One of the most common questions in the area of personal injury compensation is ‘how much compensation can a client expect to receive?’ Although certain types of lawyers may process similar claims with similar outcomes on a regular basis (for example, lawyers working on road collision claims or a workers’ compensation lawyer working on claims related to ongoing employment disputes), there is variance in personal injury compensation.
Today, we are going to look at how a claim for personal injury compensation is assessed in two different ways, which when combined, make up the total amount of compensation you may expect to be rewarded by the courts.
Expenses you can measure
This includes any expense that you have incurred as a result of your injury. For example, if you have been injured in such a way that requires medical treatment, any medical bills and transport to and from any medical appointments will form part of this section of your claim. You may hear this type of compensation referred to as “sum certain”. Damages towards repairs to a vehicle that may have been involved in your injury would also be included, as would damages towards any loss of earnings both in the immediate aftermath of your injury and any future losses during your recovery.
The easy way to remember how these ‘special damages’ are calculated is to consider that any loss or expense with a measurable monetary value could be included.
Expenses you can’t measure
As opposed to special damages that can be measured, expenses that cannot be measured are known as ‘general damages’. This typically includes aspects of your claim relating to pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
What is obvious is that this type of compensation cannot easily be assigned a monetary value, meaning many factors will play a role in deciding the eventual outcome of the general damages part of your claim. These factors could include the severity of your injury, recovery time and extent of medical care, whether or not your personal or professional life has been adversely affected over the short, medium, or long term (including a breakdown in any relationships and any limits on future employment options resulting directly from your injury), and ultimately the skill of your lawyer in proving the validity of all cases put forward for general damages. This is why it is essential to research a law firm that you believe can win your case.