Many claimants do not realise that ‘yes’ you can actually claim compensation for the care family members provide to you whilst recovering from an injury. In legal terms this type of care is called ‘gratuitous care’ and can include personal care such as; help washing, shaving, and assistance to the bathroom, dressing etc. Gratuitous care can also include domestic assistance which covers household jobs such as; cooking, washing dishes, ironing, cleaning, gardening, shopping, and childcare.
Initially courts in England & Wales were reluctant to award financial reimbursement for gratuitous care, apart from in the most serious of cases. However, this changed after the case of Giambrone & others V JMC Holiday. In this case, several children suffered from gastro-enteritis or similar illnesses, resulting from food they had eaten at a hotel whilst away on holiday. Due to their illnesses the parents of the children had to provide extra care over a period of a few weeks. JMC Holiday argued that this is care the parents would give anyway and that it didn’t go above and beyond what would usually be part of their family routine. They argued that this type of care also didn’t meet the current criteria for gratuitous care compensation. The 3 criteria are as follows:
- That the claimant would otherwise need nursing care
- That care provided should go ‘distinctly beyond that which is part of the ordinary regime of family life’
- That it must ‘only be in a very serious case that an award is justified’.
Nevertheless, the children in this case were still awarded financial compensation for the care that their parents provided. In the family’s defence it was argued: “If JMC Holiday had not caused the children to be ill, then the parents would not have had to spend time attending on their children, sitting at their bedsides, providing comfort, company and support and extra child-minding. But for the illness, this would not have been necessary. Therefore, it follows that such care and attendance should be compensated.”
The role of Express Solicitors is to ensure that all of our clients obtain compensation which helps to restore them to a position that they were in prior to their accident. We endeavor to always get the maximum amount of compensation awards possible for clients after they have been injured, and one of the burdens of proof to achieve this is on the client to prove all of their losses.
Even if care is provided to an injured client from family or friends simply out of love and affection, but the client hasn’t had to incur any expense they can still recover financial compensation for this non-professional nursing care. This is provided that the requirement for this care is supported by medical evidence and evaluation will be on a case specific basis.
Furthermore, if a family member has to give up any work to provide nursing care and they incur an actual financial loss because of this, the court will award sufficient financial compensation to reimburse the carer for their loss of earnings.
If you or a family member has been injured and as a result gratuitous care has been provided it is likely that you will be entitled to financial compensation for this care. For more information or help with a claim for compensation please call Express Solicitors on 0800 158 5274.