What if I cannot work as a result of an injury?
The Courts recognise that serious injuries frequently restrict a claimant's ability to work for a long period of time. In some cases, the injured party may be permanently unable to work. Additional compensation can be awarded in these cases.
In addition to general damages for the injuries themselves, the Courts can also award compensation to cover the cost of existing medical expenses and to fund long-term medical care. When a person cannot work as a result of their injuries, compensation may also be awarded for lost earnings.
These elements of a compensation award are collectively called 'special damages'. Special damages may amount to many thousands or even millions of pounds depending on the impact the injury has had on the claimant's life.
Can I make a claim?
By law, certain categories of people must take the necessary steps to keep others safe from avoidable harm. Employers, for example, must provide a safe workplace for their employees. Drivers must exercise due care and attention when operating a vehicle, and local authorities must repair their pavements to avoid unnecessary trips and falls.
With some exceptions, the circumstances of an accident have much less of an impact on total compensation than the nature and severity of the injuries sustained and the consequences to the claimant's life.
An injury does not need to have been sustained at work to claim compensation for loss of employment.
What damages can I claim?
Damages are split into two categories. General damages are intended to compensate for the pain and suffering an injury causes. The Court will compare your injury with similar injuries before deciding the amount of general damages you should receive. General damages can be low even for serious injuries.
Special damages cover the financial losses and expenses arising from an injury and often form the bulk of any serious injury payout. Special damages include:
- lost future earnings
- medical expenses
- the cost of care, whether paid for or provided by a relative or friend
- travel expenses
- many additional expenses, such as adapting your home for wheelchair access, installing stair lifts and purchasing specialist care equipment
Serious injuries that affect a claimant's ability to work and have a long-term impact on their life can attract very large awards for special damages.
If the claimant recovers from their injury quickly then they can likely only claim for general damages and loss of earnings during their recovery period.
Can Quittance help me make a claim?
Following an accident you have up to three years to make a compensation claim. Quittance's solicitors have years of experience handling serious injury claims.
Predicting likely special damages can be difficult because special damages are largely dependent on a claimant's individual circumstances.
To discuss how strong your claim for special damages is and what lost earnings you may be able to claim for, call Quittance's team of specialist solicitors on 0800 612 7456.