So you’ve had an accident and someone else was at fault. This blog looks at what you are entitled to claim when making an accident claim.
You are entitled to “General Damages” which is compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. You are also entitled to “Special Damages” which are out of pocket expenses.
The starting point for calculating General Damages is the Judicial College “Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases” (commonly referred to by legal practitioners as the “JSB Guidelines”). These are guidelines set down by judges to help judges and other legal practitioners calculate how much personal injury claims are worth. The JSB Guidelines tend to be a bit broad (some might say vague) so we also rely on case law to see what judges awarded in similar cases.
Special Damages are any out of pocket expenses and can include things like loss of earnings, medical expenses, medical treatment, damage to property, travel expenses, the cost of adapting property, the cost of care etc.
If the injured person is put at a disadvantage on the labour market because of their injuries then they are entitled to a “Smith -v- Manchester award” (named after a famous case).
It’s the special damages which are nearly always the difference between a small or modest claim and a big claim. Take a random example for demonstration purposes. An office worker loses a foot in a car accident. However, the nature of his work means that he will be able to carry on with his career as he did before the accident. The JSB Guidelines give a tariff between £60,000 to £78,000 for General Damages (11th Edition). He returns to work and so the loss of earnings claim is modest. However, the same injury to a different person could have a very different outcome. Imagine that a young professional footballer loses a foot in a car accident. His General Damages are the same as our office worker. However, his loss of earnings could run into millions.
Hastings and Co Solicitors specialise in accident claims and are accredited members of the Law Society’s prestigious Personal Injury panel. Nearly all cases handled by Hastings and Co Solicitors are done so on a “no win, no fee” basis. For a free assessment of your accident claim please call 01245 835 305.
Disclaimer: this blog is only intended to give a brief overview of the law and is not a substitute for legal advice.