If you have been involved in a non-fault road traffic accident and it has caused you losses apart from damages to your vehicle or personal injuries you are entitled to make a claim for other losses.
Thousands of people are injured every year due to non-fault road traffic accidents. Often people claim for personal injury but do not claim for other losses which they have suffered due to the accident. This is divided into two parts – general damages and special damages. Your general damages claim is the pain you are suffering from and the loss of amenity (quality of life) that you have sustained as a result of your injuries. Your special damages claim is your claim for any out of pocket expenses you have incurred as a direct result of the accident.
For example, travel expenses to and from hospital after an accident, can be claimed, as can any prescriptions necessary to help you ease the pain. Other losses, such as telephone calls made to and from the customer and different parties relating to the accident, can be claimed.
You can also claim for Loss of Earnings – more information is provided below:
There are two types of loss of earnings claim. Please read below for further information:
As the person bringing the claim you will need to produce evidence to support any loss claimed. If you are employed (as opposed to self-employed or a business owner), the best way of doing this is to produce payslips for at least 6 months prior to the accident in order to show a detailed history of your earnings. If you wish to claim for lost overtime you will also need to show that this overtime would have been available to you if you had not been prevented from working because of your injuries, and that you regularly worked overtime prior to the accident. The Court will usually assess your net average monthly wage for at least 3 months prior to the accident in order to calculate your average salary. In a straight forward claim this will be multiplied by your period of absence in order to calculate your loss of earning claim.
If you are self-employed or a business owner, it is little more complicated to prove a loss of earnings claim. It is important to notify your accountant at an early stage that you are absent and incurring a loss through your business. Ensure that you keep records of your working diary, invoices and details of contracts that you were unable to fulfil due to your injuries. Your accountant should be able to provide details of your accounts for at least 3 years prior to accident in order to adequately assess your net loss through the business.
Even if your vehicle has been repaired satisfactorily following an accident it may still have suffered a loss in market value. For example, if you put two cars up for sale which are exactly the same, but one has been involved in an accident and the other has not, as a buyer you would expect to pay less for the damaged car. If this happens to you, you are entitled to recover the difference in the value of your vehicle before and after the accident. This type of claim is called “diminution”.
You cannot make a diminution claim for every accident when a car is repaired. Normally the newer your car or the more prestigious it is, the more likely you are to have a claim. Your car must also have sustained enough damage in the accident.
You need to prove your claim and there are two ways a claim for diminution can be established.
i) If you sell your car immediately following repair and you receive less for it than you would have done otherwise you will be able to demonstrate an actual loss.
ii) If you do not sell your car you are still entitled to claim because the accident has decreased the market value of your car. However, you will now need expert witness evidence from a suitably qualified motor engineer to support your claim. We have access to independent motor engineers who are experts in preparing independent evidence for the court, and we will ask them to prepare a report for you.
What happens next?
If you wish to make a claim for special damages i.e. loss of earnings or vehicle diminution, please advise us when making a Personal Injury Claim. This is to make sure that it is included in the claim when claiming it from the third party insurers