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What is ‘Personal Injury’?
Personal Injury is the term used when a person is physically and/or psychologically harmed as a result of an incident that came about through someone else’s actions e.g. where a person is in a car either as a driver or passenger and their vehicle is hit by another vehicle causing that person injury.
As there are a number of different of ways people can suffer Personal Injury, the different types of claims are often referred to by the way in which the Personal Injury was caused for example, Employers Liability (claims at work), Road Traffic Accidents (Accidents on the road). If an incident causes an injury of particular complexity then the claim type may be referred to by the nature of the injury instead such as, Spinal Injury Claims, Brain injury Claims or Asbestosis Disease Claims.
There two main areas of the claim for compensation which are known as General Damages and Special Damages.
General Damages are awarded for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity (loss or reduction of a claimant’s mental or physical capacity to do the things they used to do). The court takes into account both the extent of the pain and suffering and the extra inconvenience that it causes.
Special Damages cover out of pocket losses that have occurred as a direct result of the incident. The list below is not exhaustive but usually includes the following:
- Loss of earnings, bonuses and overtime relevant to past, present and future earnings
- Travel to and from medical appointments with your GP or hospitals
- Medication expenses as a result of the injuries
- Medical care and rehabilitation eg physiotherapy
- Cost of special equipment or adaptations to your home that need to be made
- Care given to you by members of your family, friends or professionals such as assistance with domestic duties like housework, shopping or laundry and personal activities such as washing, dressing and feeding yourself
- Damage caused to your personal effects such as clothing or equipment
- Loss of future employment opportunities that may arise as a result of the injuries sustained, such as a promotion that you would not be able to take up or if you have to stop working in the job you were in when you were injured.
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