Examples of Compensation for Disability
In the event that you or a loved one has suffered disability due to a motor vehicle accident or any other form of negligence, your lives will be affected physically, emotionally, and financially.
Disability brings with it many challenges and should you be able to claim compensation for those injuries, there are many items that would greatly improve an injured person’s quality of life.
Should you have a claim for compensation due to negligence, it would be necessary to explain to a court how the amount of compensation should be calculated. Each person’s needs would be different depending on their disability, for example, a blind person may not need a dietician to layout a special diet, while an amputee would probably not need special visual aids. It is important to note that not every medical expense in a person’s life would be covered by a claim – a claim can only be made for compensation for expenses and losses that are related to the disability. For example, every person would have had basic expenses such as visiting a dentist or needing a cell phone. What is necessary for one type of disability may not be related to another type. This is why every individual’s unique case has to be investigated and proven in detail.
The three main legs of any quantum case are:
- Medical and related expenses
- Loss of income or ability to earn an income
- General damages (compensation for emotional suffering).
Below are a few examples of items that could be included as well as why they can be motivated:
Medical and related expenses
- Doctors, therapist, and specialist visits and tests
- Ophthalmological, ocularist, or optometry care
- Orthopaedic care
- Psychotherapy including psychological and psychiatric care
- Dietician and special diet requirements
- Occupational therapy
- Urological or gynaecological care
- Audiology and speech therapy
- Hospital and specialised medical centre car
- Medical and related equipment
- Mobility devices such as wheelchairs, walking frames, canes, splints and exercise equipment
- Items around the house specifically to improve accessibility and activities of daily living, such as talking watches or microwaves
- Computers, smart cellphones, and tablets with special voice recognition software
- Auditory and communication assisting devices
- Braille typing machine, paper, and other blind adapted devices.
- Special schooling
- Special schools where training can be provided related to a specific disability
- Since there are few schools in South Africa, traveling may be necessary and hostel or boarding school costs may be included
- Domestic and gardening assistants.
- Drivers and shopping assistants.
- Personal assistants (also called and amanuensis) to assist with personal admin and errands.
- Part-time, full time and live-in caregivers
- Adaptations to house
- Architectural changes to rooms, such as special locks, ramps, adapted kitchens, cupboards, hoists, bathrooms for disabled persons.
- Health and safety provisions, such as emergency and security services
- Adaptation transport
- Larger vehicles may be necessary to transport wheelchairs
- Lifts or hoists may be necessary to transport wheelchairs
- Automatic vehicles may be required
- Provision of creation and management of a Trust to safeguard an impaired person’s finances are crucial
- In the event of minor (underage) children, a court will always insist that funds awarded must be protected by way of a Trust and that the Master of the High Court may intervene if necessary.
Loss of income or ability to earn an income
- A person may lose income for a few months or their ability to ever work again
- There may be a reduced capacity for work, i.e. a person may only be able to earn a basic income, or there may be complete loss of ability to work resulting in no income at all.
- An industrial psychologist and actuary will look at a person’s family and personal history to predict what their career and income loss is likely to be.
- General damages describe an amount awarded simply to show sympathy or an apology for the loss.
- Because it is impossible to place a value on the loss of a limb or eyesight or other mental or intellectual ability, our courts have over many years attempted to award similar amounts in similar cases.
- The court does look at factors such as whether there is permanent or temporary pain and suffering, emotional trauma, awareness of the disability.
The above are only some examples of items that could be included in a claim. There are many other individualised needs that the specialised legal team at Paul du Plessis Attorneys are able to include in your claim based on the assistance of world-leading experts and years of experience with personal injury claims.
Written by Ergo Law Research and Consulting Services