When you make a successful compensation claim, “General Damages” are rightly paid to compensate your actual injuries, pain and suffering but what about your financial losses?
“Special Damages” are paid in order to compensate you for costs incurred through the loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel expenses and care and assistance to name a few examples. If you were the victim of an accident that wasn’t your fault, such expenses can seriously threaten your financial security, and Special damages are in place in order to ensure that you are properly reimbursed.
If your injury has forced you into taking time off work and you have lost earnings as a result, it is important that your loss can be verified and calculated. You must therefore provide 13 weeks of payslips exhibiting your earnings prior to the incident, as well as any payslips received after the accident in order to demonstrate any subtractions.
If you are self employed, a copy of your accounts for the year of the accident as well as the 3 years beforehand will be needed. Such documents can easily be misplaced, so don’t worry if you cannot find them, your accountant or employer will usually have a copy.
Your medical expenses can also be easily calculated. Simply bring the receipts for any medicines, drugs or prescriptions and your personal injury solicitor can work to recover the costs.
Similarly, Special damages may be paid if you have been forced into costly and unnecessary travel as a result of your accident, such as trips to the doctors, or hospital appointments. Taxi fares, bus fares, extra fuel costs and parking fees would all be covered and if you are unable to drive due to your injuries, then the cost of transport to the shops or to work could be reclaimed. Again, you should keep receipts for all such expenses or note any extra mileage if you’re driving.
As you recover from your personal injury, you may require extra help at home from friends, family or even professionals. Domestic chores such as shopping or cleaning and even personal care such as bathing and dressing can become very challenging when injured. If you pay for professional assistance you should keep any receipts but if you require the help of friends or family, the loss will be quantified on a standard hourly basis instead.
It is important to remember that even if you can provide evidence to support all of your losses; it may not be deemed necessary to reimburse certain costs if they are considered unreasonable in relation to your injuries.
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Make sure that you don’t delay making a claim for the compensation you deserve – there are time limits which are strictly enforced and by leaving it too long, you could miss out on your right to personal injury compensation entirely.