The compensation awarded by the court is designed to put you back into the same position that you would have been in if the injuries had not been sustained.
General damages in a compensation claim:
This is an award designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity (referred to as PSLA) caused by the injury. This covers all those consequences of the injury which cannot be valued in terms of money. The general damages award figures are based on earlier court decisions. To ensure fairness and some degree of consistency in general damages awards the Judicial College produces annual guidelines for judges which set out the appropriate brackets of award within which certain types of injury should fall. Compensation awards for general damages in this country are not generous and they are usually less than the average person in the street would expect for the pain and suffering endured.
When assessing general damages it is crucial that the prognosis of the injury is carefully assessed before the claim is settled. A detailed report covering both your condition and your prognosis will usually be required so that the level of the general damages award can be accurately assessed. We have a database of independent consultants, specialising in all areas of medicine, who can provide us with highly detailed reports assessing the likely prognosis of your injuries.
Special damages in a compensation claim:
These are the financial losses or expenses incurred as a result of the injuries both in the past and in the future. These loss calculations are often highly complex. In cases involving long term symptoms it is important to carefully assess the future of the claimant and ensure that all future losses have been accounted for in the schedule of loss. These future loss calculations can involve a detailed analysis of how a claimant’s business has been affected or how their earning capacity has been restricted.
Examples of financial losses which could be included as part of your claim include:
- Loss of earnings
- Private hospital treatment (both already received and for treatment that is required)
- Gratuitous care and assistance from friends, family
- Professional care costs
- House and vehicle adaptations
- Gardening, decorating and DIY costs
- Disadvantage on the open labour market
- Items purchased as a result of the injury
- Increased domestic bills
- Travelling costs