If you have suffered injuries in a road accident it can be confusing knowing exactly what damages you are entitled to.
Generally speaking damages fall into certain categories as follows:
- Pain and Suffering (including loss of enjoyment of life and reduction in life expectancy in severe cases)
- Loss of earnings or wages suffered in the time before settlement of the claim (ie past loss of earnings)
- Loss of earnings or wages in the future
- Medical expenses that may be incurred in the future
- Expenses already incurred, including
- Medical practitioners bills (eg doctors, specialists, physiotherapists)
- Travel to and from medical treatment
- Purchased assistance (eg cleaners, gardeners)
- Compensation for the value of services provided by friends and family (eg personal assistance provided to someone using crutches or wearing a plaster cast)
- Aids and appliances (eg wheelchairs, special vehicles, home modifications)
In addition, if you are successful in your claim you will usually also receive a contribution from the Insurance Commission to cover your legal costs.
Once it is established that you were not at fault in causing the accident some of the out of pocket expenses can be covered by the Insurance Commission as the claim progresses. The most common examples are visits to doctors or physiotherapists and medications recommended by your doctors.
While not every claim will include all of the above items, it is essential to obtain advice from a specialist road accident injury lawyer to make sure your claim includes as many of these items as possible.
Your road accident injury lawyer will make sure that you have all of the medical evidence that you need to cover every potential part of your claim, and the economic evidence (eg pay slips, income taxation returns or letters from your employer) to clearly calculate your losses, both past and future. Because a specialist lawyer will have dealt with hundreds of previous cases they will know exactly what items can and cannot be claimed and where to focus their enquiries to obtain the best results as efficiently as possible.