Will lost earnings be included in my work injury claim?
If your claim is successful, you will receive payment for lost earnings. Any compensation awarded will include something known as “special damages”, which covers any expenses incurred as a result of your injury – anything from medical costs, to travel expenses or loss of earnings.
A compensation claim against your employer will be successful provided two different things can be demonstrated. The first of these is that your employer was somehow negligent. The negligence in question can take many forms – it could be that you weren’t provided with the right safety equipment for a task, or given the training needed to use it correctly. It could also be something as simple as debris or litter which hasn’t been cleared away, causing you to trip over it, although in some cases the negligence concerned is less instant and direct, amounting to an on-going dangerous environment. Examples of the latter would include a dusty atmosphere which, over the years, led to breathing difficulties, or a lack of protection in a noisy environment which permanently damages the hearing of an employee.
The second part of a compensation claim is demonstrating that the negligence in question led to injury on your part. Again, this could be either a one off injury, or a condition or illness, and in either case will require medical evidence to establish its’ veracity. The need for this kind of expert evidence is just one of the reasons why it’s best to seek the help of an experienced work injury solicitor. As well as knowing what it takes to win a case, they will know how the compensation is calculated.
One part of any compensation awarded will be calculated using the type and severity of your injury, but the rest will be based on any of the ways in which your injury has left you out of pocket. On the one hand this will mean compensating you for expenses such as the cost of travel or medical bills, but on the other it will mean making sure you receive payment to make up for any wages you’ve lost due to having to take time off work. In certain cases, the injury sustained will be so serious that it has an impact on your earning power going forward into the future, and if this is the case then an amount of money will be calculated on the basis of how much you might have lost overall. In some cases an employer may make an offer before the court case goes forward, in which case you’ll be relying upon your lawyer to advise as to whether its fair or not.