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Gratuitous Care FAQ

Ed Sheeran has recently announced his engagement to his long-term girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn, and has credited her for nursing him back to health following his cycling accident which prompted the need for her to look after him to help him through his recovery.

This “gratuitous care” is an often overlooked part of personal injury claim and Rob Dempsey of Roythornes Solicitors addresses some FAQs on the matter.

  • What is gratuitous care?

This is when an injured party has to rely upon friends or family members to help them carry out day to day activities following an accident.

  • How do I prove I am entitled to a gratuitous care claim?

The claimant would have to provide medical evidence to show that, as a result of the injuries, it was reasonable to rely upon care and assistance.

  • What type of assistance can I receive?

The types of care usually includes assistance with personal hygiene, assistance with mobility, taking the claimant to hospital appointments, doing the shopping and housework.

  • How is the care claim calculated?

A medical expert would advise how many hours' care is reasonable.This would also be supported by witness evidence from the injured party and the carers.The claimant’s solicitor would then often apply an hourly rate of around £6-£8 per hour.  Alternatively, if the carer can show they have missed work as a result of the care then, with evidence, they can look to recover any loss of earnings.

  • Why is the hourly rate lower than what payment would be on a private basis?

The figures are for “gratuitous care”.  It would be expected that friends or family members would provide some care and assistance in any case and so the payment is to reflect any assistance which is “beyond the call of duty”.

  • Does the compensation for gratuitous care go to the injured party or the carer?

The carer would not ordinarily have a claim against the defendant, so the claimant is entitled to recover compensation on the carer’s behalf with a view to recompensing the carer.

  • How can Roythornes Solicitors help?

If you have been injured and it was not your fault we can help assess the losses and damages including a claim for gratuitous care.