How much compensation will I be paid for my injuries?
The total compensation you may receive depends on General Damages for your specific type of injury and Special Damages any the related losses.
Step 1: Use the Claim Calculator to work out General Damages.
These estimates are for the General Damages for a specific injury. You need to speak to a solicitor to find out about Special Damages, which are awarded for out-of-pocket expenses, loss of earnings, and non-anatomical injuries such as post traumatic stress disorder.
The role of your solicitor is to ensure that the compensation award accurately reflects the personal loss, injury and damage that you have sustained as a result of your accident. In order to do so, he or she will take the greatest care to construct the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Step 2: Talk to a solicitor about Special Damages.
It is important to remember that (assuming liability is not in question) the ‘value’ of a personal injury case is assessed by looking at the severity of the injury to the plaintiff and how same will affect their working, family, recreational and personal lives in the short, medium and long terms.
Your solicitor will rely on medical evidence from your own doctor including medical records (showing any attendances at hospital or with your general practitioner in relation to your accident) and perhaps commissioned reports from specialist consultants.
I would advise those who have sustained a personal injury as the result of the fault of another in a road traffic accident to consider the above very carefully after an accident has occurred. Increasingly, clients are reporting that they have been contacted directly by the third party’s insurance company with offers of settlement in the weeks or even days following the incident.
The temptation to accept an early offer of settlement is strong; the immediate offer of money with minimum hassle and fuss, particularly in the current economic climate, often seems too good to refuse. There is however no way of knowing how much the claim is potentially worth at such an early stage and the risk is that the plaintiff may settle their claim for a figure that falls short of its potential value. It is worth asking yourself the question ‘Why would the insurance company offer to settle the case at such an early stage?’. The response is quite logical; to save costs and, in many cases, to pay less compensation than they might be required to at a later date. The liable party will normally be responsible for not only the compensation payment but also for both sets of legal costs and for the costs of procuring specialist medical reports.
- What your compensation claim is worth may not be immediately evident.
- Some injuries take longer than others to manifest fully and this may delay calculating what your claim is worth.
- A claims’ worth is based on the severity of your injuries and the length of time they may take to heal.
- A solicitor will ensure that you receive the full amount of what your claim is worth by preparing the strongest possible case.
- Insurance companies rarely offer you what a claim is worth and this is why you should always resist the temptation of early settlement and allow a solicitor to negotiate on your behalf.
It is important to note that each case is unique. If you feel that you have a potential personal injury claim, you are advised to discuss all of the points raised in the preceding article with a solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
This article and the Claims Calculator are Copyright © 2012 Legal Advice Ireland. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.