My husband lost his arm in an accident on a farm and has been offered 145,000 Euros in loss of limb compensation by his employer´s insurance company. They say this is the upper limit that is published in the Book of Quantum and we will not get any more. Should we accept it?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

My husband lost his arm in an accident on a farm and has been offered 145,000 Euros in loss of limb compensation by his employer´s insurance company. They say this is the upper limit that is published in the Book of Quantum and we will not get any more. Should we accept it?

Answer:

Inasmuch much as the insurance company is correct in stating that their offer of loss of limb compensation is the maximum published in the Book of Quantum, your husband should not accept their offer without first undergoing a full assessment of his injury and its consequences.

The introduction to the Book of Quantum actually states “the Book only deals with compensation for pain and suffering. A claimant may also be entitled to claim under other headings for actual financial losses” and therefore it would appear that the insurance company have made no consideration for your husband´s possible future loss of earnings or the deterioration in his quality of life.

For example – should your husband been receiving an annual net income of 15,000 Euros from his employment, the insurance company´s offer of loss of limb compensation equates to less than ten years salary. If your husband is a young man, and unable to find alternative employment, the figure of 145,000 Euros appears to be woefully inadequate.

Furthermore, the offer of compensation for the loss of a limb accounts for only the physical pain and suffering that your husband experienced at the time of his accident on the farm. Should your husband be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of the violent nature of the accident in which he lost his arm, or develop chronic depression while still coming to terms with his incapacity, he would also be able to include his psychological injury in a claim for loss of limb compensation.

Your husband´s loss of limb compensation claim should also include a factor for “loss of amenity” – the lack of ability to perform everyday tasks and enjoy social and leisure pursuits. If, for example, your husband was a keen golfer, musician or budding chef, the loss of an arm would make a significant difference to his quality of life – more so than someone who enjoyed listening to music or watching the television.

Therefore, as you can see from above, no two claims for loss of limb compensation are identical – even when the nature of the injury are the same – and why it is suggested that you discuss your husband´s accident and injury with an experienced solicitor at the first possible opportunity and certainly before you accept an offer of compensation for the loss of a limb from the insurance company.