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Why it’s important for you to keep records & receipts if you have been injured in an accident

Why it’s important for you to keep records & receipts if you have been injured in an accident

Published on February 21, 2024 by Robert AlgieRobert Algie

Suffering an injury due to an accident can be a life-altering experience, and often injured people require additional care and support to aid in their recovery. In the context of a personal injury claim in New South Wales (NSW), the concept of “gratuitous care” holds significant importance in any potential claim. This article explains what gratuitous care is and why you should keep receipts and records of any care provided for the purpose of your personal injury claim including that provided by family and friends.

What is gratuitous care?

Gratuitous care refers to the assistance and support provided to an injured person by family members or friends, without them being provided any financial compensation. This care can encompass various forms of assistance, including things such as:

i. Assistance with daily activities – help with household chores, personal hygiene, and other routine tasks that an injured person may struggle with due to their injury.

ii. Transportation and mobility aid – accompanying an injured person to medical appointments or aiding in transportation to and from these.

Establishing the need for gratuitous care

To claim care as part of a personal injury claim, it’s crucial to establish the necessity for such support resulting from your injury. It is furthermore important to note that the services that are claimable must be more than mere love or emotional support. To establish that care required has resulted from your injury it typically involves presenting evidence and documentation that demonstrates:

i. The nature and extent of the injuries you have sustained.

ii. The impact of these injuries on your ability to perform your daily tasks.

iii. The specific care and assistance that is now required by you due to the injuries you have sustained.

Section 15 of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (the Act) allows an injured person to obtain damages for gratuitous attendant care services for the purpose of a personal injury claim. Such services are most often provided by a family member or friend of an injured person, who has voluntarily assisted to help undertake these tasks.

Section 15B of the Act extends this head of damage (these are the elements in a compensation claim) to loss of an injured person’s capacity to provide gratuitous domestic services to their dependants, in certain circumstances. A good example of this is where an injured person no longer being able to provide childcare for their grandchildren or children as they previously did before their injury.

To be able to claim gratuitous care you must prove that the care was being provided at a rate of at least six hours per week, for a minimum of six months. If you meet these requirements a claim for gratuitous care can be made for the equivalent amount of hours in which the care was provided to you. It is important to also know that a claim for gratuitous care required into the future can also be made when you can demonstrate past gratuitous care that has been required.

The importance of keeping receipts and records for your claim

When making a personal injury claim in NSW, it’s crucial to keep detailed records and receipts for any expenses or services incurred, especially those related to gratuitous care. Here’s why:

i. Demonstrating the value of your care – receipts serve as concrete evidence of the value of the care provided to you. They substantiate the costs associated with the assistance rendered by family members or friends. This documentation strengthens your claim by accurately demonstrating the extent of the help received.

ii. Maximising your compensation – accurate records of expenses incurred due to gratuitous care can contribute to maximising the compensation sought in your claim. These documented expenses are considered in the assessment of damages, ensuring that you as the injured party receives adequate compensation for the assistance you have and will require.

iii. Avoiding disputes during your claim – clear and comprehensive records help in avoiding disputes during the claims process. They provide a transparent account of the care you have received, reducing the likelihood of a dispute regarding the extent or value of the assistance provided and the entitlement you have to this element of compensation when your claim is calculated as a monetary figure.

Tips for documenting the gratuitous care you have received

i. Keep detailed records – maintain a log of dates, times, and types of care provided. You should include descriptions of specific tasks or support offered. This can be in the form of a calendar entry or journal diary.

ii. Collect receipts and invoices – obtain receipts for any expenses related to the care, such as medical supplies, travel costs, or other out-of-pocket expenses incurred while providing care.

iii. Seek professional guidance – you should consult with a lawyer experienced in personal injury claims. They can offer guidance on what documentation is required and how to accurately record and present these expenses for the purpose of any future claim.

Gratuitous care plays a vital role in aiding the recovery of an injured person. Keeping meticulous records and receipts for such care is essential when filing a personal injury claim in NSW. These records not only validate the support received but also contribute significantly to ensuring fair compensation being awarded to you for the damages incurred due to your injury.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice. If you are seeking professional advice on any legal matters, you can contact Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers on 1800 059 278 or via our Contact Page and one of our lawyers will be able to assist you.

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