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Gratuitous care in a personal injury claim.

  • April 27, 2015
  • mmassen
  • Comments Off on Gratuitous care in a personal injury claim.

 

“Gratuitous care” is one of the heads of claim in personal injury matters which is frequently overlooked. So what is it? Gratuitous care is payment for a spouse, partner or friend who provides care and assistance, such as cleaning, cooking, transport etc. which you are unable to do for yourself owing to your injuries.

I am acutely aware of the need to claim gratuitous care as, at present, I am reliant upon my long-suffering wife to fetch and carry for me having undergone a recent operation on my ankle. The accident was caused by my own stupidity rather than the fault of a third-party so there is no accompanying claim.

It  has however highlighted the extent of care and support we need from our loved ones when we are not in a position to manage for ourselves. Even the most simple of tasks such as the preparation of your breakfast can requires at least 20 to 30 minutes when you take account of the fetching and carrying required etc. Multiply this for 3 meals a day and you can see how the hours clock up.

The amount claimable for gratuitous care is comparable to the cost of obtaining the assistance on a private basis. It is on an after tax basis, and is usually in the region of £4.50 per hour. It covers general household duties and not specialist medical care or treatment. When discussing gratuitous care with clients a common problem is where it is claimed that the care has been for 24 hours a day. Physically this is impossible as the carer needs to sleep, and 24-hour care is reserved only for the most serious of injuries.

When assessing gratuitous care one must take a realistic and pragmatic approach. This is particularly true bearing in mind the recent introduction of the rules relating to fundamental dishonesty. The courts can, if they feel that there has been any attempt to deceive in relation to any part of the claim, strike out the entire claim and order that the claimant pay the defendant’s legal costs. This could lead to the scenario whereby an exaggerated claim for care could lead to the claimant walking away with nothing. It is therefore crucial that honest disclosure is provided regarding the level of care given and received.

We would strongly recommend that you keep a day to day record of the care and assistance you receive.

Your lawyer can use this to assist you in recovering all that you are due and to support any challenges or attempts to discredit your claim.

To make sure that you recover all the compensation that you deserve contact Cohen Cramer Solicitors today:

 

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