A special damages claim is the part of your claim for compensation which can be defined in terms of monetary loss. This mean that things such as the cost of physiotherapy, damaged clothing and travel losses are included. As the point of compensation is to return the victim to the position they were in prior to the accident, the payment of these special damages which would otherwise come out of the victim’s pocket is essential.
We acted for a client recently who had many items of special damages to be recovered. She was a passenger in a car involved in a road traffic accident on a narrow country lane. Our client’s vehicle was proceeding up the narrow hill road when a large tractor came around the blind bend and failed to stop. The tractor hit the vehicle head on and pushed our client’s vehicle down the road. The car was towed away and written off.
Our client was taken to hospital after the accident where she was revealed to have suffered a fractured sternum and several soft tissue injuries. A dental implant was also knocked loose and had to be removed and refitted. Our client underwent physiotherapy at her own expense to help her recover as soon as possible from her injuries. The cost of these sessions was later part of her claim for special damages.
The rest of her special damages claim included the costs incurred by her husband in having to take her to appointments as she was unable to use public transport due to the remote location of her home. It also included her costs in having the treatment to refit her tooth. These items would all have added up to a significant amount were she not able to claim for special damages. As she would not have incurred these costs but for the accident, it is only right that she doesn’t have to bear all of the costs herself and is able to seek reimbursement for them as special damages.
This claim was successful and our client recovered special damages to go towards her costs as well as the general damages awarded for her injury itself.