Wednesday 29 July 2015

How do we value a claim for personal injury?

Despite the best medical developments it is highly unlikely that a sum of money can put one back to their pre-accident state, free of injuries. So how do we decide what you should accept in compensation for the injury that you have suffered?

Garden House Solicitors in Hertfordshire
Article by Nidhi Chopra
The law provides for compensation to an injured claimant for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that has been caused as a result of the accident. How do we know what pain suffering and loss of amenity that has been caused to the Claimant following an accident? We do this by obtaining independent reports that are accepted by the Court from appropriate medical expert witnesses. The experts provide their opinions as to what the Claimant has suffered as a result of the incident, what further treatment they could need to get them in a better state and what their long term prognosis is likely to be.

Once all the medical reports are obtained we look at guidance from the Judicial College guidelines, which provides brackets of the value of specific injuries. We then search through previous cases where claimants have suffered similar injuries and look at what awards the Judges have previously made for such injuries. More times than not, the matters are complicated because there are usually multiple injuries involved and no previous case will show exactly the same circumstances as the current.

Claimants can also be compensated for any financial loss that has been incurred as a result of the incident. If a claimant can substantiate a loss by a receipt of other documentary evidence then it is more likely to be recoverable.  The heads of claim for financial losses can be varied and examples of a few common ones are listed below.

Loss of income. If a claimant has been unable to work following the incident and has been paid in full by their employer then they can recover the shortfall in a successful claim from the at fault party. A claim can also be made in loss of income if the claimant is self-employed but the loss will need to be proved with documentary evidence. 
Medical Expenses. This includes and is not limited to a claim for prescription charges, treatment costs and medical aids that had to be purchased as a result of the accident.

Travel expenses. Reasonable travel expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident can also be recovered. You can claim for bus fares, train fares, car parking and mileage.
Care and assistance. A claimant is also entitled to include a claim for voluntary care and assistance provided to them by others, usually friends and family. If any friends or family gave assistance such as personal care, driving, cooking, cleaning and doing the jobs that a claimant could not do following the accident then a claim can be made for their time.

Subject to the medical expert’s opinions, a claim for future losses should also be included. Future losses can include the difference in any income that one potentially could have earned if the accident didn’t happen, compared to the residual earning capacity and future medical treatment costs. Future losses are carefully calculated to take into account all the risk factors and a discount for early receipt.

Once we have the medical expert’s reports and financial loss details we can consider the evidence in support of each loss and make predictions as to how the other party’s insurer will respond to the claim, and ultimately how a judge would view it.

We cannot put an exact price on a claim for injury. We like to give our clients a bracket of acceptable levels of compensation, and we look carefully at all the risks involved for the client, so that they are fully aware of the highest possible valuation, the lowest possible valuation and the chances of recovering those.
If you have questions regarding an injury you have suffered please contact me on 01992 422128 or by email to

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Personal Injury Solicitors in Hertford

Tel: 01992 422 128

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.


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