It can be confusing and nerve-wracking when making a personal injury claim, especially if you are concerned about going to court.
While the majority of these cases are settled privately, there can still be a long process to get to that point – and instructing a solicitor rarely comes cheap.
Here are the costs that may be associated when making a personal injury claim.
Legal and administrative expenses
One of the more straightforward and obvious costs in a claim is the legal expenses you will be liable for.
Many legal firms offer counsel on a no win no fee basis, however, this does not necessarily mean that you will pay nothing at all in the event that your claim is not successful. For example, taking out a relevant insurance policy is a vital part of any no win no fee claim.
If you’re unsure about the costs associated, many firms now offer helpful personal injury claim calculators so you can get an idea of what your claim may be worth and what it may cost.
In the event that your case is successful, you will generally pay your solicitor a pre-agreed cut of your compensation. Other fees may be mostly paid by the other side, but you may also have to make up for any shortfalls.
What costs can compensation cover?
If you are awarded compensation, it will be calculated by adding general damages and special damages. General damages are amounts paid out for your pain and suffering; these are generally pre-set figures. Special damages are calculated through your individual circumstances and may factor in any or all of the following factors.
Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
One of the greatest costs may not be cash that you pay out, but rather income that you do not make.
A serious injury might mean you are unable to work for an extended period of time, leaving you potentially reliant on sick pay – which may soon dwindle depending on your employment situation.
In even more serious situations, your injury or condition may be long-lasting to the point where you are unable to work the same job or hours as before.
Rehabilitation and therapy expenses
If you require specialist treatment to recover from your injuries, you may need to do this via a private physiotherapist rather than through the NHS.
Depending on the severity of your injury, this may involve rehabbing surgery sites to help your skin and muscles recover or, in more serious cases, involve having to learn to walk or talk fully again.
Emotional distress and mental health support
Serious injuries can leave more than physical scars. Depending on how the incident occurred, it can also have a long-term impact on your mental health too.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among those who are injured in circumstances such as car accidents and violent assaults. Treatment for PTSD and other associated conditions often centres around talking therapies and some antidepressant medications.
Lifestyle modifications and accessibility
If your injury leaves you with a permanent impairment, you may need to make modifications to your home; for example, replacing stairs with ramps and other access ways if you require the use of a wheelchair.
It’s important that you also discuss accessibility with your employer after an accident. If your needs change, they will have a duty of care to make modifications to help you.