At Minster Law we understand that making a personal injury claim can often be daunting and confusing. This guide is designed to answer your questions about how we value your claim and how we claim for any losses you have suffered as a result of your accident.
What can I claim for?
You can only claim for injuries and financial losses that you have suffered from as a direct cause of the accident. Some of these losses may be easy to calculate such as your car parking or even travel costs whereas others such as future losses or injuries are harder to value. The compensation we claim for you is intended to put you back in the position you would have been before the accident as well as to assist you in your recovery.
Your solicitor is likely to claim for two different types of compensation;
- Special damages – these account for your financial losses This includes past and future losses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. Examples of past losses include any care given by your family, travel to appointments and, loss of earning for time you have been off work unpaid. Examples of future losses includes any future operations or treatment you may need once your claim has settled or any future care needs you may have. If you are unsure if you can claim for an expense, ask your solicitor who can advise whether we can try and claim it back.
- General damages – these account for your injury. Your solicitor will use their experience along with medical reports and records to value your injury. Your solicitor will usually provide a valuation bracket that they would expect your claim to settle within.
How will you value my injuries?
Generally, the more pain you suffer and the more this pain impacts your life, the greater the amount of compensation you are entitled to claim for. Placing a valuation on an injury is a complex task and your solicitor is likely to use the Judicial College Guidelines (“JCG”) to assist in their valuation. The JCG are a set of guidance documents that provide brackets for how much you may be entitled to claim for an injury.
In addition to these guidelines, your solicitor is likely to use their previous experiences of similar injuries and previous case law. When your solicitor uses the previous cases, they will be taking into account the Judges’ comments and the nature of the injuries suffered in that instance to compare to your own circumstances.
It is likely that your solicitor will then provide you with a bracket of how much they will be aiming to claim for your injuries. Your solicitor will base the valuation upon the medical evidence that has been obtained so it is important that the evidence truly reflects the injuries you have suffered from.
How will you value my other losses?
It is important that throughout the claims journey you make a clear note of the financial losses that you have suffered due to the accident. Your solicitor will assist you in gathering the evidence to support this aspect of your claim. Common losses include;
- Loss of earnings
- Pension loss
- Care and assistance
- Costs of aids and adaptions
- Medication costs
- Treatment costs
- Cost of damaged items to be replaced
- Travel costs to appointments
It is important to mitigate your losses wherever possible. This means that if there is a suitable and cheaper option available you should use this rather than accrue a more expensive loss. Your solicitor will provide you with further assistance in mitigating your losses to ensure we can recover all losses that you suffer.
Your solicitor will calculate the losses you have suffered from and separate them individually. It may be that due to your injury you may suffer a particular loss for a longer period of time or in some instances, the rest of your life. Your solicitor will explain in greater detail how they will calculate this loss and how much this will equate to. This is particularly common should you unfortunately be unable to work again due to your injuries or require care for a prolonged period of time.
Valuing a claim is a complex task and your solicitor will explain their reasoning behind their valuation. If you have suffered an injury from an accident and you would like to know how much your claim is worth, get in touch with your file handler or contact our team on 0345 600 6980.