Forensic Accountant Personal Injury
A forensic accountant in personal injury claims is an invaluable addition to any legal team. We play a pivotal role in getting to the bottom of the figures at the heart of a case by calculating the financial losses suffered by a Claimant. At Frenkels Forensic Chartered Accountants, we specialise in personal injury work, and our expertise in the field has made us the go-to practice for both Claimant and Defendant personal injury solicitors’ firms.
What Is The Role Of A Forensic Accountant In A Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims can be complex. To settle the question of liability, complicated questions of law and fact must be resolved, often with reference to extensive witness and expert evidence. The question of quantum, meaning the amount the claim is worth and the level of damages appropriate, can be equally as challenging. This is where a forensic accountant can play a crucial role in personal injury claims by helping to resolve the financial aspects of the matter.
Forensic accountants are trained professionals who combine our accounting knowledge with a thorough understanding of the law and the principles applicable to damages calculations. In the context of personal injury claims, we are often called upon to provide expert analysis and testimony related to the economic damages suffered by the Claimant or to analyse the Claimant’s calculations and prepare alternatives on behalf of the Defendant.
Damages In Personal Injury Claims
Damages in personal injury claims fall into two categories – special damages and general damages.
General damages are intended to compensate the Claimant for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity their injuries have caused. Special damages relate to financial losses sustained by the Claimant as a result of their accident. Those losses may include the following items:
- • Any loss of earnings resulting from the Claimant being unable to work due to their injuries, whether physical or psychological.
• Medical expenses.
• Pension losses resulting from the Claimant being unable to contribute to a pension scheme as a result of not being at work due to their injuries.
• Travel expenses, such as those incurred in attending medical appointments.
• The cost of any home alterations that are required to enable the Claimant to live comfortably with their injuries.
One of the primary roles of a forensic accountant in a personal injury case is to help quantify the financial losses resulting from the incident – the ‘special damages’ referred to above. This involves preparing a variety of calculations, including those relating to lost wages or income (either for the employed or self employed), and quantifying pension losses. These calculations can be extremely complex, and require a deep understanding of accounting principles, legal precedents, financial markets, and economic trends.
For example, pension losses, which can add significant value to a Claimant’s damages claim, are notoriously difficult to calculate. Unlike loss of earnings calculations, which can be fairly readily identifiable, any pension losses that we identify the Claimant has sustained often need to be calculated with reference to a myriad of complicated, convoluted pension provisions.
To perform our calculations, we will typically review a wide range of financial documents and other evidence related to the case. This can include medical reports, employment records, accounts, tax documents and pension statements.
How Can A Forensic Accountant In A Personal Injury Claim Assist In Resolving A Dispute?
Very few personal injury cases reach trial; instead, they are resolved by the parties through negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation.
The calculations and reports prepared by forensic accountants provide invaluable assistance during settlement negotiations in a personal injury case. By providing a clear, objective analysis of the Claimant’s financial losses or the Defendant’s counter arguments, our work facilitates productive settlement discussions. We can provide our calculations in a variety of formats, including desktop reports, white-label reports and Civil Procedure Rules compliant reports, depending on the needs of our client.
If litigation proves unavoidable, our Reports assist all those involved, including the Judge, in understanding the quantum element of the claim. We are experienced in attending Court hearings to act as expert witnesses on behalf of the Claimant or Defendant, or as a single joint expert. We are adept at giving our evidence under cross-examination, clearly explaining to the Court how we came to our conclusions and why our calculations accurately reflect the Claimant’s losses or, when acting for a Defendant, how the Claimant’s calculations are flawed. We understand and fully adhere to our duties as expert witnesses under the Civil Procedure Rules, ensuring our conduct is beyond reproach.
We offer a free, no-obligation quote at the outset of every matter and will explain how we anticipate being able to assist you in resolving your personal injury claim. We use cutting-edge techniques and technology to assist us in providing first-class forensic accountancy services in the most cost-effective way.
“Your report was a herculean task and put us in an incredibly strong position. Thank you ever so much for the work and advice you have provided . The report was clear and accessible and will not hesitate to recommend you all.”
“I am indebted to you for your contribution, and for explaining things in plain English such that even lawyers can understand the issues”
“It was a pleasure working with you on what was a rather difficult case”