Anyone who sustains injuries due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another person is legally entitled to claim compensation. Personal injury compensation is calculated on an individual basis and is different for every personal injury claim. Even when it seems that two people have almost similar injuries, the settlement value can vary considerably.
The reason why settlement values are different for similar injuries is because the compensation is not based solely on the accident or injury itself. It is awarded for the impact the injury has on the person’s life. Compensation is meant to help the injury victim get their life back to how it was before the accident occurred, as far as possible.
When determining how much compensation to award, personal injury solicitors take into consideration the extent to which the injury has affected and will continue to affect the victim’s life. Financial losses can also vary significantly for every injury victim. Because a similar accident may impact two people differently, the settlement amounts will be different too.
These are some of the key factors that will determine how much compensation you may be able to claim for your no-fault injuries.
Severity Of Injuries
The severity of your injuries will have a direct impact on the compensation you are awarded. Typically the more serious the injuries, the higher the claim value. This is because more serious injuries cause more pain and suffering. Severer injuries also generally take longer to heal and recover from, which can mean a longer time away from work and getting back to doing the things you enjoy. Not only does this impact your ability to earn but it also has a detrimental effect on the quality of life.
For example, as can be seen using our compensation calculator below, broken bones, spinal injury, or brain damage warrant larger settlements as compared to soft-tissue injuries, bruises or contusions.
If the injury causes permanent partial or total disability such as diminished mobility, brain trauma, disfigurement or permanent loss of use of a body part, the settlement awarded is considerably higher.
Compensation For Medical Expenses
The total cost of medical treatment for injuries sustained in the accident is one factor considered when calculating compensation. Although treatment on the NHS is free at the point of delivery, there are often medical expenses that have had to be paid for that can be essentially reimbursed through compensation. One example being physiotherapy.
You are entitled to be compensated for all medical expenses resulting from the accident including follow-up treatments and travel expenses for visits to the hospital and back for example.
Depending on the type and severity of your injuries and the treatment required, medical expenses could form the largest component of the settlement awarded to you. If recovery involves ongoing physiotherapy, your solicitor will claim compensation for ongoing medical expenses as part of your settlement.
Make sure you keep all receipts as this component is based on actual expenses.
Loss Of Earnings
Loss of earnings as a result of having to take unpaid leave is heavily factored into the calculation. Your award for this component will be based on your weekly income. If you earn £450 a week and you were unable to work for three weeks, your settlement will include £1,350 towards loss of earnings. However, if you are unemployed, you will not be able to claim compensation under this category.
Staying away from work for an indefinite period of time may cost you more than your wages. You may also lose out on employee bonuses or promotional opportunities that were available during the time you were on unpaid leave. Your settlement will take these factors into consideration.
Emotional And Mental Trauma
Accidents often cause more than just visible physical injuries. They can also cause severe emotional and mental trauma. In the past these emotional and mental injuries often tended to get discounted because they are essentially invisible. However, medical and legal professionals recognise and acknowledge how debilitating these invisible injuries can be and how much they can impact an individual’s quality of life.
Calculating compensation for personal injuries almost always include compensation for emotional and mental trauma. After an accident, it can be important to seek counselling from a medical health professional. In order to get compensated for your emotional and mental injuries you will need a report from your counsellor documenting how the trauma has impacted your life.
Cost Of Assistive Equipment Or Structural Changes To Your Home Or Vehicle
Depending on the type of injuries you’ve sustained, you may need to buy a wheelchair or crutches to get around, hearing aid, prosthetic limbs, or some other type of assistive device. You may also need to make some structural changes in your home, or modifications to your car to accommodate your injuries. All of these costs will be factored in the settlement.
Cost Of Home Care And Day Care
Not everyone has stay-at-home family members who are available to care for them 24/7. If you are unable to care for yourself and need to hire a home care professional, those costs can be reimbursed through compensation. You could also claim home care costs if a family member needed to take leave from work to care for you.
If your injuries left you unable to care for your younger children and day care was realistically the only alternative, you could claim reimbursement for day care costs too.
This takes into consideration actual damages caused by the accident. Property may include anything from glasses and dentures to a crash helmet, bicycle, motorcycle or car. The value of these items can vary considerably. When calculating compensation for property damage, the actual value of the damaged items is taken into consideration. It is important to keep any damaged/destroyed property until the accident claim has been settled as insurers will want to inspect and evaluate them.
Other Considerations That Can Impact Your Claim Value
When filing a compensation claim, it is important to give your personal injury solicitor every little detail on how the accident has impacted your life. Do not leave out anything, no matter how trivial it might seem. For example, do you have to hire somebody to do your housework, gardening, or other chores that you were able to do yourself before the accident? Do your injuries prevent you from pursuing certain educational opportunities or career paths that you aspired to? Your solicitor will factor all of these losses while calculating your compensation so that you get the maximum amount due to you under the law.