When you make a personal injury claim, you are awarded compensation for general damages and special damages. Special damages are intended to recover the financial losses you have incurred as a direct result of the accident.
If you want to make a personal injury claim, contact our personal injury lawyers for a free enquiry. You can call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.
Personal injury compensation
Personal injury compensation is made up of two elements. These are general damages and special damages. General damages compensate for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity. This can be both physical and psychological. Special damages compensate for your actual financial loss. Therefore you should be put back in the financial position you would have been in, had it not been for the accident.
What do special damages include?
Special damages include a wide variety of losses. These include.
- Loss of earnings – both past and future
- The cost of treatment and medication
- Cost of travelling to receive treatment
- The cost of specialist aids and equipment
- Cost of replacing damaged possessions
- The cost of care
Claimants & Earnings
For most Claimants, earnings are their greatest loss. When taking time off work, lots of people are only entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Whilst self-employed people typically receive nothing. It can be difficult to deal with this loss of income. Where the injuries are serious, the Claimant may be unable to return to work at all. Or, he/she may only be able to return in a reduced capacity, or in a less onerous role. This can result in serious financial difficulties.
Thankfully a personal injury compensation allows you to recover both past and future earnings. This includes any overtime and bonuses that you would ordinarily have received. It also takes into account any promotions (and pay rises) you would have enjoyed in the future. The cost of care can be another significant expense. In cases where catastrophic injuries have been sustained, the Claimant may need ongoing, round-the-clock care. Where the injuries are less serious, the Claimant may still require help around the house with cleaning, washing, gardening and DIY. Even if this care is provided by friends or family members compensation can be obtained. Read about frivolous personal injury claims.
Calculating your special damages
When we pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf, we calculate your special damages for you. We investigate every financial loss thoroughly with our specialist team. Thus ensuring you are not left out of pocket because of your accident. To aid your claim, it is useful to keep receipts and details of other losses, wherever possible. However, you need not worry about anything else. We do all the hard work for you.
How to Prove Your Losses
Losses in a personal claims
You can recover different types of financial loss when making a claim. These include –
- Past loss of earnings
- Future loss of earnings
- Medical treatment
- Travel expenses
- Care and assistance
- Damaged possessions
The way in which you prove each loss differs.
Loss of earnings
For your past loss of earnings, you can show your payslips from before and after the accident. This shows the disparity of income received. Further proof can also be obtained in a letter from your employer. If you are self-employed, past tax returns and profit/loss accounts can be used instead. Calculating your future loss of earnings is a little more complicated. If your injuries are so serious that you cannot return to work, it is necessary to assess how much you would have earned, taking into consideration any potential promotions. Your solicitor can do the mathematics for you.
Medical and travel expenses
With respect to medical treatment and travel expenses, you should keep a record of your losses. Also, keep receipts where possible. Therefore, if you need physiotherapy because of your injuries, be sure to ask for a receipt after each session. If you need to take the bus to attend treatment, write down the dates and the exact cost.
Care, assistance and adaptations
Your injuries may be such that you require care and/or assistance around the house. This might be provided by a loved one, or you may use a professional. To recover these costs, it is necessary to obtain a medical report stating that care and assistance are required. Even if you do not pay, you can recover damages for the time loved one’s have spent helping you. A report by an occupational therapist may also recommend adaptations to your home to enhance your quality of life. For instance, you may benefit from a specially adapted bathroom. If so, these estimated costs can form part of your claim.
If your personal possessions were damaged during the accident, do not throw them away. Instead, keep them for inspection. If this is not applicable, take photographs instead. It is also useful if you can find the original receipts so you can prove their value. If your car is damaged, you need to provide receipts of the repair work or policy excess.
What do you need to do?
When you make a claim, your solicitor will tell you exactly what you need to do to prove your losses. The most important thing is to record your losses with as much detail as possible. You should start doing this straight away – even if you have not yet instructed a solicitor to make a claim. Otherwise, it is your solicitor’s duty to obtain the evidence and calculate your losses. This will be set out in a document called a Schedule of Loss. You may be asked to provide certain documents to aid this schedule, such as your payslips and receipts. However, you can rest assured that your solicitor will do the hard work for you. Read more, Can I make a Personal Injury Claim.
If you want to claim compensation for a personal injury accident. Then contact our Sheffield Solicitors for a free enquiry. You can call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.