One of the most common questions we receive at the outset of any claim is,
“How much is my claim worth?” Nearly always, we are unable to give an accurate estimate. This is partly because the client’s symptoms are usually ongoing. When valuing a claim, we base our valuation on expert medical evidence which is normally obtained at a later stage.
Compensation in Personal Injury Claims is divided between General Damages and Special Damages.
General damages relate to the injuries you have suffered as a result of the accident and are intended to compensate you for your pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
The values are calculated using both the Judicial College Guidelines and previously-reported cases which provide suggestions as to the amounts of damages that should be awarded for specific injury types. The said amounts are split into categories depending on the severity of the injury.
According to the Guidelines, a person who suffers a neck injury in a Road Traffic Accident and who makes a recovery within three months stands to receive up to £2,150.00 whereas someone who suffers a fractured wrist after falling over a defective paving slab and makes a recovery within 12 months may receive between £3,090.00 to £4,160.00.
I have recently settled a claim for a lady who fell due to a defective pavement and fractured her wrist. After months of discussions, the opponent admitted liability. Our medical expert advised that she should fully recover within 12-18 months of the injury and recommended physiotherapy. We arranged the Physiotherapy and the Clamant recovered within the prognosis period given. We valued the case using the JC Guidelines and past case law and settled the matter for £5,500.00.
Special Damages are the financial losses you suffer as a result of the accident. These losses include past and future losses such as travelling expenses, medication costs such as prescription charges, damaged clothing, missed or cancelled events, care and assistance provided by friends and family, unused gym memberships, ruined holidays, the cost of private therapy, reduced pension payments, loss of use of a vehicle, care hire charges, insurance excesses together with other items. Usually, an injured person’s largest financial loss relates to their earnings.
In cases where the injuries are permanently disabling, the future losses (particularly earnings, pension loss, future paid care and accommodation) form the largest part of the value.
We always ask clients to keep detailed records of all their losses from the date of the injury until settlement to ensure that nothing is missed. This will include mileage driven by them and others as a result of the injury, hours of unpaid assistance paid by friends and relatives and keeping a lot of receipts for items such as medication, parking tickets from hospitals and physiotherapy. Often, when we reach the stage of valuing a claim, we have to sort through a carrier bag full of papers to ensure that no items of loss are unclaimed.
All of the above are calculated and added to your general damages before we settle the claim.
Should you or anybody you know have been involved in an accident please call one of our experts on 0114 218 4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org