Compensation Explained. What is damages?
If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault you are entitled to be compensated for the injuries that you have suffered from the person who caused them.
A compensation award (or damages award) is based on your individual circumstances and is calculated in two ways:
- General Damages – for the injuries you suffered;
- Special Damages – for the financial losses caused as a result of your being in an accident;
General damages are awarded for the injuries you suffered. Lawyers will also describe this as damages for “pain, suffering and loss of amenity”. In other words, general damages not only compensates you for the physical injuries that have happened to you, but also for the suffering that is associated with that physical injury and any reduction to your enjoyment of life as a result.
As a very basic example of how loss of amenity can be included in a claim: you may have had to cancel a holiday as a result of having been injured in an accident. The upset that is caused from missing your holiday is taken into account in your general damages compensation in addition to a calculation for the physical injuries you have suffered. You may also be able to claim back the financial cost of the missed holiday too as part of your special damages claim (see below).
As to how your injury compensation (general damages) is calculated, that is based on you individually. Two people can be involved in the same accident but have very different injuries and therefore very different compensation. The first step is to obtain medical evidence of your injuries in the form of a “medico-legal report”. We get you examined by a doctor who then provides such a report and that report will then form the basis of your compensation calculation.
We then rely on past case law and the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) which sets out the level of compensation a person should be awarded for a certain type of injury.
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This is financial loss caused to you as a direct result of being involved in an accident.
The most obvious example of this is if you have had to take time off work as a result of an accident you can claim any wage loss you suffered.
Other examples include:
- Travel to and from medical appointments;
- Cost of replacing or repairing property damaged in the accident. Eg. a damaged car or destroyed phone or clothes.
- The cost of medical treatment (you are entitled to seek private medical care and claim the cost of this back from the party that injured you);
- Care provided by a family member or loved one;
- Cost of any medical equipment, adaptations
- The cost of any changed plans as a result of being injured (e.g. cancelled holidays)
In cases involving a serious or catastrophic injury we are able to claim “Future Losses” where we anticipate the likely future impact of long term injuries such as future care needs and adaptations to your home and include them in your claim too. It can often be a complicated calculation but you can be certain that Personal Injury Solicitors Manchester can offer the very highest level of legal expertise to ensure you are fully compensated for your personal injury claim.
We will always give a full advice on the level of compensation we expect you to receive as a result of your accident in a way that you can easily understand. We also guarantee that your compensation will be maximised.