Oftentimes, the value of a personal injury lawsuit is the last thing on anyone’s mind at the onset. The emphasis is, very appropriately, on the care and rehabilitation of the wounded party in order to maximize their recovery. By retaining a qualified solicitor as soon as possible, all rehabilitation options, including privately paid care through an injury claim, are evaluated.
However, once the early steps of litigation and rehabilitation are over, it becomes vital to begin quantifying the claim. When calculating a personal injury claim, there are three distinct categories of loss to consider:
- Damages in general (often referred to as Pain, Suffering, and Loss of Amenity)
- Special Damages in the Past
- Special Damages in the Future
Damages in general
General Damages are determined by the severity of the damage, the length of any symptoms, and the effect those symptoms have had or will have on the wounded individual. When determining the number of general damages, the courts will resort to the Judicial College Guidelines for the assessment of general damages in personal injury instances, which establishes award ranges for frequent injuries, as well as past cases involving comparable injuries. Both give advice on the award’s proper beginning point.
Special Damages in the Past
Along with general damages, special damages are defined as economic losses sustained as a direct result of the harm. This can involve a variety of financial losses, such as lost wages, the cost of treatments and therapies, the expense of employing support workers and case managers, personal belongings lost or destroyed in the accident, aids, and equipment, and housing and property adjustments, to mention a few.
Special Damages in the Future
Future losses are those that the aggrieved party will incur in the future, following the settlement of the claim. The magnitude of these losses will be established in large part by expert evidence that identifies any ongoing needs as well as the prospect of future therapy and/or surgery. If a care regime is in existence at the time of settlement, evidence will be necessary to establish the duration of the regime’s obligations and if they will alter in the future.
A personal injury claim’s worth might vary greatly depending on the exact facts surrounding the accident and the affected party. Each case is unique and should be treated accordingly. This is why it is critical to retain the services of specialized attorneys to maximize the value of the case and to ensure that all damages are documented, supported, and finally recovered.
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