I would like to know what “loss of amenity” means please. I have seen on several pages of your web site that you can claim for loss of amenity as part of an injury compensation claim, but I am not exactly sure what it is.
The term “loss of amenity” generally relates to the consequences of an injury and how they affect your quality of life. People will experience different levels of loss of amenity when they sustain an injury – even if the injuries are identical – because of the lifestyle that they lead.
For example, should you be a keen guitarist and break a finger in an accident for which you were not to blame, your injury would have more of an influence on your lifestyle than somebody whose hobby was reading. Consequently you would be able to claim more compensation for loss of amenity than the person who likes reading.
If you enjoy gardening, golfing, cycling or any activity which you are unable to participate in due to your injury caused by somebody else´s negligence, provided it can demonstrated that you engage in these pastimes regularly, you will be able to include your loss of amenity in a claim for personal injury compensation.
In certain circumstances you may also be able to claim loss of amenity compensation for missing a special occasion – for example a family holiday, a friend´s wedding or a major sporting event. Although these may not by regarded as regular pastimes, you should not be penalised for missing out on the enjoyment of these occasions because of a third party´s lack of care
Loss of amenity does not only apply to leisure pursuits. If you are a full-time homemaker, and you broken finger makes it more difficult to complete day-to-day activities such as cooking and washing, you can also claim loss of amenity because of the additional difficulty – and possibly pain – you encounter trying to keep the home.
As you can see, everybody will experience different consequences to sustaining an injury, and those consequences are what are counted as loss of amenity. If you have sustained an injury in an accident for which you were not at fault, it is often a good idea to maintain a diary to keep a note of how your lifestyle and everyday living is affected by your injury – even if it is a minor inconvenience.
When it comes to preparing your claim for personal injury compensation, the online application and the hard copy of Application Form A for the Injuries Board Ireland leaves little opportunity for you to explain the consequences of your injury, and you have to carefully manipulate the spaces which are available or send a covering letter with your application (you can send this as an attachment if applying for an assessment online). Ideally you should use the services of a solicitor with experience of submitting forms to the Injuries Board Ireland for assessment to ensure that your claim for loss of amenity compensation is accounted for in your full compensation claim.
For the sake of clarity, compensation for loss of amenity does not extend to recovering expenses you have incurred if, for example, you have had to employ somebody to assist you in the home. These costs would be recovered in the “special damages“ element of your claim for injury compensation and, if you require any further information about the distinction between loss of amenity compensation and special damages, you are advised to speak directly with an experienced personal injury solicitor.