What are ‘Special Damages’?

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Most people know they can look to win a financial settlement if they are injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, but a lot of claimants don’t seem to know about claiming for their special damages.

Special damages cover financial loss

Special damages form part of the final value of a claimant’s settlement. It is the term used to describe the element of a claim that arises from the costs that an injured claimant has incurred. Such costs could be minor things such as bus or taxi fares to and from hospital, or petrol and parking expenses. However, they can also become large elements of a claim such as lost income or lost future income. Claimants can claim for items or clothing broken in an accident, such as spectacles, or private medical treatment if it can be proven that it is necessary to enable a quicker recovery.

One of the best reasons to use a company like ourselves is that our specialist solicitors will ensure that the value of a client’s final settlement is maximised in favour of the claimant. Whereas an inexperienced claimant, dealing directly with an insurer, will have no idea what is a fair settlement and for what they are entitled to claim. As well as making sure the full extent of a client’s injury is understood and the implications of the injury properly diagnosed and stated by a specialist doctor, your solicitor will ask you for details of expenses that you may have incurred. These and other costs will then form your special damages claim.

Keep receipts and quotes

To enable yourself to avoid being out of pocket, it is important that you make a point of claiming back any reasonable expenses that the injuries have lead you to incur. It is really important that you are able to prove these expenses. Therefore, if you are injured in an accident and wish to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation, make sure you keep receipts for taxi fares, car parking at hospital, petrol costs, massage therapies, prescription costs or physiotherapy treatment. Without receipts to prove your expenses, it is much harder to successfully claim them back.

You can also claim any lost income. For PAYE employees that don’t receive full sickness pay during sick leave, they will receive statutory sickness benefit. They can claim back the difference between the sum of money received for statutory sickness benefit and their usual average salary. Providing pay slips for a period of 3 months prior to the accident will enable your solicitor to claim this back.

For self-employed claimants, they will have to prove their income by way of providing accounts for the 2 previous years of their working life.

4 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

  1. What if after surgery the Doctor is tryn to rush you back to work. When im still receiving physical therapy and its no where healed like it should be?

    • Jason

      A Doctor is duty bound to act in your best interests, so it is unlikely that they will try to force you back to work before they believe you to be fit and able to perform your job safely.

      However, if you believe that you are not fit to work, you should explain this to your Doctor and request a further period of signed sickness leave so that you can continue to recover. If your Doctor is unwilling to do this, you should seek a 2nd opinion – perhaps from your physiotherapist etc.

  2. Hi i have had an injury at work probably about 6 months ago and now i require surgery however the injury has not been recorded properly in work but i have been to see company nurse who checked my injury and advised me to see my gp asap at the time was just wondering wher i would stand with this issue should i go ahead with surgery because i would have to be off for around 6 weeks

    • Denis

      Thank you for sharing your situation after an accident at work with us. Whether or not to go ahead with surgery is something only you and your Doctor can decide – I would not want to offer a view on medical issues as I am not medically qualified. I would have thought that despite the required 6 week absence from work, that it would be sensible to have the surgery.

      What I can say is that if you have had an accident at work, you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the employer – if the accident happened because of negligence from a colleague or the employer. For example, if the employer failed to provide adequate training or if you were not provided with safe tools/equipment, you may be able to hold the employer liable for your injuries and pursue a claim for compensation. If you were able to make a claim against the employer and the claim were successful, you would receive compensation for the injury as well as being able to claim special damages – which covers any lost income and costs incurred as a result of the accident.

      It would be wise to call us on 01225430285 or email us: [email protected] so that we can find out a little more about what happened in your accident at work so that we can tell you whether or not you have a viable claim for compensation.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      Yours sincerely

      Ian

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