What Can You Claim For In Personal Injury Compensation?

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One of the most common questions we’re asked is, “what can you claim for a personal injury?” Ultimately, this depends on what decides a fair settlement value for your compensation. There are two basic factors that your solicitor will use to evaluate your claim and reach a value on your settlement: injury severity, and special damages.

The severity of the injury

The amount of compensation for the injury itself will be decided on medical evidence and the severity of the injuryand how that affects your life. Clearly, the more severe the injury, the higher the level of compensation. In most circumstances, your injury will need to last a minimum of a few weeks. This element of your settlement consists of the value of the injury and the pain, distress and discomfort caused as a result of the injury and accident. An expert medical opinion will be sought to corroborate the details and the value will depend on whether the injury will heal, if so how long a recovery will take or if not, what level of recovery will be made.

Your solicitor will access your medical records and then organise for a specialist independent medical expert to interview you and assess your injury and what prognosis can be attached to your recovery. Upon receipt of a report from the expert, your solicitor will be able to tell how much compensation you can expect to receive for the injury.

Special Damages

Special damages is a term used to describe the additional elements of any claim. This will include lost income should the injury sustained by a claimant prevent them from working their normal hours and lose income. Clearly, if an injury is extremely serious and an injured person is no longer able to work, their claim value can become very high. An ongoing loss of income claim will cover the income the claimant would have expected for the remainder of their working life.

Special damages can also include sums for future medical treatment, ongoing care or adaptations to a claimants home, car or equipment needed by the claimant. It can also include small items such as property or clothing lost or damaged as a result of the accident and injury. This would normally include jewellery or items such as spectacles or mobile phones smashed or broken in falls.

To sum up, special damages could include:

  • Loss of wages or earning ability
  • Requirements for post accident care and support
  • Medical costs
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Personal losses

Case precedents

Injuries carry case law precedent values – this means that previous cases heard in court have decided levels of compensation and that similar future claims should be based on that precedent. From this your solicitor can work out the minimum and maximum value of the claim for the injuries and any ongoing care or treatment requirements.

To add to this, your solicitor will ask you for information on your lost income, cost of care or products purchased for you as a result of your accident. These factors provide the basis for the evaluation of your claim.

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming...

Hi , I was in involved in road traffic accident while working for asda home deliveries , the after care or support I received from Asda was non existent and I was told I had to carry on delivering for the duration of my shift . I lost my job soon after as I was in so much pain and not sleeping I was struggling to keep my emotions which resulted in angry outbursts and distress which I still suffer from now and the physical and psychological impact has had a massive effect on me .
I am still going through the compensation process on official injury claim portal currently , but would I have a case against Asda for there lack of support , understanding and aftercare which was the primary contributor to me losing my job .

Ian Morris

It is unlikely that you would have a case against Asda for failing to support you after the road accident in which you were involved. Although you were at work at the time, Asda would not be liable for the accident (which is why you are claiming through the Official Injury Claim process) and they would not have any duty to provide any specific care or support.

You may wish to discuss the fact that you lost your job and didn’t feel appropriately supported by the employer with an employment law specialist to see if they feel anything can be done.


Can I change my solicitor?

Ian Morris

Although it can be possible to switch Solicitors, the reality is that in most cases it is not viable for a new Solicitor to take over a claim that has already been handled by another firm. This is mainly due to costs and the matter often not being cost effective. In No Win No Fee matters, any new Solicitor has to undertake to cover the costs of the work that the previous Solicitor has done should the claim go on to succeed. Therefore, unless the previous Solicitor has not completed any material work (i.e, the claim is in the first couple of months of being acted on) or unless the potential value of the claim settlement is considerable (serious injuries and considerable financial losses), any new Solicitor is somewhat hamstrung financially and it simply would not be viable financially to take the matter on.

If you could elaborate a little about your current Solicitors and the claim in general, we can advise further as to your best course of action. Often, if someone is unhappy with their Solicitors handling of a claim, the best course of action is to make a formal complaint to the firm in question (they should have a complaints policy published on their website). A senior partner within the firm would have to review your complaint and the work undertaken by the Solicitor/Claims Handler in question and respond to your complaint.



Would you be able to tell me if this sounds right to you?
We have not yet contracted a Barrister so why has the cost of that been included? Also should I be paying half of my settlement towards the cost of the solicitors? Unfortunately we do not have insurance.

Here is the email:
The insurers have responded as follows :-

“Our client strongly of the view that they will escape liability if the matter proceeds to trial. However, whilst we are without instructions at this time, we do consider that our client may be persuaded by a costs inclusive offer in the region of £9,000, which we consider to be reflective of the liability position.

We would be grateful if could advise whether this is something your client would be prepared to consider.”

If we were to consider the all inclusive offer of £9000.00, then I must inform you that our costs at this stage currently stand at £8405.00 exclusive of VAT (£10,086.00 including VAT).

With regard to costs already incurred, as you are aware you have already paid for the medical report (£660.00) and the Court issue fee £750.00). The total that you have paid to date therefore stands at £1410.00.

However you have also paid on account the Trial fee of £545.00 which must be paid soon, although obviously if a settlement can be achieved at this stage then that money will be returned to you.

In addition we have the Barristers fees of £850.00.

If we were to look at the £9000.00 figure therefore and deduct the paid disbursements and Counsels fees, this would leave a balance of £6740.00 and if you were minded to consider accepting the insurers proposals, then we would be prepared to agree to split this amount with yourself on a equal basis such that we would be accepting total costs of £3370.00 (£2808.33 plus VAT) and you would receive a payment of £3370.00 in full and final settlement of your claim, as well as being repaid the above payments on account (£1410.00 already paid and the £545.00 Trial fee).

Thank you for looking at this for us. This has been going on for nearly 2 years and even though we can prove that some of the documents provided by the defendants were forged our solicitor has left it to late to ask them about the documents.
He is also now saying that if the other side does not accept the offer then he will not be able to continue on a ‘No win no fee’ basis even though we signed a CFA agreement.


Ian Morris

It would appear that whilst this outcome is not perfect, it may be the best outcome possible as the defendant is of the view that they will succeed at trial and your Solicitor seems to agree and will not therefore pursue the claim should you refuse the offer.

With regards to the Barrister fee – you should point out that you do not believe that a Barrister has been consulted and that you require evidence that one has or that the fee should be withdrawn from their calculations.


It is legal for solicitors to deduct barrister fees of £720 incl. VAT from compensation reward? Additional to 25%?

Ian Morris

The cost of the Barrister is not normally something that should be deducted from a claimants settlement as it should be a recoverable cost.


I had an accident on 20 May 2019. My Solicitor now says that after declining the defendants first offer and taking the matter to court, the compensation settlement offer is nearly £1200 less than the first offer! I don’t get it? can you help me understand?

Ian Morris

If we have understood correctly, it would appear that after refusing the defendants previous offer, you have handed the decision on an appropriate settlement to the courts and allowed a Judge to decide what compensation you should receive.

It is unfortunate if it is the case that the Judge has favoured the defendant and awarded you an offer that is over £1000 less than the one you rejected. If we are correct in our understanding, as a Judge has decided this award, you are very limited in your options. Whilst you could risk appealing the Judgement, the likelihood is that your Solicitors No Win No Fee agreement will not cover you for the work needed in such an appeal and the risks are that you would get the same outcome of Judgement of award on appeal and face additional court costs – thus losing further damages.


Pub had no public occupancy liability insurance, they want to settle out of court for £3000 max. My solicitor claiming cost of £2800 includes disbursement reports etc, leaving myself with £200 as compensation. They advised may be prudent to accept the offer as even if we went court the pub owners my not pay up. Can this be right?

Ian Morris

It is hard to advise without having full access to your file with your existing Solicitor, but if the pub has no insurance then there is a risk of pursuing them further as the individual that owns the pub may not have the financial resources to settle the costs of the claim and that would leave you with nothing.

However, your Solicitor should not be deducting £2800 from a £3000 settlement as that is way over 25%.

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