How to value a personal injury claim
- July 15, 2019
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One of the most common questions I am asked by new clients when discussing their claim is how much is my claim worth. Invariably I would advise them that this is not a question I can answer at the outset and to do so risks being negligent on my part.
Personal injury claims are based upon not only the injuries (both physical and mental) but also any financial losses that have arisen as a result of the accident. The amount of compensation you will receive for your injuries, known as General Damages, is based upon set guidelines (the Judicial College Guidelines) for the assessment of injuries. As well as reviewing the JCG we will consider and make reference to previous levels of compensation paid for injuries similar to yours.
To allow us to arrive at the correct level of compensation we will arrange for you to be examined by a specialist consultant who will, having reviewed your medical records, provide us with a report that sets out the injuries you have sustained, the extent they have impacted upon your life and the prognosis for your recovery.
The report will also state whether further reports are required from a consultant in other medical areas and whether treatment for your condition may be appropriate.
As a result of the accident, you may require specialist treatment, medication or other medical aids to assist in your recovery. Such costs together with any other rehabilitation you may need will be included in your claim. We will seek recovery of all financial losses, known as Special Damages, from the third-party insurers.
In cases involving more serious injuries, claims can include alterations to your home and to your vehicle to ensure that you can lead as normal life as soon as possible and as much as your injuries will allow.
One of the most regularly occurring losses is that of income as a result of a need for time away from work to recover or for further treatment. Calculating your lost income can be complex particularly if you are self-employed and from time to time, we will obtain expert accountancy evidence in order to quantify your losses.
Help from family and friends.
It may be that family members or friends provide you with assistance following your accident. Your injuries may prevent you from carrying out your normal household chores, personal hygiene or driving. If you receive assistance with such we can claim, on an hourly basis, payment for this help. This is known as a gratuitous care claim.
Smith v Manchester claim.
If your injuries are such that if you were to lose your current job, you would have difficulty finding another job then we can seek additional compensation. This payment for potential prejudice on the job market is known as a Smith v Manchester claim. The actual sum depends very much on your type of employment and the injuries sustained, however, it can be in excess of 6 to 12 months` income.
What if I receive benefits as a result of the accident.
It may be that your injuries are such that you are unable to return to work for a prolonged period and as a result, you receive benefits such as ESA or UC. It may be that due to your inability to drive resulting in you receiving DLA (mobility). If you do receive a benefit for which you also make a claim then one will be offset against the other. A good example of this is that if you are unable to work and have a lost income claim of £10,000 but received £3000 in ESA/UC you will only receive £7000. The £3000 will be repaid by the third-party insurer to the benefit recovery office.
There cannot be a crossover between benefits so, for example disability living allowance cannot be deducted from your claim for lost income. Benefit repayment can never be taken from your injury compensation.
Can my benefits be affected if I receive a lot of compensation?
Some income-based benefits may well be affected by a compensation pay-out. If this is likely to affect you, we would advise that your award be placed in a personal injury trust so that your benefits would not be affected.
I want to make a claim for compensation how do I start my claim?
The first step is to call a solicitor who has the experience, knowledge and expertise in dealing with personal injury claims. You should find a solicitor who understands not only how to prove that the accident was the third-party’s fault but is also able to correctly value your claim. This will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
To see how we can deal with your claim on a no win-no fee basis get in touch with us today:
Call: Mike Massen on 0113 224 7804