The Court of Appeal has at last handed down its judgment in the case of Swift v Carpenter, heard in June 2020, on the issue of how damages for the cost of specially adapted accommodation is to be calculated. This is a victory for Charlotte Swift and for many other plaintiffs, including many here in Northern Ireland, whose cases have stood in abeyance pending this clarification. Due to a long term deterioration in investment returns, the established means of calculating such loss had been rendered obsolete. This resulted, in Ms Swift’s case, in a nil award. Now, by reason of the Court’s clarification, in a property claim costing £900k, the plaintiff is entitled to recover the lion’s share of the expenditure amounting to £800k.
Property is still regarded as an appreciating asset ie it is regarded as increasing in value over the period of ownership. So, a plaintiff must give a paying defendant the credit for the value of the increase in the value of the property at the time of death. Nevertheless this decision still marks a significant and long overdue rebalancing of the calculation of accommodation loss in this case and in all other cases where the victim of an accident has been obliged to seek alternate accommodation arrangements by virtue of injury.
O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors have unparalleled experience in advising and supporting the victims of life changing accidents in all matters including such accommodation claims. If you or your family have been affected please contact us for free, expert advice.