Types of Compensation
What Can I Claim?
If you’ve been injured, due to a car crash, at work, due to negligent medical treatment, or any type of personal injury. One of the first questions you’ll likely have is what damages can you claim? The answer here will vary depending on the consequences of your injury, and the impact it has had on your life.
Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity
General damages assessed for what is known as ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’ are, essentially, the damages for the actual injury. They are calculated based on the specifics of your injury and where they fall within the Judicial College Guidelines, as well as previous cases. At Arthur Jackson & Co Solicitors in Rotherham our personal injury lawyers will use these precedents, but in addition pay special attention to you, our Client, on how your individual injury has affected you. We believe that too often Claimants are pushed into a Judicial College Guidelines box and encouraged to settle for less than they deserve. In contrast to this our specialist injury lawyers will give you the personal service you deserve to ensure that the reward you receive is appropriate to you.
Loss of Congenial Employment
If, due to your accident, you’re no longer able to continue in your current employment and your employment was something of particular fondness to you, and considered ‘worthwhile’ by the legal system, then an amount will be added to your total claim for this loss. Cases including this type of award have included Claimants who were employed as skilled craftsmen, teachers, policemen, florists and more besides.
Loss of Use
This is a head of damages relating to any property which was damaged as a result of your accident. Common awards include loss of use of cars, motorbikes, bicycles and clothing.
Loss of Leisure
In some cases, Claimants are forced to work longer hours following their accident to maintain the same level of income. If this is the case, then the loss of leisure time is recoverable from the defendant.
Smith v Manchester Award
In the event that your injuries have resulted in you being at a disadvantage on the labour market then an addition of a Smith v Manchester figure will be sought to compensate you for this disadvantage.
Past Loss of Earnings
If you were employed at the time of the accident, then it is likely that you missed a period of work and that as a result your income suffered. Alternatively, it is possible that through your constitution you were able to keep going to work, but that encumbered with your injuries you were unable to secure a promotion that had previously been on the cards. Perhaps a promotion was not available, but your productivity suffered, and you failed to secure a bonus which you were previously on track for, or had received, in earlier periods of employment. Even if you weren’t employed at the time of the accident, it’s possible that your injuries prevented you from finding work or pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavour. If any of these factors apply to you and your claim we’ll assess them.
Future Loss of Earnings
It is an unfortunate possibility that your injuries may permanently lower your earnings potential. If you have had a consistent employment history and career, then such an award can be straight forward to calculate.
If you’re yet to complete your education, then the effect the injury has on your academic performance and future employment options can be accounted for in compensation.
Care and Assistance
You can recover losses for any care or assistance you needed. In order to calculate a claim for care and assistance the standard commercial care rates are used. If your care was provided by a family or friends, then a 25% reduction is applied for tax purposes.
It could be the case that you require professional care and in these instances, provided care reports are obtained confirming your requirements then you will be able to claim damages to pay for it for as long as you need it.
Costs of Mitigation
You are expected, when possible, to take reasonable steps to mitigate and minimise your loss. If, in taking these steps, you incur costs then these costs will be recoverable in your overall claim.
Another area of mitigation is the cost of treatment. Any reasonable lengths which you have gone to in order to recover from your injury, or lessen the impact are recoverable. Often this will include things such as physiotherapy, diagnostic imaging, private surgery, psychologist appointments and medication. As with any area of damages evidence is important that the step taken was reasonable to assist your recovery.
If your injury is sufficiently severe it could mean that your home, or vehicle, will need to be specially adapted to enable you to use it. This head of damages does not always have to include extreme changes required and can include adapted shoes, walking sticks, or small appliances that require no dexterity to use. Alternatively, it could be the case that you need bathroom modifications made to enable you to wash safely. Whatever change you need making as a result of your accident, we won’t ignore it.
Travel costs are recoverable when they relate to attending any treatment sessions that arose as a result of the injury you suffered. You may also be able to seek an award for personal costs, such as the cost of telephone calls or postage but this element is usually extremely minor.
It is possible to seek a payment of interest on both general and special damages for past losses, such as past loss of earnings. The former, general damages, is awarded at 2% whilst special damage interest awards are dictated largely by the amount awarded and this can vary from 0.5% to 8%.
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