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There are a number of different "heads of damage" under which an injured party may be able to claim if they were injured in an accident.

General Damages

This is a claim for pain, injury and loss of amenity. This is the direct affect of the accident upon you, such as a broken leg, scar from a cut or bruising from a fall on your knee, the recovery from that injury and the effect of the injury upon you whilst you recover.

Special Damages

As well as your injury you may also be entitled to make a claim for loss of earnings because you are unable to work due to the injury you sustained in the accident or that you have to work a less well paid job. It may be that when you can return to your job you have to work less hours or you are in a less well paid position. You also might be put at a disadvantage on the open labour market because of your injury.

Claims can also be made for care required by your injury now and in the future, particularly if you require assistance by someone either temporarily or permanently to undertake tasks such as gardening, washing, getting up and down the stairs etc. These are just examples of what lawyers call “special damages”.

You can also claim for travel expenses which you have had to pay to see the hospital or doctor because of your injury.

Criminal Injury Compensation under the CICA

If you are injured by a criminal act you may be able to claim compensation.

There is a government scheme available called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which provides compensation for persons injured in violent crimes. Usually a claim needs to be brought within two years of the assault and it is also important that the assault is reported to the Police. It is not necessary for the attacker to be convicted of the assault but clearly this would assist your case.

The CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) now pay compensation on a fixed scale which is less generous than would be the case if you could make a claim against a (negligent) third party but claims against the CICA can still be significant.

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