In order to claim compensation successfully you must be able to establish the following:
- that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or fault and/or partial negligence or fault and
- that you sustained injuries as a result of that accident and
- that the injuries are attributable to the accident.
It is very often the case that an accident is not caused solely by one party’s fault and there may be a number of parties that are responsible for the accident. Where this happens and a court finds a number of persons responsible for the accident, an apportionment of liability will be made between the respective parties.
Even in circumstances where you are partly to blame for the accident, a court may make an award of damages (money) to you.
For example: where you are held 20% liable for causing an accident and the other party is held 80% responsible for the accident then you will receive 80% of the amount of compensation ordered by the court.
Compensation is divided into two broad categories:
1. General Damages
This is an award of money by way of compensation for your pain and suffering up to the date of the court hearing and into the future, if applicable.
In deciding the amount of General Damages, the court may consider a number of factors to include medical reports and medical evidence and your testimony to the court on how the accident and injuries have effected you in your domestic life, social life, working life and hobbies etc.
2. Special Damages
In addition to General Damages, the court may make an order for compensation in respect of special damages i.e. out of pocket expenses such as the following:
Loss of earnings
You may be compensated for any time you are required to take off work as a result of your injuries. If you are unable to continue work or required to change jobs as a result of your injury, this will be taken into consideration by the court and an award of damages may be made for all loss of earnings up to the date of the court hearing and future losses up to retirement age (currently 65).
Medical expenses arise where hospital bills are incurred. In addition visits to your General Practitioner may be recovered, chemist bills and any other bills of a medical nature can be recovered from the party that caused the accident.
All travel expenses necessarily incurred by you as a result of the accident may be claimed.
Motor vehicle damage etc
The cost of repairs arising out of the accident such as damage to a motor car etc maybe recovered as part of your claim. In addition, where a loss of use of a motor vehicle is incurred, this may also be claimed as an item of special damage in your claim.
Where a car etc has been involved in an accident and has been repaired, the Plaintiff is entitled to recover the drop in value, commonly known as depreciation. This usually amounts to 10% of the cost of the repairs, but may be higher in respect of some circumstances such as when the car is very new or very unusual or rare.
It is important to keep receipts, invoices and bills to prove the special damages as these may be required for the purposes of a court hearing or to settle your case.
3. How We Help
Quinn Solicitors deal with personal injuries litigation and have obtained compensation for thousands of clients since the practice was established in 1998. We provide a fast efficient on line claims assessment. Please contact us by telephone 01-6266477 or fill in our online claims assessment form set out below.