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Care And Assistance From Family And Friends

A Claimant can claim for care and assistance provided by family or friends following an accident where they are unable to carry out activities of daily living.

This help is often referred to as gratuitous care.

There are many injuries which may lead to a period of physical incapacity and there may also be psychiatric injury which affects a Claimant’s ability to do everyday household chores.

Examples of tasks that a Claimant may need help with include the following:

Domestic/Household chores

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Washing
  • Ironing
  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping

Personal care

  • Bathing and showering
  • Getting in and out of the bed
  • Help with dressing and undressing
  • Washing, drying and brushing hair
  • Intimate hygiene needs

Gratuitous services

  • Child-minding
  • Walking the dog
  • Gardening
  • Driving
  • DIY or home maintenance

This list is not fully comprehensive and there may be other activities which are covered by family and friends.

Proving a claim for gratuitous care and assistance

A claim for care and assistance is likely to be challenged by a Defendant’s legal representative.

Evidence to prove the need and cost for care and assistance will need to be provided to prove the claim.

The Claimant will need to be able to prove that they conducted the task before the accident without any need for assistance and that after the accident, the Claimant is not able to do the same task.

The Claimant will also need to show that the care and assistance being claimed must be above and beyond what would normally be expected of friends or families.

The following evidence will assist to support a claim for care and assistance:

  • a) Medical evidence from a medico-legal expert to confirm the extent of care and assistance and the length of time care and assistance provided that would have been reasonable taking into consideration the nature of the Claimant’s injuries;
  • b) Witness evidence from the claimant and/or the family, possibly accompanied by diary or video evidence;
  • c) Evidence from one or more care experts or an occupational therapist;
  • d) Assessments and records from local authorities and/or primary care trusts.

The rate of care

The Court will usually apply a discount to a commercial rate of care in order to reflect the tax, national insurance, travelling and other expenses that the commercial carer would pay.

The typical deduction or discount for gratuitous care is 25%.

There are certain circumstances where a Court may not levy a discount on the rate of care where the care provided is of a high quality, the rates that have been applied are low for the nature of the care and assistance provided and where a carer may have given up paid employment to provide care. Professional skilled nursing, DIY or gardening is likely to attract a higher rate compared to domestic chores.

Although care and assistance may have been provided gratuitously by family and friends, it may be reasonable in certain circumstances for future care to be arranged on a private basis

There is always a possibility that the claimant’s family or friends may not be able to provide long term care due to personal circumstances such as age or ill health.

How Hodge Jones & Allen can help

Our personal injury team has extensive experience claiming for gratuitous care and assistance.

Please do not hesitate to contact our experts if you need legal assistance. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will support you with your journey to make a personal injury claim. We care and we are happy to assist. Call 0330 822 3451 to speak with one of our experts or request a callback. 

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