If you have been involved in a serious accident, which was not your fault, which has caused injury, there are two types of damages that you can claim.
These are called General Damages and Special Damages.
General Damages are compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. This covers the physical injuries suffered as a result and also the impact the accident has had on you personally. For serious injury claims, there is likely to be a significant impact on daily life especially if there are permanent injuries. These damages will be specific to you and your circumstances. Medical evidence will be needed in order to quantify the amount your injuries are worth. These damages will also be designed to compensate you for loss of enjoyment of activities and hobbies you previously enjoyed but can no longer partake in. Damages can be awarded for physical and mental injuries arising from the accident.
Special Damages are the out of pocket, usually financial, expenses that you may have as a result of the accident. For serious injuries, these are likely to be past and future loss of earnings (usually claimed to retirement age if the accident has stopped you from working), damages for no longer being able to work in same type of role (or a lower paid role), past and future care and assistance, medical expenses and treatment needed both now and in the future, travel expenses, aids and adaptations or equipment which may assist you with day to day activities and any other financial losses as a result of the accident.
Evidence is crucial so evidence is needed to prove the losses. Some of the losses will be supported by receipts or invoices and accounts. A detailed record of these expenses will be drawn up by your solicitor in order to claim these losses as part of your claim. This document is known as a Schedule of Special Damages and will set out a full breakdown of what you are claiming.
It is likely that the award of damages, whether awarded by the court or agreed in an out of court settlement, will be substantial so consideration of what to do with the damages for the future is crucial so that precious funds are available when you need them most. Your solicitor will discuss the options available to you such as setting up a Trust to protect the funds.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident resulting in a serious injury, contact one of our experts at Maxwell Hodge Solicitors to see how we can help guide you through this difficult time.