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A Guide to Personal Injury Awards and Settlements

Carl Waring

Carl Waring

|  10th January 2024  |


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Before you are entitled to receive any compensation, you must first be able to prove that someone or somebody (e.g. another motorist, your employer, the owner, or occupier of premises, etc.) has breached the duty of care they owe to you. In other words, you must prove they were liable for the accident. We call this ‘proving liability.’

Once you have established that there has been a breach of duty, it is necessary to go on to consider your entitlement to receive compensation.

How much is my claim worth?

The level of compensation an injured person receives in a personal injury claim or a medical negligence claim depends on several factors, including:

  • The nature and extent of the injury suffered
  • How the injury has affected your day-to-day life
  • The time that it will take to recover from the injury fully

Initially, we won’t be able to provide you with a figure for the average compensation payout for your specific injury. This is because when calculating the amount of compensation you are entitled to, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Once the medical experts or experts have provided a prognosis  (in other words, given their opinion on the most likely outcome of your condition), we will be better able to give you an opinion on the approximate value of your claim.

This valuation will be arrived at by looking at the sums awarded in already decided personal injury claims similar to yours and applying the guidelines used by the Judiciary to quantify damages for similar injuries to those you suffered in the accident.

What type of injury can I claim for?

You can claim for physical and psychological if medical evidence confirms the injuries were caused by the accident.

Common injuries include bruising, sprains, cuts, burns, fractures, and sometimes post-traumatic stress disorder. You may suffer more serious in the accident, such as head or brain injuries, spinal injuries, or spinal injuries.

There are two main heads of damages in any personal injury compensation claim:

Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity (General Damages)

An award for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) is called an award of general damages by the Court and compensates the Claimant for their physical and psychological injuries and the general impact of the accident upon their lifestyle. You may also hear general damages referred to as pain and suffering compensation.

How much is compensation for pain and suffering worth?

Compensation for pain and suffering is calculated by comparing the injuries sustained (as outlined in independent medical reports obtained on your behalf) with previously reported cases where Claimants have suffered similar injuries.

You should be aware that in determining PSLA, the Court applies a global approach. The Court tends to value the most serious injury first and then reduces the amount for each additional injury rather than adding together the individual value of each separate injury.

The Court believes that pain from multiple injuries overlaps, meaning that if you are in pain, the extent of suffering does not differ significantly whether this pain emanates from one part of the body or from several different areas of injury.

Losses and Expenses (Special Damages)

In a personal injury claim, the claim for financial losses is called a claim for ‘special damages’ and is presented to the other party’s insurers during the claims process in the form of a schedule of losses.

You must prove that, firstly, you incurred loss or expense claimed and, secondly, that the loss was incurred as a direct result of the accident as opposed to unrelated factors.

The first issue is proved by providing documentary evidence of the loss claimed. For example, payslips will be used to prove loss of earnings or receipts to prove the cost of items purchased.

The second issue gets resolved by producing medical evidence to prove why you needed a certain kind of rehabilitation treatment or why the time you spent off work (thereby losing earnings) was necessary. We rely upon the medical expert to confirm that the loss or expense was reasonable and incurred as a direct result of the accident, as opposed to unrelated factors.

The claim for losses and expenses may include the following items:

  • Loss of earnings/profit
  • Pension loss
  • The value of care and assistance provided gratuitously by family and friends
  • Cost of aids and adaptations and/or paid care
  • Travel expenses to attend GP, hospital and/or treatment providers
  • Medication and treatment fees
  • Items of damaged property, such as clothing
  • Cost of holidays or social engagements cancelled due to the accident

You must keep an accurate record of any expenses incurred because of the accident, retaining any receipts to prove the expenditure. You will need to provide an updated record to your solicitor regularly, together with any receipts.

What other items can I claim for?

Depending upon the severity of your injuries, you may need to include, in your claim for compensation, details of additional expenses such as the cost of employing professional carers, money spent on adapting your existing home to meet your new needs (such as making your home wheelchair accessible) and the cost of any future medical or rehabilitation treatment you may need.

You might be entitled to claim for the ongoing loss of earnings or compensation due to a reduced earning capacity if the injuries you suffered in the accident will affect you long term.

Your solicitor will explain the various compensation awards you might receive once a final medical prognosis is available.

Should I trust compensation calculators?

Personal Injury Compensation Calculators are digital apps. Their intended use is to give potential clients an idea of how much their injury claim is worth.

You will find a Compensation Calculator on Mooneerams website. It is only intended to give a rough guide to the ranges of compensation you might be entitled to receive in compensation for a specific injury.

The compensation figures shown on our calculator are taken from the  Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases (16th edition).

The value of a claim depends upon the specific circumstances of that case. Therefore, it is impossible to accurately estimate the potential value of any claim without further evidence about the injuries and losses suffered.

How can Mooneerams Solicitors help me?

If you are considering bringing an accident claim, your best chance of receiving maximum compensation upon settlement of the claim is by using a niche firm of personal injury lawyers to take care of the case on your behalf.

Mooneerams is an award-winning firm of personal injury solicitors. We handle only personal injury claims and only act for claimants: for people making a claim, never for insurance companies.

If you are thinking of making a personal injury claim and are wondering how much compensation you will receive, contact us.

Call us on 029 2048 3615 or complete the online enquiry form on this page. Click the ‘Start Your Claim ‘button, and we will call you back. We take on most claims on a No Win No Fee basis.

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