When someone suffers serious injury through an accident which was not their fault, its likely they will be able to bring a claim for compensation. Compensation is generally split into two streams – general damages which compensate for the pain and suffering, and special damages which compensate for past and future losses sustained as a direct result of your injuries.
Special damages include many things like ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation, adaptations that may be required to a property, past and future care needs if assistance is needed with day-to-day tasks such as personal care, as well as loss of earnings and loss of future earnings.
Calculating loss of earnings for the self-employed
If someone is unable to work due to their injuries, then it is only fair that they receive funds to cover their lost income. When someone is employed, this is a fairly easy calculation as their weekly salary will be a set amount and any regular overtime can be calculated by looking at their average salary over a set period.
However, things can get a little more tricky if the person is self employed or owns their own business. For many, calculations can be carried out similar to how they would if the person were employed, by looking at their average income over a set period of time, but there are times when this is not appropriate.
In the case of Joseph, he sustained a spinal injury when the motorbike he was riding was stationary, indicating to turn right into a side turning, and a drunk driver hit him from behind. He spent some weeks in Addenbrookes Hospital receiving treatment for his spinal injury, and then underwent intensive rehabilitation. This meant that he was unable to work in the business which he owned, and was without an income for some months.
Calculating the loss of earnings was complicated. Prior to his accident, the business was seeing a drop in sales, which may well have continued, but it may not have. The business was also in an industry severely impacted by the Covid lockdowns, meaning that during this period it would not have been able to trade in its original format, if at all. So how do you calculate the losses caused by Joseph’s inability to work due to his injuries vs the losses it was seeing anyway due to a fall in custom vs the losses it would have sustained due to Covid lockdowns?
Instructing a specialist solicitor for a compensation claim
Special damages such as loss of earnings are not always clear cut, and it’s important to ensure that you instruct a specialist solicitor to work on your behalf to ensure you receive appropriate compensation for your losses as well as your pain and suffering.
As part of your claim, a specialist solicitor will help calculate the losses and work their way through the complexities. They may also, if needed, instruct a forensic accountant to prepare a report to assist in calculating the impact on future income and loss of opportunity as a direct result of your accident.
Contact Major Trauma Group
If you would like a free, no obligation chat with a specialist serious injury solicitor, you can call us on 0330 311 2578, email email@example.com or head over to our website to access live chat during office hours (www.majortraumagroup.co.uk).
Who are Major Trauma Group
We are a not-for-profit community interest company, made up of leading law firms from across the country who, together with clinicians, have pooled our knowledge and experience to assist major trauma victims and their families through the provision of legal advice and ancillary services.
Our members are committed to securing funding for rehabilitation via the legal claims process; improving clinical outcomes, easing the financial burden on the NHS; and ensuring appropriate recompense.