28 March, 2023
If you have suffered an injury as a result of negligence or an accident and that injury has resulted in you requiring care and assistance for some period of time, the cost of this care can form part of a claim for compensation. This can also include any long-term future care that may be required.
Often following an injury, an individual will be cared for gratuitously by a family member/friend. This can include tasks such as assisting with personal care, preparing meals, or assisting with the shopping.
The gratuitous care which forms part of a claim for compensation must however be in addition to any existing care that a family member/friend already carries out.
Typically it is calculated by working out the hours of gratuitous care, applying the commercial care rate and then applying a 25% discount to reflect the absence of tax, national insurance contributions and travel costs.
Paid care and assistance:
In cases of catastrophic or serious injury, additional paid care may be required. This paid care can form part of a claim for compensation and is usually evidenced by providing copies of invoices received from the care provider. In some cases specialist nursing care might be appropriate.
When making a claim for care and assistance it is important to consider any long-term future care and assistance that may be required. This is of particular importance in cases of catastrophic or serious injury.
Where it is expected that long-term future care is to be required it is important to obtain care expert evidence. This expert evidence will look at what gratuitous care the Claimant is receiving but also will set out what other assistance is required and how that situation may change in the longer term. The need for care can arise at any point in a person's life.
The type and duration of care varies:
We come across it from birth with birth injuries. Although all babies require a significant level of care in ordinary circumstances, it may be that a brain damaged baby has to be suctioned, repositioned peg fed and administered medication. A diagnosis of cerebral palsy can lead to varying levels of care depending on the nature of the disability that is over and above what the new mother would have to do. Those care needs usually become more apparent as a person gets older. Again, with a child they may fail to meet their milestones. With age, the requirement for care may increase in any event, but that which would have been required has to be distinguished from the additional amount that is needed from an injury.
The most intense care is 24 hour nursing care, mostly associated with catastrophic injury.
In the last year I have prepared care calculations on cases for serious road traffic accidents, accident at work and clinical negligence cases. In catastrophic cases these can amount to millions.
There is currently a care recruitment crisis which is resulting in an increased difficulty recruiting and retaining skilled care workers. Some factors contributing to this include Brexit, the pandemic and increased pay in retail and other sectors. This is having an impact on care claims as the cost of care is going up. There is a 10%-20% inflation in the cost of care packages and an increase in hourly rates for carers.
At Forbes we recognise how important it is to ensure that a claim for future care and assistance is carefully considered to ensure that it will accurately represent the expected costs of this future care. If a care report is obtained it is important that it makes specific reference to the care crisis and to factors specific to the area, quotes from local agencies and any problems encountered by local agencies.
For more information contact Leonie Millard in our Personal Injury department via email or phone on 01254 770517. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.
Learn more about our Personal Injury department here