Special damages

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It is all too easy to become caught up in the pain you are suffering following an accident that you forget about the numerous expenses and losses you may be incurring on a daily basis. It isn't then until later on down the line that your solicitor may ask you for details of your expenses and losses and you wish you had made a note of them, oh and kept receipts…and remembered where you'd put them!

You are entitled to claim compensation for financial losses and expenses that you have incurred as a direct result of the accident. These are known as special damages. They can include items such as:

  • damage to your property, 
  • lost earnings
  • medical and treatment expenses, 
  • cost of care and assistance
  • transport costs. 

In the case of all of these expenses it is very important to obtain receipts wherever possible. Without evidence to support payments that you have made it is unlikely you will be able to recover them in full. Where you are not able to obtain receipts such as in the case of clothing/property damaged in the accident, I recommend that you retain the items and/or photograph them. Please note that we may not be able to claim the original purchase price of the items that you initially paid. There is likely to be a deduction for wear and tear. Items are not normally replaced on a like for like basis.

It is essential:-

  • To keep receipts
  • To maintain a diary of daily pain and financial outgoings

Possible expenses and losses you may incur are;

Medication and Prescription costs

E.g. medicines, bandages, prescription costs etc.
You may need to provide:

  • A breakdown of what medication/ bandages etc was purchased and when

Treatment costs

E.g. Physiotherapy, Osteopath, Chiropractic. You will need to confirm;

  • How many sessions you had and when?
  • Costs of each session along with supporting documentation

Travel Expenses

E.g. to and from doctor’s appointments, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, to and from work etc.

It is helpful if you can keep a diary of all doctor or hospital visits, please include:

  • A breakdown of where you travelled to and from. We require date of travel, purpose of journey and mileage.
  • When?
  • Details of car parking charges incurred for such appointments.
  • If travelling by bus, bus receipts.
  • If travelling by taxi, taxi receipts.
  • If travelling in your own private vehicle we can claim the mileage, currently at £0.45 a mile.

Loss of earnings

We are able to claim loss of earnings as a result of the accident, including normal earnings, overtime payments, bonuses and other rewards.

We can also claim any loss to your pension. Initially we will need the following documentation:

PAYE employee

  • The dates between which you were unable to work
  • Wage slips for six weeks prior to the accident and covering the period in which you were off work.
  • Confirmation of your job title. 
  • Confirmation of your employer. 
  • Confirmation of any overtime lost to include evidence that the overtime was available to you.
  • Copy of your CV.
  • Details of missed bonuses.

Self employed

  • If available, personal tax returns for three years prior to the accident and covering the period for which you were out of work.
  • Profit and loss accounts for three years prior and covering the period of loss.
  • Accountants details.
  • Details of work you were unable to fulfil, for example by way of quotes/contracts that were entered into before the accident.
  • Details of work you turned away. For example both prepared details of telephone records asking you to fulfil work.

Partner in a Partnership

  • Personal tax returns for three years prior to the accident and covering period of loss.
  • Partnership trading account for three years prior to the accident and covering periods of loss.
  • Partnership tax returns.

Company Director

  • Profit and loss accounts for three years prior to the accident.
  • Profit and loss accounts covering period of work.
  • Personal tax returns for three years prior to the accident and covering period of loss.

Pension

  • Details of pension provider.
  • Pension scheme number.
  • Dates between which pension was not contributed to.

Care and Assistance

We are able to claim care and assistance provided to you by professional carers and/or family and friends, following the accident.

Professional care

If Professional care has been provided either to you such as:

  • professional cleaner/
  • professional ironing service
  • professional gardening service
  • babysitting/childminding
  • dog walking
  • livery

Then we will require the following:

  • Letter/invoices in support of payments made to the professional providing the care.
  • Confirmation over what period of time this care was carried out.
  • Confirmation of what the care was provided for.
  • Estimation of how long it is anticipated to continue

Family member/friend care

If family members or friends have been providing care, we will require the following:

  • Name, address and telephone number of individual providing the care.
  • Details of what care was provided for. For example, with bathing, preparation of meals, household chores, driving, cleaning, ironing etc.
  • Number of hours per day/week/month that assistance was provided.
  • Confirmation of what period of time this continued for.
  • Confirmation as to whether it is anticipated to continue and, if so for how long.

Third party outlay

If you have the benefit of health insurance we can include their outlay as part of your claim. We can also include any excess paid. We need confirmation of the following:

  • Healthcare provider together with policy number.
  • Copy invoices that you have received from healthcare provider.
  • Copy invoice confirming excess you have paid.

Financial losses relating to hobbies

We can include financial losses relating to any hobbies you have been unable to undertake as a result of the accident if they are directly related. This for example maybe gym membership. If so we would require the following:

  • Letter from gym provider confirming monthly payments and that you are unable to attend as a result of your injuries.

Loss of Enjoyment of Holiday

If you are unable to go on holiday or, if you are unable to enjoy your holiday as anticipated owing to your injuries we may be able to claim a sum for loss of enjoyment. We would need:

  • Details of the holiday that you were due to go on, holiday cost and the purpose of the holiday.

DIY

We are able to claim for professional DIY labour that you had to have as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident. We are unable to claim the cost of the materials. If you wish to claim under this head, we would need:

  • Details of what was done.
  • Details of when it was done.
  • Details of who it was done by.
  • Copy invoice showing breakdown between labour and materials.

If you intend to have work done in the future we will need:

  • Details of anticipated work likely to be undertaken.
  • Quote for work showing breakdown between labour and materials.

Other expenses/items

These items can include:

  • Repair or replacement costs for damaged clothing, jewellery or other belongings.
  • Items bought because of the injuries, e.g. larger clothes or shoes while in plaster.
  • Additional utilities costs because you had to spend more time at home than normal.
  • Additional telephone and postal costs because you had to contact people involved in the claim.
  • Costs of looking after animals, such as dog walking or mucking out horses.


In conclusion I recommend you make a note of each and every expense and ensure, where you can, you keep copies of receipts or any documentary evidence of the expense or loss. I love nothing more than an organised client – not only does it make finalising the Schedule of Loss so much easier but it also ensures greater prospects of a full recovery!

BL Claims Solicitors are here to help

If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at info@blclaims.co.uk