- Solicitors value compensation in a personal injury claim by considering three areas of loss: general damages, past special damages, and future special damages.
- ‘General damages’ are assessed by taking into account the type of injury or illness you suffered and the severity of it. Other factors taken into account by your solicitor when he or she is valuing general damages include the duration of symptoms and the impact on your life.
- Past special damages involve quantifying the financial losses you’ve suffered as a direct result of the injury, e.g. medical expenses, loss of earnings, and costs of repairing or replacing any property damaged in the accident.
- Future special damages take into account your future financial needs and losses. These may include the cost of ongoing medical treatment, the cost of rehabilitation, and any potential loss of future earnings if you are unlikely to be fit for work again in the future.
- No two personal injury claims are ever the same; each case is unique and needs to be assessed on its merits. The solicitor will only be able to give any meaningful advice as to what your claim is worth when he or she has all the relevant expert evidence and opinions necessary to support all aspects of your claim.
- With all the evidence to hand, your solicitor will value your claim by considering the Judicial College Guidelines, previously decided cases that are very similar to yours and, importantly, their own particular bank of knowledge.
- Your solicitor is trying to determine what a court judge would value your claim at, although in practice, most claims are settled by negotiation.
Your solicitor will keep you updated on what they believe your claim is worth, offers received, and whether, and if so, you should make a counteroffer.
Most claims are settled by negotiation before they reach court. When a claim doesn’t settle, it will be for a judge in court to decide how much you should receive.