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How Much Compensation Do You Get for a Personal Injury?

Potential claimants asking themselves “How much compensation do you get for a personal injury?” should be aware that every claim after an accident is different, and that injury compensation values can vary greatly from case to case, from hundreds of pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds, and sometimes millions. The amount of injury compensation that will be awarded to a claimant who decides to pursue a settlement depends on a number of factors: the nature and extent of the injury, its degree of permanency, and if the injury will affect the victim for the rest of their lives are often significant variables. As significant variations occur case to case, it is not possible to provide an accurate estimate without first knowing more about the injuries.

Eligibility to Pursue a Settlement

Before being able to ask “How much compensation do you get for a personal injury?” you must first ensure that you are eligible to pursue a settlement. To be able to claim after an accident you must have suffered an injury that was the fault of at least one negligent third party; not taking sufficient actions to prevent an accident, a failure in a duty of care, and actions which increased the likelihood of an accident beyond reasonable levels all qualify as negligence and thus may entitle you to pursue a claim for compensation. Whether the injury was sustained at work, in a road traffic accident or in the street, once a negligent third party was at fault you may qualify for compensation. Once you have ascertained that you may qualify for compensation, you should immediately seek legal advice from a solicitor who deals in personal injury claims.

How Much Compensation Do You Get for a Personal Injury – Making the Calculations

The answer to “How much compensation do you get for a personal injury” depends on a number of qualifying factors, although even injuries which are not life threatening can have high compensation values: an injury to the hair for example, can sometimes see higher payments awarded than a broken arm. It may seem odd that damage to hair, usually perceived as a superficial body part, would be worth more than damage to a limb, but is impossible to provide more accurate injury compensation values without knowing more about the individual cases.

The age, sex and general health of the victim prior to the accident can act as important variables. It is worth noting that compensation values do not take loss of amenity into account – an element of compensation which can raise the overall worth of an award considerably.

Contributory Negligence and Injury Compensation Values

Before asking “How much compensation do you get for a personal injury?” you must first ask yourself whether you contributed in any way to your own injury. Claimants who are injured in an accident which was partly caused by their own negligence may have to forfeit some of their award; the compensation package that they would have received if the defendant had been wholly at fault may be adjusted to reflect their own contribution to their injuries. The injury compensation values provided prior to a full personal injury assessment rarely take instances of contributory negligence into account, and this could significantly alter the amount of compensation a claimant is likely to receive if they decide to claim after an accident.

Procedures to Follow After an Accident

Caring for your personal health should always be your primary concern following an accident. Having your injuries treated by a medical professional immediately after an accident will allow you not only give you piece of mind with regard to your health, it will also ensure that a full medical report is available when you pursue a settlement. Although failing to care for your health in the immediate aftermath of an accident will not reduce your injury compensation values, it will have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you could receive and may result in you not being granted any compensation at all. For example, if a person is injured in a road traffic accident and escapes with minor cuts and bruises, they may only see fit to receive first aid at the scene and not visit a doctor. If additional injuries – such as whiplash – were to develop at a later date, the injured party may be made pay some of their medical costs because not receiving immediate medical attention may be deemed to have contributed in some way towards the deterioration in their condition.

General and Special Damages

Persons asking “How much compensation do you get for a personal injury?” should be aware that the initial calculation of injury compensation values only serves as an estimate, and that it is based on general damages and arbitrary values assigned to body parts in past legal cases. Persons seeking to claim after an accident should note that the value of general damages is calculated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the severity of the injury, the suffering it has caused, and any loss of amenity which has occurred because of the accident.

It is not unheard of for the top estimate in injury compensation values to be as much as four or five times greater than the lowest amount – where a claimant seeking to pursue a settlement falls within this range can be determined by a solicitor with expertise in pursuing personal injury claims.

Aside from the general damages component, compensation awards also include a provision for special damages. Special damages reimburse claimants for the quantifiable financial impact of an injury – bills that have been missed as a direct result of the injury, missed earnings, medical bills, transport costs, and if necessary house renovations to accommodate persons left in a wheelchair. Special damages can often amount to much more than general damages, especially where a claimant will need treatment for the rest of their lives.

Time Limits for Making a Claim After an Accident

Before considering “How much compensation do you get for a personal injury?” you should be aware of the time limit on pursuing a settlement imposed by the Statute of Limitations. Persons seeking to pursue a settlement only have a three-year window in which claim after an accident according to the Statute, with the date of knowledge – the time at which the injury was first discovered (not sustained) – used as the starting point.

Childrens claims are exempt from the time limit, according to the Statute, with parents allowed to wait until any time before their child’s 18th birthday to take action to claim after an accident. Other restrictions, such as claims made for accidents which happened at sea or in the air, can also apply. For this reason it is imperative that you speak to a personal claims solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity after an accident.

Third Party Capture and Injury Compensation Values

The question “How much compensation do you get for a personal injury?” can depend not only on extent of the injuries sustained, but also on the circumstances in which you accept the offer. Insurance companies representing the negligent party who caused your injuries sometimes make an offer of compensation directly to the accident victim – sometimes even before they have decided to pursue a settlement.

Injury compensation values can be highly variable and an insurer may choose to settle a claim after an accident even before the victim has had the opportunity to seek out legal advice. They do this in order to limit their costs and control what they pay out to victims, and when faced with a substantial award, often to secure a quick and final settlement.

It is in the interest of an accident victim to seek legal advice as quickly as possible after an accident and to reject all unsolicited offers unless a solicitor has had a chance to examine it first. Speaking with a solicitor as early as possible will give an accident victim the best possible chance of securing a fair, reasonable settlement.