When you suffer a personal injury at the fault of another party, you might be entitled to compensation for your injury. Another word for personal injury compensation is “damages”.
In the U.K., plaintiffs can win both general and special damages. Courts award special damages for injury-related financial losses that can clearly calculated. Plaintiffs receive general damages, on the other hand, to compensate for hard-to-calculate issues like pain and suffering. You can estimate the potential compensation for your injury by using an online calculator to estimate how much your claim is worth. However, to get the most accurate estimate, you should talk to a personal injury solicitor.
Between the time you’re injured and your court date, you’ll incur certain expenses or losses related to your injury. Some types of expenses and losses covered by special damages include:
- Medical and home health care expenses
- Replacement of personal property involved in the injury, such as a car
- Lost wages or earnings
- Loss of items that can’t be replaced
If you’d never been injured, you would never have spent money on hospital bills or caretaking in your home. You wouldn’t have had to replace your car, other personal property, or any irreplaceable items, such as heirlooms lost in a fire. Also, you’d have never had to miss work, so you wouldn’t have missed out on wages or earnings. Special damages restore your financial situation to what it would have been if these events had never happened.
To ensure that you receive full compensation for these losses and expenses, keep copies of all paystubs, invoices, receipts, and other crucial financial documents. It’s easier to calculate your personal injury claim when you demonstrate how much money you spent to treat the injury and how much you might have earned had the injury never taken place.
The types of losses covered by special damages can be assessed mathematically. General damages cover losses that aren’t so easy to quantify. Many solicitors and judges calculate general damages according to the Judicial College Guidelines.
These damages can include compensation for:
- Pain, suffering, and loss of amenity (PSLA). In addition to inflicting physical pain, personal injury incidents can cause significant mental health challenges. They can also make it difficult to enjoy life as you once did, and they can make it hard for you to perform everyday tasks.
- Difficulty finding a future job. If your injuries make it hard for you to compete on the job market, a court might award general damages to compensate for future financial losses.
- Loss of a unique career. If you were a professional athlete or had another unique career, you injury might make it impossible to use your talents. General damages acknowledge how this uniqueness contributed to your identity and your place in history.
Making Your Case
When you become aware of a personal injury, you only have three years to seek compensation for your injury.
The only exception to this rule is a child, who can seek damages for three years after he or she turns 18 years old.
- Seek legal advice sooner rather than later. Before you talk to a solicitor, start maintaining careful records of all doctor visits, conversations with your employer, information about property repairs, and other vital transactions.
- Place all paperwork related to your personal injury, including hospital bills and other documents, in a file. If you receive information via email, make sure to print a hard copy of the message and its attachments, and place the papers in your file. Keep your file safe, and make sure that your partner or another trusted friend or family members knows where your file is kept.
- Be cautious about settling too early. Before accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer, make sure that you know how much your claim is worth. If you accept a settlement without knowing your claim’s value, you might not receive enough money to deal with your medical bills, replace your lost wages, and resolve other expenses.
Contact a solicitor who has expertise in personal injury law.
Your solicitor can help you navigate compensation guidelines and research how general damages have been awarded in cases like yours. Although online calculators are good places to begin, talk to a solicitor before you accept a settlement.