Wed 10 Apr 2024

Judicial College Guidelines in Personal Injury Claims 2024

One of the most common questions asked when an individual is considering pursuing a personal injury claim is "how much is my claim worth?". 

The main guide applied by the Court to value an injury is the Judicial College Guidelines. These guidelines, prepared by the Judicial Studies Board, look at previous personal injury claims and provide estimations of the value of different types of injuries. Every few years, these guidelines are updated to reflect the increase in interest costs and recent cases. This month the 17th edition of the JC Guidelines was published.

The role of Judicial College Guidelines in Personal Injury Claims

These guidelines are used by personal injury and medical negligence solicitors. They set out the financial figure to be attributed to the pain and suffering caused by the injury. To ensure that there is consistency, the Judicial Studies Board prepares guidelines that are used by personal injury solicitors and courts. These figures do not have the status of being legally binding, but rather provide guidance to those involved in such claims.

The Judicial College Guidelines only provide a valuation for compensation for pain and suffering. There may be other losses which a claimant would seek compensation for, such as lost earnings, services required as a result of the injury (such as help with housework, gardening, etc), and out of pocket expenses. The guidelines do not take into account the unique circumstances of each individual's claim. For instance, Person A may be involved in a road traffic incident and break their wrist. They do not require any time off work and have incurred no expenses as a result of the claim. The Court may award them compensation in the region of £4,310 to £12,630. However, Person B, who also breaks their wrist in a road traffic incident requires several weeks off work and suffers a loss of earnings. The Court would likely value their claim more highly to take into account their loss of earnings on top of the pain and suffering of the injury.

The value of a claim is different for each individual claim and our advice will vary depending upon the nature of the injury and the needs and circumstances of the individual.

Impact of Updated Guidelines on Injury Valuation

The 17th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines was published in April 2024 with updated figures. This is the first time the guidelines have been updated since 2022. The previous edition featured two new categories: one for claims relating sexual abuse and one for work-related limb-disorders. Both of these sections have remained in the new 17th edition. Sexual abuse claims are typically difficult to value, and the guidelines will ensure greater consistency in the valuation of these claims. The "Work-related Limb Disorders" category combines injuries that were previously found in other chapters of the guidelines into one section.

The new guidelines provide an increased value for most other injuries. The increase is around 22%. For example, last year, a minor foot injury was valued at up to £13,740. Now an equivalent injury in the current guidelines is valued at up to £16,770; an increase of just over £3,000. A very severe brain injury has increased from between £219,070 and £403,990, to £344,150 to £493,000. A moderate ankle injury has increased to £16,770 to £32,450 from its previous range of £13,740 to £26,590.

How we can help you

At Morton Fraser MacRoberts, we will ensure you receive the appropriate amount of compensation for your injury. Our handy Compensation Calculator provides an insight into some of the awards that a Court can make for various injuries. It is updated to reflect the most recent figures from the 17th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines. It's important to note that the Compensation Calculator does not take into account other losses; it only calculates the value which may be attributed to pain and suffering. Each individual case must be considered on its own facts and circumstances. Our experienced Personal Injury team will take the time to assess your claim and help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today on 0131 247 1000.  

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