Compensation Claims for Personal Injury
The most common option is by bringing a legal action in a civil court (typically by instructing a specialist personal injury lawyer).
Your solicitor may be able to help you access financial support as quickly as possible, particularly if your injuries mean you are unable to work.
As an injured victim, you may be able to claim for two types of compensation – known as general damages & special damages.
General damages are intended to compensate for the general, imprecise effects flowing from an injury you have suffered. It follows that they are not easily quantifiable. For instance, it could include money to compensate for pain and suffering, for a loss of future earnings or for loss of enjoyment of life. The court will decide on the amount that you are to be awarded based on all the circumstances involved.
However, special damages are paid to compensate for specific financial loss caused by the accident up to the date of the hearing. For instance, these can include damage to clothing or other personal belongings, the costs of healthcare, travelling to hospital, medical expenses (including the cost of private treatment) plus the cost of hiring and/or repairing your car if it was damaged in the incident.
One factor which can have a bearing on the amount of damages awarded is contributory negligence. If the court determines you were partly to blame for the accident, it may reduce the amount of damages it awards. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident but you were not wearing a seat belt at the time, it may determine that the injuries you sustained where partly as a result of your own conduct.
Another issue to be mindful of is the deduction of benefits from an award of compensation. If you have been receiving social security benefits as a result of the accident, you may be required to pay these back from any compensation you are awarded.
The rules governing deduction of damages from benefits are complex; your personal injury solicitor will be able to advise you further.