If you or a member of your family is suffering from a personal injury or industrial disease caused by the negligence of someone else, our specialist personal injury lawyers may be able to help you claim compensation. Contact us today on 0800 032 8511 for expert claim advice, or by completing a claim enquiry form.
Levels of Compensation
Interim Payments of Damages
Making a Personal Injury Claim for Damages
Will Deductions Be Made From My Damages?
Our Personal Injury Lawyers
Damages Recovered for Our Clients
Also known as compensation, damages is the term for an amount of money awarded to the victim of a personal injury or illness caused by the negligence or breach of duty of another party. For example the injury may have occurred as the result of a road accident, accident at work or accident in a public place, or maybe even because of clinical negligence.
The amount of damages that a person may be awarded is generally comprised of two elements:
The first element is known as general damages, which relates to the pain and suffering caused by an injury or illness and any loss of amenity.
A loss of amenity is the inability to do things after an accident, or as a result of a disease, that you were able to do before. An example might be that after an accident you can't keep up a hobby such as a contact sport.
Special damages are to cover any actual losses you may have incurred, such as loss of earnings, loss of pension, medical expenses, travel costs, and domestic help costs. The aim is to put you in a position financially as if the accident had never happened / you had never contracted the disease. It would include the costs of any care or equipment that you require as a result of your injuries and may also include the loss of benefits in kind, such as a company car or a works mobile telephone (if that was available for personal use and those benefits are taken away due to a loss of employment).
Depending upon the severity of the injury, the amount of special damages may also need to include future losses, for example in cases where you can no longer continue working in the same job, or at all. There can be a loss of promotion prospects and a loss of valuable future pension rights. Some cases may also merit an award of compensation for loss of ‘congenial employment’, if the claimant loses a position that is more a vocation than just a job. This mostly applies to people employed in the public service industry, such as nurses, doctors or police officers.
There is a duty on claimants to mitigate their loss so only reasonable claims or amounts may be awarded. Hiring a Rolls Royce if your Mini was off the road following an accident wouldn't be what is known as reasonable!
There is no specific amount of compensation to be awarded as damages for a particular injury or accident type. Each case is considered individually, however the Judicial Studies Board provide guidelines which give brackets within which general damages for different injuries may fall and awards for previous, similar, cases may be looked at as well.
The amount of compensation that a claimant receives may be reduced by a percentage if they are found to be partially responsible for their accident (known as contributory negligence). The amount of special damages may also be affected if any social security benefits have been paid by the government.
You can find a basic guide about the level of compensation you may be entitled to receive in our how much section.
As making a personal injury claim can sometimes be a lengthy process. If liability has already been admitted and the prospects of success for the case are good, it may be possible for your solicitor to arrange what is known as an 'interim payment'.
Interim payments are often used for things such as medical or transport costs that need to be taken care of for the injured person whilst the claim is still in progress. They can also alleviate the financial impact in the short term if someone is unable to continue working and pay their bills.
In any personal injury claim it is necessary to show that the person you are making a claim against owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care (were negligent), and that the injury you sustained was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of that negligence.
In every case, medical evidence will also be required. Detailed expert evidence is often also required in disease cases to show that the condition suffered by a claimant was caused by exposure to a particular substance.
Your lawyer will be able to collate all of the necessary information and evidence to pursue your claim and can ensure that you receive the optimum compensation.
There are time limits involved in making a personal injury claim for damages. As a general rule, this would be three years from the date your accident occurred (or the date you were diagnosed with an industrial illness). There are certain, limited exceptions to this however, for example if the injured person was under 18 at the time of their accident, in which case the three years would begin from the date of their 18th birthday.
Our lawyers will not make any deductions from your settlement of damages (see our costs and risks page for details of any exceptions). There are however certain circumstances where you may receive less than the full amount, including:
Contributory negligence: If you are found to be partially responsible for the accident or the level of injury sustained (known as 'contributory negligence'). An example of this would be a claimant injured in a road accident, who had neglected to wear a seatbelt, thus failing to reduce their risk of personal injury.
Failure to mitigate losses: Damages may also be reduced if a claimant does not 'mitigate' their losses, i.e. make every effort to keep them to a minimum. Only reasonable claims for losses will be accepted so, for example, if you are unable to drive and hire a limousine for transport when a taxi would suffice, this would not be considered reasonable.
Repayment of benefits received: If a claimant has received certain social security benefits from the government because of the accident / injury, these may have to be paid back out of the special damages awarded. Where employers pay sick pay, the employers sometimes require the employee to recover that sick pay from any third party that may have caused the injury if the employee sues that person.
The Legal Line's lawyers are experts in all areas of personal injury, with extensive experience in recovering compensation for the victims of accidents and industrial diseases. They can provide specialist accident claim advice, assistance and guidance in helping you to pursue your compensation claim to the best possible outcome.
Follow the links below to read articles about some of the many cases successfully handled by our lawyers on behalf of injured people: