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How much am I entitled to?

Date: 25.07.2012
By Azhar Sacranie

If you are unfortunate to been injured in an accident which is not your fault, you will be entitled to bring a claim for compensation against the person responsible for the accident.  Everyone who brings a claim for personal injury will at one point want to know the potential value of his or her claim.
The valuation of a claim depends on various factors. These factors vary from what type of injury is suffered, how serious the injury is, will the injured person need rehabilitation or surgery in order to make a recovery?  And more importantly How long will it take to make a full recovery?

In order to be able to value a claim accurately it is necessary to obtain a medical report and depending on the type of injury a report will be obtained from an independent GP or if a more serious from a specialist consultant. 

It is always important to remember that the more serious the injury the higher the value will be, for example a broken bone will be worth more than a soft tissue injury which recovers within six to nine months.   If there are multiple injuries the value will increase depending on the type of injuries.

When valuing a claim it is necessary to take into account any previous medical conditions such as previous back injury or symptoms already suffered which may have some bearing on the value of the claim.  It may be that the condition has been exacerbated symptoms already suffered or accelerated an underlying condition. 

In England and Wales Solicitors/lawyers value claims taking all factors into account as well as relying on the medical expert to determine the injuries and recovery period. 

Apart from the compensation for physical and psychological injuries, which is known as General Damages, there will also be a claim for financial losses and expenses incurred as a result of the accident, which are known as Special Damages.  Items included will be loss of earnings, travel expenses, medication and treatment costs, repair costs for damaged vehicle or bicycle, replacement of damaged clothing, in fact any expense or loss that can be attributable to the accident will be claimable and the total of the claim will be added to the claim for General Damages. 

It is always important to remember that if you are not to blame for the accident and liability can be attributed to the negligence of another person, then you will receive 100% of your claim, however if you are held responsible for part of the accident then you will only recover that percentage of the whole compensation which was not attributed to you, for example if the liability is settled on a 50-50 basis, you will recover 50% of the settlement

Valuing compensation is not an exact science, the guidelines are there as a suggestion but not set in stone.  A straight forward whiplash injury to someone in their twenties who is fit and healthy and will recover quickly will not be so in an elderly person who may never recover from the injury and the injury will have a devastating affect on their lives both physically and socially.

For further information or advice on any of the above issues, please contact our Personal Injury team, free on 0800 131 36 36. Alternatively, please fill in our Contact form and we will call you back.