Free Supermarket Accident Claim Assessment Free Supermarket Accident Claim Assessment

Overview of Special Damages

In order to understand the different elements contained within a compensation package, an overview of special damages is needed. Personal damages in a personal injury compensation settlement is the portion awarded as remuneration for any direct financial loss experienced as a result of an accident suffered because of someone else’s negligence.

The intention behind special damages is to compensate an accident victim for the economic loss experienced as part of an accident. In order to ensure that you can claim special damages compensation when you pursue a settlement it is imperative that you retain all of the receipts issued to you for the extra expenses incurred , and if necessary provide a credible estimate of similar expenses you intend to incur in the future.

Understandably it may be difficult to remember to retain a record of your expenses at a time when your primary concern is your health; this makes it especially important that you speak with a solicitor at the first available opportunity vin order to pursue a settlement. A solicitor will be able to help you gather the receipts and other documentation needed to claim special damages, and will be able to provide you with an estimate as to how much special damages remuneration will be accessible via your claim for compensation.

What Special Damages Can I Pursue a Settlement For?

Persons looking to pursue and settlement and seeking an overview of special damages should understand that any quantifiable expense related to their injury can be claimed for through special damages. There are two types of special damages in personal injury compensation – incidental and consequential.

Incidental special damages are the costs attributable directly to your accident. For example, a claimant who suffered a broken leg in a car crash while travelling to the airport to catch a flight would be able to claim for the treatment needed to heal their broken leg; for any medication required (both when treatment is not available on the NHS); and for the cost of repairing the car.

Consequential special damages are far more wide-ranging than incidental special damages —they relate to any expense incurred as a result of the scenario mentioned above. Here is an overview of special damages the traveller can claim for:-

  • The cost of the alternative transport needed while not fit to drive
  • The cost of a child minder or home carer if needed
  • A replacement holiday
  • Loss of earnings – regular, overtime and pension contributions
  • The cost of any home alterations needed if the person is left disabled – a wheelchair ramp for example

While special damages provides remuneration for the cost of material items, it does not cover the cost of the disappointment of missing a holiday, being able to socialise or enjoy hobbies – these factors are included in a claim for compensation though, and are included in the general damages portion of the settlement.

How Contributory Negligence affects a Claim for Compensation

In order to provide a full and comprehensive overview of special damages is it important to mention that if you are found to have in some way contributed to your own accident your claim for compensation will reflect this, meaning that your special damages package will be impacted as a result (in addition to your general damages).

For example, if a claimant injured in a car crash had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the impact this might be used by the defence as example of the claimant demonstrating a disregard for their own safety – and consequently contributing to their own injures. A reduction in special damages for not wearing a seatbelt can amount to as much as 33% of the overall personal injury compensation settlement. Potential claimants pursing a settlement should note that the deduction mentioned in the example can be made even when there is no evidence that not wearing a seatbelt contributed to the injuries.

If you believe that contributor y negligence could influence the outcome of your personal injury claim you should mention it to a solicitor immediately.

Children and the Statute of Limitations

When studying an overview of special damages it is important to note that the Statute of Limitations – a three-year time limit placed on personal injury compensation claims – applies, and although three years may seem a more than adequate time in which to pursue a settlement, it is often not enough and can result in an accident victim’s claim for compensation being time-barred.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations occur in a number of exception circumstances – notably in cases involving children, when the time limit is frozen until their 18th birthday, after which the normal three-year window comes into effect.

If a young child is seriously injured their parents/guardians should not wait until they reach adulthood to pursue a settlement – instalments to be paid from court funds can be arranged for medical or educational needs. A parent/guardian can take up a case on their child’s behalf acting as a “Litigation Friend” and providing they have no conflict of interest and accept full financial liability for the cost of the case.

Personal Injury Compensation and Insurance Companies

In some cases a claimant will be approached by the defendant’s insurance company with an offer of a personal injury compensation settlement – sometimes before a claim for compensation has even been submitted.

Offers of this kind should never be accepted as they are often not reflective of the true amount of compensation to which you are entitled and it is extremely unlikely that the insurance company has conducted an investigation into the incident which led to your injury. If you inadvertently accept an solicited offer you may be undercompensated and as a result have to put money towards your own costs, including medical expenses. It is important to note that once a claim for compensation has been decided in this way the settlement is final and there is no scope for returning to negotiations should more personal injury compensation be needed.

If you experience financial difficulties after pursuing a claim and waiting for it to be settled, some interim payments could be arranged by your solicitor until you can access the full award.

Overview of Special Damages

This overview of special damages explains that special damages are the quantifiable expenses – both present and future — that are incurred by a claimant as a result of their accident – calculating the value of this portion of personal injury compensation requires no guesswork.

If you are still unsure as to what expenses qualify under special damage you should discuss your claim for compensation with a solicitor at the first available opportunity.