Wed 14 Mar 2018

Personal Injury - Calculating your compensation

For an individual pursuing a Personal Injury Claim, undoubtedly the most important aspect is how much the claim is worth. The media will often report on large lump sums which have been awarded by the courts to claimants. However, these sums will have been reached following complex calculations, taking into account various Heads of Claim.

The potential Heads of Claim include the following:-

Compensation for pain and suffering

This Head of Claim provides compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced, together with the detrimental effect the injury has had on your quality of life.  In calculating this, the court will take into account the nature of the injury, any treatment required, the length of time you experienced pain and the long term prognosis.  A suitably qualified medical expert will require to be instructed to comment upon these issues.

Once the nature of the injury is clear, previous cases can provide a good indication of how much the courts may award.  In addition, there are guidelines which solicitors can refer to which provide approximate figures for various different injuries.

Loss of Earnings

An injured person is entitled to be compensated for any loss of earnings suffered due to their injuries. Their earnings for the thirteen week period prior to the accident will be taken into account when calculating this loss and the medical expert will be asked to comment upon the period this loss may extend to.  In addition to past loss of earnings, you may be entitled to claim for future loss of earnings.  Separately, if the injuries impact upon your future job prospects, you may have a claim for that loss as well.


Compensation may be awarded to cover any services which have been provided to the injured person following their injuries. These services may have been provided by family members or professionals and would include anything required to assist the injured person in daily living, such as dressing, cleaning, and shopping. In addition, the injured person is entitled to claim the cost of any services they were unable to provide to their family as a result of the injury, such as cooking, gardening or DIY.

Out of Pocket Expenses

 The law allows for the recovery of any expenses incurred due to the injury, including travel expenses, prescription costs, medical treatment, adaptations to  property or any aids required to assist with daily life, such as mobility aids or special footwear.

Future Costs

A claimant is also entitled to compensation to cover any cost which may be incurred in the future. These would include any nursing care or therapies or any special equipment (e.g. such as shoes which would require to be replaced on a regular basis, or a prosthetic limb which requires to be replaced).

Loss of Society

In circumstances where a loved one has died as a result of negligence, the relatives of the deceased are entitled to make a claim to compensate them for the distress, anxiety, grief and sorrow caused by the wrongful death of their loved one, together with their guidance and support.  The relatives entitled to claim include the partner, parents, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild of the deceased or someone accepted and treated as one of those relatives.

Loss of Support

If a family member who used to financially provide for the family dies, their relatives can claim for the loss of that financial support.

The number of possible Heads of Claim illustrates how complex the process of valuing a personal injury claim can be. Furthermore, it is specific to each individual and our advice will vary depending upon the nature of the injury and the needs and circumstances of the individual, taking into account their age, job, current earnings, future earnings potential and the number of dependents.

When pursuing a claim, you have one opportunity to recover compensation. Once a claim has been settled or a final court order has been made, there will be no opportunity to revisit this in the future.  Therefore it is imperative that all eventualities are considered when pursuing your claim.  We will provide you with expert advice on these issues and guide you through this process.

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