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Title: Can I claim for the increased cost of an automatic car?

Date: 11 April 2012

Question

Ever since my accident on my Fazer 2 years ago I have been unable to drive a manual car due to the injuries to my lower leg making clutch use to tiring and painful. I have bought an automatic car with an interim payment my lawyer got me but my opponent is refusing to cover the extra cost of buying, replacing periodically and running an automatic car. We have reached a standstill in the negotiations on this point and I am hoping you can point me in the right direction?

Ray Matthewson, Kent

Answer

The basis for a claim for financial losses is to put you back into the position you would have been in (insofar as is possible) had the accident not happened. You state that as a result of the accident you can no longer drive a manual car and therefore need an automatic which costs more, and over the years will be a significant difference financially. The key here is medical evidence. Your lawyer needs to instruct the orthopaedic surgeon involved in the medical legal aspects of your case to specifically deal with the reasonableness of having to drive an automatic as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. If your medical expert supports this claim then so, hopefully, will your opponent’s expert (if they have instructed one) and it is a perfectly reasonable claim to be making.

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