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet an individual’s health needs. It uses communication and available resources to promote health, quality, and cost-effective outcomes in support of the ‘Triple Aim,’ of improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of health care.” (CCMC, 2015, p. 4)
Such a broad set of duties requires an individual with equally deep knowledge and experience in navigating the many aspects of the healthcare and legal processes involved in personal injury. Even more important for success is the ability to have empathy for the injured person and an understanding of all the difficulties they are experiencing.
Oftentimes, these patients will need to have transportation arranged for them to get to and from medical treatments, strong follow up, and reminders to keep to the prescribed schedule of appointments and treatments necessary for their case. The following illustration provided by the Case Management Body of Knowledge website (cmbodyofknowledge.com) shows how complex this role really is.
THE VARIOUS FUNCTIONS A CASE MANAGER PERFORMS
On the legal side of the role, case managers provide invaluable support to attorneys and their staff by overseeing case files, managing caseload requirements, and providing oversight of case billings, budgets, and timelines. Some may be able to draft some legal documents and make recommendations to attorneys regarding ways to accomplish the client’s goals and keep both client and counsel abreast of the current case status. Another graphic provided by the cmbodyofknowledge.com website illustrates the many facets of case management here:
A common checklist of duties and roles for a legal case manager can include:
- Assist attorneys with all aspects of case management
- Provide recommendations on cost and time-effective ways to manage each case
- Organize and maintain all case files in accordance with the law firm policies
- Liaison between attorneys, staff, and outside personnel regarding the case
- Present case summaries or updates
- Conduct legal research as requested
- Draft legal documents for attorney review
It’s fair to say that the case manager becomes one of the most important people for the injured party to rely upon throughout the process of resolving their case. It takes a unique blend of empathy, diligence, experience, and operational administration to succeed in the role, but can be very rewarding as well.
As a premier provider of personal injury services, Omni works with attorneys to help people get the medical care they need. Omni’s extensive network of certified medical providers can assist individuals in their local area. For more information about how we can help you in your personal injury business, please contact us