This is one of the most common questions we get from clients. People are often angered when they realise a friend or colleague received more compensation for what they perceive to be an identical injury to their own. In this article, we’ll explain why this happens and which factors directly affect the amount you receive in compensation for an injury.
But before we drill down into each factor, it’s important to understand exactly what personal injury claims are for. The compensation awarded is also known as “Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity”. These three factors, to put it simply, are added together and monetised to determine how dramatic an effect the injury has had on your life and therefore how much you deserve in compensation. This is why the amounts vary, because they are always relevant to the individual.
Compensation for the physical injury
Every case is different, and no two injuries are identical. In every case a medical report is obtained to set out the injuries the client has suffered. The building blocks of any personal injury claim is the medical evidence. A solicitor will review the value only when the opinion is definitive and final prognosis given. The value, for example, of a ‘whiplash’ claim will differ from case to case dependent upon a variety of factors including duration of symptoms, the degree of pain, time off work, effect upon hobbies, any pre-existing symptoms which have been made worse, nature and extent of medical treatment. These factors and others can mean the difference of thousands of pounds for similar injuries.
Another example would be to compare a middle-aged man working behind a desk in a corporate business, and a teenage girl. If they were both in an accident and cut their heads in the same place, with the same sized scar as a result, who do you think would need more compensation? Based on case history, the girl would be likely to receive more compensation, as the injury would potentially affect her much more than it would the man. This is because although the pain is the same for both, having a facial scar as a young girl can be much harder to deal with, perhaps even leading to psychological issues such as anxiety or depression, due to society’s stereotypes of beauty.
Compensation for loss of earnings
The compensation a person is awarded will often be heavily dependent on how much a person earns and how long they have to be off work for. For example, two people at the same company could both suffer the same severity of whiplash in a car crash. However, if one earns £500 a week and the other only earns £250, they would receive different amounts of compensation, even if they’re both off work for the same amount of time. The higher earner would obviously seek to recover more.
Compensation for care and assistance
Another factor which is considered when deciding how much money a person is awarded for a claim, is whether or not they need any additional care. The term ‘additional care’ applies to more than you might expect. For example, as well as any medical care, an injury victim might also receive compensation for having to hire gardeners, decorators or cleaners to name just a few. Anything that the claimant has to pay for which they would ordinarily do themselves is eligible to be refunded as part of the claim. However, these only apply when they are relevant.
Another consideration is whether the victim was injured before a pre-booked holiday. If the victim suffers an injury which means they cannot enjoy their holiday to the fullest, then they may be entitled to compensation towards the cost of the holiday. The amount of that compensation often relates to the cost of the holiday, so for example, a claimant with a booking for a fortnight’s holiday to California would likely receive more than a person with a booking for a weekend’s caravan holiday in Cornwall.
This could include traveling expenses resulting from the accident, damage to personal items such as jewellery, vehicle hire, medical treatment, such a physio and a partner’s loss of earnings if they have to take time off.
Injuries which are serious and significant can often be life changing. This can mean that a person’s earning capacity is affected. In these cases, the claimant may be entitled to compensation for loss of future earnings. This amount varies depending on the person’s past earnings, future earning capacity, age and family situation.
These are some of the main factors that determine how much you are entitled to in compensation. To maximise the potential of getting the most compensation available to you, it is important to get in contact with an experienced personal injury solicitor. They will meet with you face to face to gather all the information they need to get you what you deserve. To book a meeting with one of our experts, either give us a call on 0114 267 8780 or alternatively drop us a message via our website https://www.asdonline.co.uk/make-claim.