The answer to the question “What can I claim personal injury compensation for?” is something which is bound to influence you in deciding whether or not it is even worth your while bothering with a claim at all.
If you are injured in an accident and need to make a claim for compensation, there are various possible elements which can make up your claim as a whole.
We tend to refer to these as “heads of claim”. Also note that, in this context, “damages” is another word for “compensation”.
The way to think about it is that any loss you have suffered as a result of your accident can probably be compensated.
Here is a list of some of the most common elements found in personal injury claims.
Your pain and suffering
The level of compensation you get for your injuries is calculated on a sliding scale.
So, the more serious and long-lasting your injuries, the greater the amount of compensation you will receive.
Multiple injuries will increase the value of the claim here, though experience of court awards is that one person, say, with a broken leg and a whiplash injury will probably receive less total compensation under this head than if the leg and neck injuries had been suffered by two people (i.e. one with that leg injury and the other with that neck injury).
You may require to take time off work due to your injuries.
It may just be a few days or weeks but could be significantly longer if your injuries are serious.
You could reach the point where your entitlement to sick pay runs out. If you are self-employed, financial problems might arise even more quickly.
You are able to make a claim for any earnings you have lost due to the accident. The claim is for net loss, not gross.
If your injuries prevent you from ever working again or restrict your working capacity in terms of hours or salary level, you will be able to claim loss of earnings for the future as well as the past.
In the aftermath of an accident, you will often need help with daily tasks you would normally do yourself without a second thought.
Things like getting in and out of the shower, fastening buttons on your shirt or lifting a pot off the stove can be impossible without assistance from other members of your family.
The law allows them to make a claim for services – a financial claim for the time and moral support given to you.
If you were in a car, bicycle or motorcycle accident, you will be able to claim back your costs in repairing your vehicle.
Where it has been written off in the accident, you can claim back the value of the vehicle at the time.
Your motor policy excess can be claimed back too, where applicable.
Losses here can include spectacles, cosmetics, groceries, mobile phones, jewellery, crash helmets and specialist clothing such as motorcycle boots and leathers.
It is important to make a list of what has been damaged here as soon as possible so it can be included in your claim.
Cost of treatment
If you have had physiotherapy, osteopathy or chiropractic treatment to aid your recovery from your injuries, you will be able to claim back any costs incurred – even if the only cost has been the travel to and from appointments.
Other types of rehabilitation costs, such as counselling, are covered.
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy and cranio-sacral can also qualify.
Often, you will require to incur expense in relation to prescriptions for medication, whether prescribed or over-the-counter.
How we can help
The list above is not exhaustive; accordingly, it is important to seek advice from a specialist solicitor who can help make sure that all possible areas of claim are identified, investigated and valued.
We will be delighted to help you in any way we can.
We do not charge for initial telephone discussions – and, in most personal injury cases we take on, there is never any cost to you at all.