As the days lengthen and the sun shines more brightly, thoughts turn to holiday plans.
When a claim is pursued on behalf of an individual with significant disabilities, it is essential to consider whether a claim should be made for the additional holiday costs that the individual is likely to incur as a result of their disabilities.
The basis for a claim for damages is that the injured party should be put, as far as possible, into the position they would have been in but for the negligence of the party that caused them harm. Therefore, if holidays are going to cost more because of the extra needs of the injured party, the extra costs should be quantified and claimed.
There may be many reasons why holidays will cost more for a person with disabilities, including the need for transportation and accommodation that is both accessible and large enough to meet the individual’s needs. For example, space for any required equipment as well as the need for carers to accompany the individual, who will require their own transport, accommodation and sustenance.
When assessing this head of claim, it is important to consider what sort of holidays the individual would have gone on but for their disabilities. Relevant issues to be taken into account include whether the injured person has family overseas who they would have visited on a regular basis. There are a number of companies and organisations that specialise in holidays for those with disabilities, including skiing trips and safaris.
Alison Appelboam Meadows, a clinical negligence partner at Penningtons Manches who regularly acts for children with significant brain injuries, comments: “I frequently find that injured individuals and their families have not been on holiday for many years because of the costs and logistics of taking someone with significant disabilities away from the home environment. It is very important to try to address this issue as soon as funds and the opportunity permit.”