What can I claim for personal injury?
After a personal injury, you can claim for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and future loss of earnings. It is also possible to claim for expenses such as damaged clothing, travel costs, helps from family or additional equipment you have had to buy due to your accident injuries.
Pain and suffering from personal injury
You can claim compensation for your physical injuries, including scarring or other disfigurement as well as psychological injury. Obviously, the amount that you receive in compensation will vary according to the severity of your injuries. To allow us to assess the value of your claim for pain and suffering we always obtain a medical report, usually from a specialist, but in the case of minor injuries, from your GP.
Factors which are taken into account in assessing the level of compensation include:
- The severity of your injury
- The extent to which your injury has resulted in long-term or permanent disability
- The extent to which your injury has disrupted your life.
Damages for pain and suffering are calculated by reference to previously decided court cases.
Loss of earnings claim
If you have to take time off work because of an accident, you will be able to recover any loss of earnings. Your claim is based upon the amount which you would have taken home rather than your gross earnings. You will not pay tax on your award of damages.
Normally your claim for loss of earnings is based upon your average take-home pay during the three month period before the accident. While we will obtain a schedule of earnings from your employer, it can be helpful if you retain pay slips for the period before the accident and for the period of absence so that we can check these against the information provided by your employer.
Future loss of earnings
You are under a general duty if you have been injured to minimise your losses. This means that if you are unable to return to your old job, you have to take all reasonable steps to find a job which you are capable of doing. If you have to give up work because of the accident this may affect your future pension entitlement. Again, we at Digby Brown will take this into account and include any loss of pension rights in your claim.
What other expenses can you recover as part of your claim?
Damage to clothing or personal effects
If you suffer damage to clothing or personal effects such as glasses, dentures or crash helmets you can claim for these. It is important that you retain the damaged items as the insurers may wish to inspect them. If you have the receipts for the damaged items or for replacement items, you should retain these as well.
Travel / prescription costs
You can claim for expenses which you have incurred following an accident such as taxi fares or prescription charges provided that what you are claiming is reasonable. If you have to hire a car because your own is damaged it should be possible to claim the hire charges although you should discuss hiring a replacement vehicle with us before entering into a hire contract. Again you should keep receipts for any items of expenditure that you wish to claim.
Help from family members
If you have been looked after by a relative following an accident, it may be possible to claim compensation for them for the services which they have provided. It is important that you keep a diary or other written record of the services which have been provided as this will make it much easier to calculate the level of compensation.
Examples would include housework, gardening, car maintenance or DIY. If you have had to pay tradesmen to do jobs that you would previously have been able to do yourself, it is again very important that you keep receipts.
Equipment / nursing care costs
In cases of serious injury, you can claim the cost of items such as wheelchairs, as well as nursing and care costs.
Read our client case studies to learn more about how Digby Brown have helped people following an accident.
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