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What can I claim for?

Injuries happen in all sorts of ways.  It could be as a result of a car accident, accident at work, cycling accident, a trip or fall in the street or in a shop or supermarket or even as a result of clinical negligence by a doctor or hopital.

But however the injuries occurred the fact is that financial losses may follow.  When I first meet someone following an accident one of the most fundamental questions to consider is exactly what losses can be claimed.  This is important so that right from the outset documents to support the loss can be identified and retained as proof of the loss at a later stage.

Some items of loss are easier to prove than others.  For example, the costs of repairs to your car or cycle, the replacement cost of damaged clothes or personal belongings, the cost of hiring a vehicle whilst your own is being repaired, loss of earnings, taxi fares, cost of any treatment (maybe physiotherapy) and any medication costs.

Other items are not so easy to prove and this is where good documentary evidence is vital.  For example if you are self employed then proving a loss of earnings may be less straight forward than if you are in employment.  In these cases good accountancy records are essential to show your pre accident income and also to demonstrate a post accident drop in turnover and profit.  It may be that as a self employed person you have to turn work down because of your inability to work after an accident.  In those circumstances it is essential that you retain all documents showing what work you could taken on, preferably in the form of a contract between you and your potential customer.  If that sort of evidence is retained right from the outset it makes the task of proving the loss of income so much easier.  Documentary evidence really is the key!

Another area where difficulties may arise is in relation to the amount of care you may have required following an accident.  Even if you did not pay for care and it was provided by a relative or friend it still has a value in law.  The best way to secure evidence on this is to keep a daily or weekly account of everything you needed help with and for how long.  You will be surprised at how quickly this builds up!

Whenever I meet someone to discuss making a claim for injuries and losses I always ask the question as to whether there is anything else specific to them where a loss has incurred.  Sometimes people tell me that they had to cancel a holiday or lost the use of a gym or golf club membership.  All of these losses can be claimed for.

There is no fixed rule as to what you can or cannot claim for.  If you consider that you have incurred a financial loss because of an accident then with evidence of the loss there is no reason why that should not form part of your claim.

Ibbotson Brady Solicitors Limited
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