How much can I claim and how long does It take?
If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else's negligence, you might wonder how much you can claim and how fast you can get your compensation. The huge differences between payouts and the timescales might seem arbitrary, this is why you need expert legal advice to help you claim the compensation you deserve.
This guide explains the different factors that influence claims process and the final compensation settlement.
What can I claim for?
When you have suffered an injury due to someone else's negligence, compensation is awarded, not only to compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured, but also to put you in the same financial position you were in before the accident happened. Compensation is therefore split into two categories:
General damages: This is the legal term used for the amount of compensation you will receive for the pain, suffering and impact on your quality of life that you have had to endure as a result of the injuries you have suffered.
Special damages: This is the legal term used for any ‘out of pocket expenses' or otherwise, anything you have had, or will have, to pay due to the accident, such as:
- Damaged property
- Rehabilitation, treatment and/or physiotherapy
- Loss of earnings (and future loss of earnings if your injury has impacted your ability to work in the future)
- Aids and equipment
- Modifications to your home
- Care and future care costs
How do you calculate my compensation settlement?
General damages, for pain, suffering and the impact on your quality of life, depends on the seriousness of your injuries and your recovery time. For example, there is a significant difference between someone with a minor injury to their shoulder which takes 4 weeks to recover and someone with a severe leg injury which results in an amputation. There are therefore guidelines in place and case law which are relied upon by solicitors when calculating the amount of general damages you are likely to receive.
When calculating special damages, expenses such as travel costs to appointments, damaged property and lost earnings can be included in the claim. Evidence from experts such as medical evidence, will be requested if it is thought that there may be future losses, such as loss of earnings if the accident has impacted your ability to work in the future and, for example, if you have suffered an amputation, the future cost of prosthetics can also be included.
This is why compensation payments are so different, because every case is different with different circumstances. No accident and no life is the same.
How long does it take until I receive my compensation?
Every case is different: If you're suffering from minor injuries or injuries with no long-term consequences and the negligent party is cooperative, your case can be settled in a few weeks. However, the timescale can be influenced by the following factors:
- Does the negligent party admit its liability?
- Does the insurance company agree to the compensation payout?
- With major injuries, are we able to calculate long-term consequences and damages?
If you are suffering from a major injury, and the other party has admitted they were at fault, even if only party, we are able to request interim payments in advance of a final settlement. These payments are usually to reduce financial pressures which can occur, for example if you are unable to work as a result of your accident, and also pay for private treatment and rehabilitation to maximise your recovery as quickly as possible. These cases can take up to a few years. However, it is vital that your compensation is calculated carefully: once your compensation is settled, you are not able to claim other consequences that were not factored into your compensation settlement.
These are the reasons why timescales can be so different from case to case. But rest assured, we will do our best to ensure you receive the payment you deserve as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact us for free legal advice.
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