The aim of a claim is to put you back in the position you were in before the accident. The claim will include medical treatment, if necessary, in relation to your injuries and compensation i.e. a sum of money, in respect of your losses caused by the accident.
The losses you can claim for as part of your claim will depend on the type of accident you have had and your particular circumstances.
To claim any losses, you must firstly prove that the accident was caused by the fault of someone else who owed you a duty of care i.e. the other driver in the case of a road accident, your employer in the case of a workplace accident, the Council in the case of a tripping accident, the owner of the premises where the accident happened e.g. the supermarket etc.
If this fault is proven, you must then prove that the losses you are claiming for resulted from the accident and that the losses are reasonable.
We will advise you at all times about the losses you can claim for and whether or not certain losses can be included with your claim, but listed below are the losses that may apply to your claim together with the evidence you will need to claim that loss:
Personal injury – the full name of this part of the claim is “Pain, suffering and loss of amenity”.
The pain and suffering element relates to your physical and psychological injuries caused by the accident. This must be supported by the medical report(s) of an independent medical expert(s).
The loss of amenity element relates to the impact the injuries, as confirmed by the medical expert, have had on your life, for example in relation to your hobbies, sporting activities, your enjoyment of a holiday or a special occasion, your enjoyment of everyday life etc. This element will be included within the medical report and also detailed in your statement in support of the claim.
The value of the claim for personal injury will be calculated on the basis of the type of injury (or injuries) you have suffered, the length of time that those injuries lasted for, or will last for, and the impact the injuries have had, or will continue to have, on your life, as detailed in the medical evidence.
Loss of earnings
This loss can be claimed if you have been unable to work due to your injuries and, as a result, you have suffered lost earnings. You will be able to claim the net sum of money that you would have earned if you had been able to work. The medical evidence must confirm that you could not work as a result of the accident and that the period of absence you are claiming for is reasonable.
If you are employed, your employer will need to provide written evidence in support of the loss i.e. confirmation of the dates of absence, your contract of employment, payslips etc.
If you are self-employed, you or your accountant will need to provide written evidence in support of the loss, i.e. your accounts, tax returns etc.
N.B. If your employer has paid you during your absence from work caused by the accident, it may be possible to claim the wages as part of your claim if there is a specific clause in your contract of employment. We will discuss this with you should you have suffered a loss of earnings caused by the accident.
Disadvantage on the open labour market
This claim is also known as a Smith -v- Manchester award (the name of the case that established the principle of such a claim). This can be claimed for if you can prove that, as a result of your injuries, there is a real risk that you will be out of work during the period you will be suffering with the injuries and you will find it difficult to obtain similar employment. This must be supported by the medical evidence and certain specific conditions will apply to making such a claim. We will discuss this claim in detail with you should this apply to your case.
Medical treatment charges – this is the cost of medical treatment that you will need in relation to your injuries caused by the accident, for example Physiotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) etc. The type of, and need for, medical treatment must be supported by the medical evidence. We will arrange the medical treatment for you as soon as possible so that you can start to recover from your injuries as quickly as possible.
Medication and medical costs – this is the cost of painkillers (e.g. paracetamol, ibruprofen, gels etc) and medical equipment (e.g. walking sticks, bandages, plasters etc) that you have bought for your injuries. This claim will be supported in the medical evidence, but must also be supported by receipts provided by you.
This is the cost of your journeys which have been caused by the accident and/or your injuries, for example, trips to your GP, hospital, medical treatment sessions etc. If you have made the journey by car, you must provide details of each journey to support the claim, for example the number of miles you have travelled, the person that drove, the reason for the journey etc. The value of the claim will be calculated on the basis of a court approved mileage figure. If you have travelled by bus, train or taxi, you must provide the reason for the journey and the ticket or receipt.
Damaged personal items
This is the claim for items of personal property that were damaged or destroyed in the accident. You may only claim the pre-accident value of the damaged item and not the replacement value. These items may include your glasses, phone, jewellery, clothing, workwear, work equipment etc. You will need to provide details of the damaged item and documents relating to the value of them. If the accident was a road accident, you may claim for items that were in the car at the time, but you must prove these items were in the car.
Cost of care and assistance
This is the claim for time spent by family and friends caring for you and assisting you after the accident, for example with mobility issues, personal care, housework, pet care, shopping, gardening, driving etc. The medical report will include details of this care and assistance and it is calculated on the basis of professional carer rates which are discounted to take into account the fact the care and assistance was not provided by a professional. (Please note that this is the cost of care and assistance provided specifically as a result of the accident and in addition to the usual care and assistance provided by family and friends.)
This is the claim for additional childcare costs caused by the accident i.e. by a nursery and/or childminder. (If the additional childcare was provided by a friend or family member, this will be included with the claim for care and assistance, see above.) The medical report will include details of the need for this additional childcare and your nursery or childminder must provide written confirmation of the childcare provided.
In relation to road accidents, as well as the losses listed above, you may also claim for:
– Pre-accident value of your car or the repair costs (on the basis of the report of an independent engineer);
– Cost of a hire car provided to you while are waiting for the cheque for the pre-accident value of your car or while your car is being repaired
– Your policy excess;
– Loss of use i.e. if you are without the use a vehicle following the accident.
In relation to all cases, if your injuries and losses are complex and/or will last for a long time or will be permanent, you may also claim for future losses i.e. losses that you will continue to suffer into the future. For example, if you are unable to work due to your injuries and that will continue into the future, you may claim for future loss of earnings. The future losses will be included with, and must be supported by, the medical evidence.
The losses listed above do not include all losses that you can claim for as each case is different and your claim may include losses specific to you. We will discuss with you the losses you can claim for at the beginning of the case and also throughout the process of gathering the evidence to support the case.
N.B. Your losses must be supported by evidence and must not be exaggerated or false. If it is found that any part of your claim has been exaggerated or is false, your whole claim may fail and you may be ordered to pay the other party’s legal costs and/or face criminal prosecution.
Call us now on 0161 749 9000 for free initial advice and to discuss your accident, your injuries and your losses with one of our specialist personal injury lawyers.