When a person has been involved in an accident which has resulted in personal injury, more likely than not that person would have required some care and assistance, either from family members or from a paid carer whilst they are recovering. This can also be the case for future care, where the persons injuries are quite severe, and they require ongoing care for years to come. This blog is full of information for anyone thinking about claiming for care and assistance following an injury.
Personal injury compensation is split into two types of damages, general and special damages. General damages are compensation for the pain and suffering as a result of your accident, also known as compensation for your injuries. Then there are special damages, these are financial losses because of the accident, these can include past and future losses. In a lot of cases the ‘care’ aspect of their claim is the biggest head of loss/future loss within the special damages part of their claim
What type of care and assistance can I claim for?
Paid care: This is care provided by a salaried carer.
Gratuitous care and assistance: This is care provided by non-professional carers, this is usually care provided by friends or family.
Below is a list of the most common things claimed for in a care and assistance claim. This list is not exhaustive.
- Helping to washing and dressing you
- Cooking and washing up for you
- Walking your dogs
- Taking you to and from medical appointments
- General housework, washing, ironing etc
- Doing or helping with your food shopping
How do I claim for care and assistance?
Usually care and assistance is one of the most contested head of special damages. To make a successful claim for care and assistance, the care would need to be evidenced. In relation to past paid care this would be by way of invoices. In relation to gratuitous care this will usually be evidenced by a medical expert stating how much care and assistance they believe would have been reasonable, as well as a witness statement from the persons who carried out the care.
It is important to be able to show that prior to the accident you could conduct the task yourself. Due to the accident and your injuries, you are now unable to do the task. In addition, the care and assistance being claimed must be above and beyond what would normally be expected of friends or families.
How much will I get for a care and assistance claim?
For gratuitous care there are no set guidance on how much per hour should be allowed. A lot of the time the amount is taken from the National Joint Council figures. The number of hours of care multiplied by the hourly rate and then minus 25%. This is because the person was not paid to provide care and assistance and therefore did not pay tax and national insurance.
For paid care, claimant solicitors will claim for the rate which has been paid.
The defendants and judges can reduce the hourly rate the claimants claim for if they believe the rate being claimed for is too high.
For gratuitous care it is expected that the monies you receive for this you would pay to the persons who provided you with the care and assistance.
It is a good idea to keep a diary of who and the amount of time they spend caring for and supporting you. Keep a note of when they started helping you, how many hours a day or week they spend with you, and who they are.
How Moore Barlow can help
At Moore Barlow our team of specialist solicitors have a wealth of experience claiming for care and assistance within personal injury claims. Whether this a minimal care claim, or rest of life care. We understand how important it is to ensure that that all possible care and assistance is claimed for. Not only does this take some responsibility off family members, but this also ensures our client is being compensated for things that but for the accident they would not have needed/ paid out for. Furthermore ensuring the funds are in place for all potential future care which will be needed as a result of the accident.
If you would like to discuss instructing us on a personal injury claim arising out of a serious injury then please contact us.