Introduction to Injury Compensation Values
Injury compensation values can vary considerably from a few hundred pounds to several hundred thousand pounds, and sometimes awards well into the millions. Injury compensation values depend on the nature of the injury, its degree of permanency, and how that injury will affect an individual for the rest of his or her life. With such variation in compensation awards, assigning injury compensation values without a thorough analysis of each individual case rarely produces an accurate figure.
Eligibility to Claim Injury Compensation
In order to claim personal injury compensation, you must have suffered an injury that was due to negligence of at least one third party. Negligence can be due to insufficient actions taken to reduce the chance of an accident, a failure in the duty of care or due to third party actions which increased the chance of an accident happening beyond acceptable levels. Whether you have been injured in the workplace, in a road traffic accident, contracted a disease in hospital or have tripped an fallen in the street; if the injury was caused by a third party or a third party is partially responsible through negligent behaviour, you may be eligible to claim compensation and legal advice should be sought.
Calculating Injury Compensation Values
Even injuries which are not life threatening can have high injury compensation values. Injuries to the hair for instance may well involve higher compensation payments than that for a broken arm. It may seem peculiar that hair damage or perceived superficial injuries are compensated to a higher degree than limbs, but this highlights the difficulty with providing injury compensation values without specific details of the case.
When calculating injury compensation values many factors are taken into consideration, including the general health of the victim, as well as gender and age of the victim. Injury compensation values will not take into account any loss of amenity as a result of the accident – something which can increase a compensation claim value considerably.
Injury Compensation Values and Contributory Negligence
When the claimant is deemed to have been negligent with regard to personal safety, they too may be liable to cover part of the compensation payment. The value of injury compensation would be adjusted to take contributory negligence into account, and the final compensation received could be substantially less. Injury compensation values provided prior to a full personal injury assessment rarely cover the possibility of contributory negligence, and this will significantly reduce how much compensation the injured victim is entitled to receive.
What to do Following an Accident and Injury
Naturally, taking care of personal health following an accident is the primary concern, and not how much compensation can be claimed for damages. Failing to take care of injuries can have a significant bearing on the compensation which is received. In the case of road traffic accidents, drivers may escape with a few cuts and bruises but more serious injuries may not be immediately apparent and a trip to the doctor may not be made. However if symptoms of whiplash develop after a few days, the defence could argue that the victim has contributed to the severity of the injury by their own lack of care, and is thus liable to cover a proportion of the medical costs. Failing to seek treatment or neglecting to report an accident to the proper authorities may reduce grounds to claim compensation to a level where the injury compensation values make a compensation claim not viable.
Injury Compensation Values and Compensation Damages
Any initial calculation of injury compensation values is only an estimate, as the final settlement incorporates many elements. Injury compensation values are based on general damages alone, and arbitrary compensation values assigned to body parts from various legal precedents and past cases. General damages are calculated on a case by case basis, and cover the severity of the injury, the pain and suffering caused, and loss of amenity as a result of the accident.
It is not unusual to see injury compensation values with the top estimate four or five times as high as the lower limit. Where an individual falls within this range can only be calculated by a personal injury solicitor once all of the facts of the case have been assessed.
Compensation settlements can also include “special damages” for the financial consequences of an injury – which are treated separately in any personal injury claim and are not factored into injury compensation values. Special damages can run into millions of pounds, especially when a lifetime of medical treatment is required to treat serious injuries. Special damages are concerned with any expense which has been caused by the accident and/or injury. Alternative transport costs, medical aids, home alterations to accommodate a wheelchair and even cancelled flights and missed events can be factored into any special damages claim and, in certain circumstances, can be considerably more than any injury compensation values for physical and/or emotional injury.
Time Limits for Claiming Personal Injury Compensation
The Limitation Act 1980 places a time restriction of the initiation of compensation claims; which must be made within 3 years of the date that the injury was sustained or within 3 years of having knowledge of an injury. Children can initiate a claim at any time until their 21st birthday, even if the injury was sustained at birth. There are exceptions to limitation law which can reduce the claim period and, due to the legal complexities and the strict time limits, a personal injury solicitor should be contacted as soon as possible to ensure that a claim is not at risk of being time-barred by the Statute of Limitations.
Injury Compensation Values Reduced by Third Party Capture
With injury compensation values highly variable, an insurer may decide to pursue an early settlement – even before legal advice has been sought by the victim. An insurer may be keen to avoid paying the claimant´s legal costs and, when faced with a claim that has high potential for a substantial compensation payment, they may be eager to obtain a quick and final settlement. In the case of traffic injuries especially, insurers may make direct contact with the victim soon after the accident and offer compensation for the injuries and inconvenience caused.
It is in an insurer´s interest to pay as little as possible, but is in the victim´s interest to seek legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity in order to obtain compensation that truly reflects the seriousness of injuries. Seeking legal advice before accepting a settlement is of paramount importance, even if the settlement appears to reflect the amount that typical injury compensation values indicate.