I Have Suffered Financial Losses As A Result Of My Personal Injury Claim. Can I Get This Money Back?
Personal injury compensation is made up of two elements:
- General Damages – are awarded for “pain, suffering and loss of amenity”. For the actual injuries themselves.
- Special Damages – are awarded for the financial losses that result from those injuries.
In personal injury claims, financial losses are known as ‘Special Damages’ and you are entitled to claim for financial losses and out of pocket expenses arising as a result of your accident.
When claiming Special Damages, you have to provide sufficient evidence in order to support your losses. Without any documentary evidence, the losses you have incurred are unlikely to be considered by the Defendant’s representative. It is therefore extremely important that you keep records and receipts of any expenses incurred as the solicitor will request such evidence.
With any claim for Special Damages, you are expected to keep your losses to a minimum. This is known as “mitigating your losses”. It is important to ensure you keep the claim proportionate and reasonable, as the Defendant’s representatives will often raise mitigation as an argument to try to limit the amount of loss they should pay you.
The compensation you receive is intended to put you in a position you would have been in had the accident not taken place, it is not intended to put you in a better position. You as the Claimant should therefore ensure you make the effort to minimise your financial losses. A failure to minimise losses does not automatically mean that your claim is lost however your compensation could be reduced if it is believed you have failed to behave reasonably.
Common types of Special Damages claimed
There are several different types of Special Damages that you are able to claim in addition to your claim for injuries. The most common types of Special Damages are:
Loss of Earnings
If you have had to take time off work as a result of your injuries you may have lost out on earnings. You will need to provide evidence to support the loss of earnings that is being claimed. This normally takes the form of wage slips for a period of 13 weeks prior to the accident and for the period of absence itself, together with a letter from your employer confirming your time off work. If you are self-employed, you will normally be expected to provide tax returns and accounts for three years prior to the accident and for the period of absence.
In some situations you may have received full sick pay from your employer and not lost out at all, however depending on your contract of employment, your employer may require you to repay any sick pay that is paid to you as a result of an accident related injury. If this is the case, this can be included in your claim for special damages.
Care and Assistance
As a result of your injuries you may be restricted with the everyday tasks that you are able to do and may require somebody to provide you with care or assist you with tasks that you now struggle with. This could be family or friends that are able to assist you, or you may need to employ someone to help you at a cost. If care is needed, you are able to claim for both the paid and unpaid help you receive that is required because of your accident. The need for care and assistance will need to be supported with medical evidence, together with invoices for paid care, or statements from the family or friends that are assisting you.
Medical Treatment Costs
You may need medical treatment to help with your recovery, for example physiotherapy, or counselling. You are entitled to recover the costs of private treatment from your opponent provided it is deemed reasonable by a medical expert. You will be expected to provide invoices for treatment that you have received, or a quote for the treatment that has been recommended if you have not yet commenced treatment.
If you are receiving treatment through a private healthcare provider as a result of your accident, the provider could wish to claim the cost of the treatment provided. If so, this can be included in your claim.
You may need to make journeys to various medical appointments for treatment. You may also have incurred additional costs of travelling as a result of your injuries, for example if prior to the accident you walked or cycled to work but as a result of your injuries needed to travel by public transport or car. You are entitled to claim reasonable travel expenses for any accident related trips that you need to make and should, therefore, make sure to keep any travel receipts.
If you have been involved in an accident and would like more information about making a claim, contact our helpful and experienced Personal Injury team on 0808 252 5231 for further guidance, or request a call back online.