£2,000 awarded to part-time worker due to injury

In February 1994 at the Portsmouth County Court a part-time bar worker compensation claim resulting from a road traffic accident was heard.

Circumstances

Two years previously she was involved in a road traffic accident when a motor vehicle drove into the back of the car that she was travelling in and, as a result, she sustained a whiplash injury to her neck.

For two weeks after the accident she was in a great deal of pain and had to wear a collar.  To alleviate the pain her doctor prescribed painkillers.

At the time she was working part-time in a pub but as a result of the accident she had to take the first week off.  Although she continued to work, the pain affected her quite considerably, to such an extent that she found it difficult to stand up for the whole of her shift.

Slowly things began to get better so that after five months she was only suffering symptoms in the second half of each day unless she had been forced to stand for a period of time.

By twelve months she had made a full recovery.

Outcome

The Court awarded her general damages for her pain and suffering at £2,000 which on today's figures, taking into account the changes in the Retail Price Index, would have valued the claim at just over £3,600.

In addition to being compensated for pain and suffering the Claimant also received £1,546 for special damages.  Included within that would be an element for loss of earnings.  This is further evidence that even a part time worker is able to recover loss of earnings provided he is able to convince the Court that had it not been for the accident he would have been continuing to work for the period that he was absent. 

The normal calculation is that the Court will calculate the Claimant's earnings in the thirteen weeks (three months) before the accident and work out the average net weekly take home pay.  The next calculation will be to multiply the net weekly wage by the number of weeks in which the Claimant was not able to earn what he was earning before the accident and from that figure one deducts any payments that he did receive by way of sick pay or otherwise.