Personal Injury Claims Calculator
If you have had an accident which has resulted in substantial physical or psychological injury or injured yourself, which wasn’t entirely your fault, you will probably be eligible to get some sort of financial compensation. These injuries might be short term, which can be treated, they might be longer-term injuries which require substantial medical intervention or even life-long injuries.
Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, a court can decide the level of compensation which you are entitled to. This compensation is designed to help you to deal with the impact of the injuries on your life – it might be the loss of earnings and expenses due to treatment, the future loss of earnings that your injury could cause, the changes in your life that your injury has caused, as well as helping you with the physical and psychological impact of what has happened to you.
If you are suffering and out of pocket from an injury which wasn’t your fault, then you deserve to get compensation for both the financial impact and the way that your injury has changed your life – both in the short and long term.
How Much Compensation Can I Get?
Calculating the amount of compensation that you can claim for and be awarded isn’t a straightforward process. Every case is different as everybody’s circumstances are different – from how the accident occurred in the first place, to the extent and impact of your injuries. Some of your injuries might be physical, whilst others might be psychological and difficult to measure accurately. Some of the criteria which are examined in the claims process include:
- The cost of treatment
- How much time you need for recovery
- The level of suffering and pain that you have experienced
- Any other costs or losses which you have suffered – including loss of earnings
This makes it very difficult to give exact compensation amounts for specific injuries.
What Else Can Affect my Compensation?
The specific circumstances around your injury or accident can also have an effect on your compensation.
If you are claiming for compensation after a work accident or car accident, for example, there are several issues which will be considered when calculating how much you could be eligible for.
- The extent to which you are responsible for the accident or your injuries – it may be deemed to be a case of ‘split liability’ if you are partly responsible for what happened. This would usually result in a reduced pay-out.
- If the ‘other’ driver in a vehicle accident is uninsured or unidentified (for example, a hit and run driver) you might get a reduced pay-out.
- There might be a different tariff used if you are claiming for a criminal injury compensation pay-out.
Judicial College Guidelines
There are a set of personal injury claim guidelines which can be used as a rough pointer into amounts that can be awarded, and these are called the Judicial College Guidelines. They will usually give the upper and lower limits of what can be awarded, so if, for example, you have suffered a minor foot injury or if you have suffered whiplash in a car accident and have recovered within three months of the accident depending on your specific circumstances. However, it is worth remembering that these are only guidelines, and should your individual circumstances dictate it, higher (or lower) awards can be given.
Changes in the Personal Injury Claims Law
Up until 2013, the law stipulated that in ‘No Win No Fee’ cases, the solicitor’s costs were to be deducted from the defendant. This means that if you were claiming compensation through a ‘No Win No Fee’ solicitor, the fees (which were only payable if the claimant won compensation – hence ‘No Win No Fee’) were paid for by the defendant. Changes in the law in 2013, however, mean that now those fees will be paid for by the claimant. In other words, if you win compensation, the ‘No Win No Fee’ solicitor’s fees will be deducted from that compensation that you have been awarded.
Most ‘No Win No Fee’ solicitors charge fees based on a percentage of the pay-out. As a result of this change in the law, however, the courts have increased the amounts of compensation that they are awarding for general damages by 10% in ‘No Win No Fee’ cases, meaning that claimants shouldn’t be out of pocket after paying their solicitors fees. These are called ‘Court Uplifts’.
If you have had an accident or personal injury for which you are thinking about claiming compensation for, it is important to check that the figures that have been calculated have taken into account these court uplifts. These can massively affect the amount that you could be eligible to receive. So, instead of asking, “How much will I get?”, you should be asking, “How much will I take home?” to find out exactly what you are likely to be awarded.
What is the Difference Between General Damages and Specific Damages?
The compensation that you claim is usually made up of two parts – known as general damages and special damages. They are considered by the courts separately and are linked to different aspects of the claim.
- General damages are awarded to compensate for the injuries and anything that has come as a direct result of the accident. This includes, physical injury or impairment, pain and suffering, a lowering of the quality of life (such as decreased independence, mobility issues, loss of interest in activities, etc.), losing a unique career due to injuries, mental pain (such as the suffering of stress and anxiety and trauma), loss of companionship (this is often claimed for in the cases of wrongful death by families), and difficulty in finding a job.
- Special damages are given for the actual expense that you’ve had due to your accident. These will depend greatly on your unique circumstances, but would often include short-term medical expenses (doctor consultation and medical report fees, hospital stays and medication), long-term medical expenses (physiotherapy costs or other treatments), loss of income (including loss of bonus or other perks due to being out of work as a result of your accident, time on Statutory Sick Pay), the replacement or repair of damaged property, transportation costs to and from medical appointments as a result of your injury, and loss of earning capacity (if you have had to take a lower paid job as a result of restrictions due to your injury).
As the general damages aspect of claiming for compensation can often be subjective, it can be difficult to calculate the amount of pay-out which can be given. As it can be difficult to quantify pain and anguish, so the skill of your solicitor can be important here in ensuring that you get an accurate amount, which is a true reflexion of how the injury has impacted your life.
It is important to keep records of as much as possible in terms of your physical expenditure as well as information about other aspects of the impact of the accident or injury on your life so that you can offer as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This will make it easier for you to get the accurate compensation that you are entitled to.
What if I have Multiple Injuries?
There are many cases when you have more than one part of your body injured. Multiple injuries are common after many accidents, and so it is important to be clear about how this will affect your personal injury claim.
Generally, each injury will be examined separately, and the severity of the injury assessed in terms of how it has impacted you and your life. Usually, compensation awards are not calculated by ‘adding’ these up, but courts generally will look at the more serious injuries and whether they ‘mask’ the more minor injuries.
For example, if you have a toe injury which leaves no long-term problems, and also received a serious knee injury you might find that the toe injury is ‘masked’ by the knee injury and no additional compensation given.
If you have multiple injuries where you think that the ‘lesser’ injury could be deemed as being masked by the ‘greater’ injury, but you disagree, make sure that you let your solicitor know, along with the reasons why you think this.
If you are looking for compensation for a criminal injury, this is dealt with and paid for through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – and they have their own set of guidelines. If you are claiming for multiple injuries through CICA, however, things work slightly differently. You have a maximum of three injuries which can be claimed for through CICA, and you will be awarded 100% of the guideline amount for the most serious injury, 30% of the guideline amount for the second most serious injury and 15% for the third most serious injury. You cannot claim for more than three injuries with CICA.
If You Don’t Win
If you are claiming for injuries against a defendant it is more than likely that if you get to court, you will win compensation. After all, what ‘No Win No Fee’ solicitor would want to take on a case if it looks like they won’t win?
It can happen, however, that you don’t walk away with a sum of money – for whatever reason – and this is why most solicitors will recommend that you take out After the Event insurance (ATE insurance) when you sign their No Win No Fee contract. This means that if the claim is unsettled, abandoned or not successful, and the defendant has incurred costs, their costs will be met by the insurance. If you do not have ATE insurance, the costs would be down to you to pay. The insurance also covers any claimant costs which were met by the solicitor, such as the cost of medical or police reports and court fees. If you win compensation, these costs will be taken off the amount that you take home – along with other fees, if not, you will have to pay them.
If You Have Suffered a Personal Injury
If you have suffered from an accident or personal injury and it has or is significantly affecting your life, you might be eligible for a compensation amount for how much it has impacted on you. If you think that you might have a claim, firstly try to keep as much paperwork and records of information which might help you – for example, hospital appointment letters, special equipment receipts, correspondence highlighted your ability to work etc.
You can then use a Compensation Calculator which will ask you to give more specific details about your injury and how it has impacted on your life, and this will give you a rough estimate of how much compensation you are likely to receive.
It is important to remember that this calculator is merely a guideline, as everybody has different circumstances as well as the fact that some effects are difficult to quantify (such as the psychological impact of your injury or accident). Whilst the calculator can give you a good idea, it cannot look at emotions and lots of psychological issues.
If you feel that you want to go ahead with your claim, you should then contact one of our solicitors below or find out what my claim is worth on the Compensation Calculator.