What is a compensation settlement made up of?

6 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

One of the most common questions put to us asks what decides a fair settlement value for a claim. 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.

6 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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Questions & Answers

  1. Meri

    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.

  2. Steve

    My mum and dad were involved in a car rta, solicitors had a medical report done. Offered my dad 3k and my mum 4k, solicitor said she will go for a higher offer but I believe the medical report has not been accurate and also can I claim for looking after them after the accident as the are OAP?

    • Ian Morris

      If you believe that the medical reports contain errors or inaccuracies, it is vitally important that they are noted to the Solicitor and corrected. The medical report has a big impact on claim valuation, so any mistakes or errors could see your parents claims undervalued.

      You cannot claim anything directly for having to provide care, you but your parents claim should include special damages which will enable them to recover out of pocket expenses and potentially recover something for the time and help you have had to give your parents due to their injuries.

  3. Wilson

    Can I still put in a claim for compensation for something that happened four years ago?

    • Ian Morris

      UK law would prohibit you from pursuing a personal injury compensation claim for injuries sustained in an accident that happened 4 years ago. The only caveat to this would be for a person under the age of 21. UK Personal Injury laws require any adult (over 18 years of age) to pursue a claim within a maximum of 3-years from the date of an accident. Failure to pursue a claim in that time will bar any action. This limitation period is strict and cannot be circumvented.

      For any person under the age of 18 years, the 3-year claim limitation period will not start until their 18th Birthday. Therefore, any person under the age of 18 at the time of an injury has a claim limitation period that will expire on their 21st birthday.

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