I have been offered £2,000 general damages for personal injuries for a broken leg — however my younger sister was offered £5,000 for an identical injury. How is this possible?
Many claimants upon receiving general damages for personal injuries may seek to compare their compensation to other claims with similar injuries, in order to determine whether they have been fairly compensated. However it should be noted that rather than being compensated based solely on your broken leg injury, a claim for damages after injury encompasses several aspects of an injury. This means that no two amounts of compensation for personal injuries will be identical, even for a similar injury. This means that although your younger sister received a far greater settlement for personal injuries, her circumstances may have been entirely different, meaning she may have been entitled to more compensation.
Your general damages for personal injuries will not only be determined by the nature of your injury, but also for the pain and suffering it has caused and whether your broken leg has had a permanent impact. For instance, if your sister had sustained a scar as a result of her broken leg, she may be entitled to more compensation for personal injuries. This figure of settlement for personal injuries will then be adjusted to take age, gender and your general state of health prior to your accident into account. This means that in a claim for damages after injury not only would a female be entitled to more compensation, but your sister’s youth would also be considered along with her health — meaning if she is a non-smoker she would be entitled to more compensation than a long-term smoker.
Along with general damages for personal injuries, other variables may affect the compensation between you and your sister. The special damages of your compensation for personal injuries will provide for any expenses you have incurred because of your injury — such as medical costs — and for income lost if you are unable to work. This means a person who is on a higher income can claim more compensation for missed work than somebody on a lower income. Loss of amenity will be included in your claim for damages after injury for any deterioration in your quality of life if you cannot perform tasks you would have normally enjoyed. This means a person who is physically active can claim more settlement for personal injuries than somebody who spends their spare time in front of the TV. Finally your sister may be entitled to more compensation if she suffered psychological damage because of her injury, such as depression or anxiety.
It is possible that your compensation for personal injuries can be affected if your offer of £2,000 was a direct offer of compensation from the insurance company. While you may be tempted to accept any settlement for personal injuries, it is possible that such an offer does not reflect the full amount of compensation to which you may be entitled. Such offers of compensation for personal injuries are often made to save money for the insurance company, and cannot be renegotiated once they have been accepted. For this reason, a personal injury solicitor should always be consulted before any such offer of general damages for personal injuries is accepted.