If someone in your immediate family has experienced a personal injury, the effects can be devastating. A serious personal injury can change completely change the life of the injured party, as well as having a profound effect on their closest relatives. If a close relative has been killed or seriously injured in an accident that was not their fault, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation. This claim could include the collateral effects that the injury has had on those around the victim.
Why make a claim on behalf of a loved one?
When someone is injured in an accident or as a result of a violent crime, it is not always possible for them to make a claim for themselves. This may be because the injuries that they suffered were so severe, because the person was killed in the accident, or because the person in question is not old enough to make their own claim.
If the person is under 18 or if they lack the mental capacity to make adult decisions for themselves then it is possible to become the “litigation friend” for the injured party. Before you are accepted as a litigation friend, the court will need to do some quick checks to ascertain your suitability to accept this role. Making a claim in this way will help to ensure that the injured person has access to all of the support that they need to help them to deal with the aftermath of the accident. The litigation friend will be responsible for making important decisions relating to the case.
If the person has died, it is likely that the death will have had a serious effect on your life and the lives of other family members. As well as shouldering previous medical costs and funeral costs, you may have been left with a severely reduced family income. In addition to this, there is a high degree of emotional suffering involved in the death of a loved one, especially if they death occurred because of a horrifying accident. It is a good idea to speak to a claims advisor to see whether it is possible to make a claim for the effects that the aftermath of the accident have had on you and your family.
What could we get compensation for?
Your claims advisor will help to decide what you might be able to get compensation for. The compensation differs in every single case, because it is always based on unique circumstances. In cases where the injuries are severe, the compensation may be awarded to enable the family to make necessary adaptations to the home and vehicles. This can help to make it easier to offer appropriate care for the injured person. The cost of carers may also be covered if professional care is needed. If you or another family member has suffered from a reduced earning potential because of the increased care requirement of the injured party, you may also be able to claim compensation for this.
The injured party should also receive compensation which is proportional to the extent of their injuries. In order to work out how much compensation a person may be entitled to, the claims advisor will need access to personal medical records. If there have been any out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred because of the injury, the defendant should be asked to cover these as part of the claim. The claim may also take into account all loss of earnings and potential future earnings which the injured party was forced to sacrifice because of their injury.
If the accident caused the premature death of the victim, it may also be possible to make a claim for the emotional distress that has been caused by the death. Damages can be claimed for loss of relationships (society) arising from the death of the loved one. Claims can also include the loss of financial support, particularly if the deceased had been the main breadwinner in the household. If the deceased had primary responsibility for any other tasks which now require someone else to be employed to carry out those tasks for the family, this may also be consider within the scope of the claim.