How accurately can calculating your injury claim estimate be?
It is surprisingly difficult to give a specific calculation of how great an award of damages a court will make after a successful personal injury case, which is why specialist and highly experienced lawyers such as those at Accident Advice Helpline are required to make injury claim estimates. But calculating your injury claim estimate can be more accurate than you think.
Types of damages
In general, a court assesses damages along the lines of two broad headings:
- General damages – these are an estimate, as closely as can be made, of the easily calculated financial losses which result from an accident. They are generally tied to some sort of simply functioning arithmetic, for instance the number of weeks a claimant has (or will be) off work due to injury, multiplied by the person’s adjusted weekly wage; and
- Special damages – this part of the award compensates the victim for more intangible factors, such as pain, suffering and loss of amenity, things which are more difficult to define and resist simple calculation.
In other countries, particularly the Unites States and parts of Europe, courts will also award under a third heading referred to as punitive damages. As the name suggests, punitive damages are intended to punish the person who caused the harm inflicted in an effort to regulate or correct behaviour, most commonly where the risk created was morally repugnant, such as the deliberate release of a knowingly faulty product for profit.
Punitive damages are not used in English law because the jurisprudence (legal philosophy) of the law is to put the claimant in the position in which they would have been if they had not been harmed by another. This is referred to as restorative justice, sometimes expressed by the latin phrase retitutio ad integrum, meaning ‘restore to same’ or ‘restore to original.’ This is a distinctly different approach in theory than seeking to punish the wrongdoer — a practice undertaken by a regulatory body or the police.
Injury claim estimates explained
So, what does this mean for the ordinary person after their accident? Well, based on all relevant factors to a case, it is often possible for an experienced legal professional to apply all of this machinery and make a good injury claim estimate of how likely the claim is to success and how much compensation is likely to be payable in the case of victory.
The best way forward is always to speak to a legal professional. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile), or better still use the 30-second claim compensation calculator on the Accident Advice Helpline website.
Date Published: 20th August 2013