Specialist Disability Accommodation with a court gavel, depicting legal reports

Access Legal Reports – for medical negligence claims

Assessment of Plaintiff’s accommodation needs through professional judgement.

Through circumstance, a person can sustain an injury, either physical or psychological, that may result in a drastic change to their day to day lives. Such an injury is sometimes the result of ongoing medical care, or a medical event, and the injury suffered may therefore be the result of negligent medical practice of some kind.  In this instance, a medical negligence claim may be sought, whereby a person seeks compensation for costs that they have had to bear because of their injury.

Typically, this claim for compensation is handled by a solicitor and can include costs because the plaintiff’s home is no longer able to meet their needs. Expert opinion can be used to assess the plaintiff’s current and future accommodation requirements. Considerable changes to a plaintiff’s accommodation may be required so that they can continue to live independently either in their own home, or in new purpose-built accommodation. These changes need to be identified and quantified so that a level of compensation can be tabled by the solicitor handling the claim.

Architecture & Access provides an Accommodation Costs Report that addresses the present and future accommodation needs of the plaintiff. The report typically includes accommodation options and probable order of estimate of costs.

Our assessment is drawn from relevant medical reports (usually and primarily from an occupational therapist) and is based on the stated injury and limitations with respect to accommodation contained within those medical report(s). Architecture & Access’ assessment of the Plaintiff’s accommodation needs are determined through professional judgement, which is in part informed by relevant disability codes and guidelines including Australian Standards, the NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Standard and the Livable Housing Design Guidelines.

A visit to the plaintiff’s home is usually undertaken, where an inspection of external and internal spaces is carried out to gain an understanding of what modifications may be required to suit the plaintiff’s accommodation needs. Information gathered during the inspection includes photography, physical measurement, and observation. Costs of identified accommodation options are calculated using industry cost guides, professional experience, and other appropriate cost guide documentation.

A case study:

A woman is 55 years old. She lives in the outer suburbs of a capital city with her husband and two children. The woman suffered a stroke as a result of a misdiagnosis at a hospital emergency department. She now mobilises with a wheelchair and requires 24-hour care by allied health professionals. Before her injury, the woman worked part time as a teacher.

The woman and her family like living in their current home but it is not wheelchair accessible. It would require extensive modifications and additions to suit the woman’s current and future accommodation needs. An alternative to modifying the existing home would be to construct a purpose-built dwelling.

The woman approaches a solicitor to see if she can gain compensation due to the impact on her life because of her injury. Part of her claim is to be compensated for the costs involved to provide suitable accommodation to suit her needs. The solicitor engages Architecture & Access to provide a report that addresses costs associated with implementing modifications to the plaintiff’s existing home, and costs associated with constructing a purpose-built new home.

The woman is able to obtain compensation that is adequate to provide her with suitable accommodation, maximising her independence and meeting the long term needs of her and her family.

For more information about our Legal Report service contact Architecture & Access.

Architecture & Access


Level 5, 369 Royal Parade
Parkville VIC Australia 3052

T 1300 715 866
E info@archaccess.com.au


Bowman House, Level 4,
Suite 41B, 276 Edward Street
Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia

T 1300 715 866
E info@archaccess.com.au