We are proud to have successfully recovered over £100,000 in damages for our clients in the last month or so. For some of our clients, this means receiving a substantial lump sum. In this article, we look at how those lump sums are broken down in personal injury claims.
Damages (also referred to as compensation) can be split into two categories: general damages and special damages.
General damages are awarded to the clients for their pain, suffering and loss of amenity (i.e. their actual injuries). The value of the award depends on the nature of the injury and the prognosis period.
Injuries themselves are valued by following a set of guidelines issued by the courts. These guidelines cover injuries to all parts of the body, and vary depending on the severity and duration of each injury. The guidelines give an approximate range of values for each type of injury, so that all parties can come up with a reasonable figure to try and settle for.
Each case is different, and we always obtain a report from an independent medical expert to assist us in valuing each client’s injury. Valuing the level of general damages is not always straightforward; psychological injury or a number of different injuries, for example, can make the calculation more difficult.
Special damages are those losses or expenses which clients have incurred or sustained as a result of the accident. They can be made up of a number of different losses. Some examples are:
- the cost of care received by the client;
- rehabilitation costs i.e. physiotherapy or treatment;
- the loss of earnings including any future loss of earnings;
- medication/prescription charges;
- vehicle hire charges;
- damage to clothing or items of value.
Again, each person’s case is different. We have extensive experience in advising clients on what can be claimed.
Is the solicitor entitled to any of my damages?
A large number of law firms charge a “success fee” when they handle your claim. So, if you win your claim and are awarded damages, the solicitors will charge a percentage of your damages to go towards that success fee. It is kind of a “bonus” for taking the risk of a no win, no fee agreement. Often, firms will charge up to 25% of your damages.
However: one of the most important differences between the service we provide compared to other firms is that we do not charge a success fee. There is a significant but simple benefit to our clients by not charging a success fee: they receive more money at the end of their claim. For a full explanation of our no win no fee agreements and no success fee policy, see here.
If you have a claim and are not sure how much compensation you could receive, why not give us a call and speak to an experienced personal injury solicitor. We offer a free, no obligation consultation. Call us today on 0800 988 7756.