Back to Blog

How To Calculate Damages

I noticed recently that I had not written a blog on how damages are assessed for the actual injury that is sustained. I will now set out below briefly how these are assessed.The starting point is that this is not a science. Although a challenge was made by a number of Claimant firms including this firm a few years ago as to the level of damages which a Court awards to injured parties for their injuries namely for a fracture to a leg, a broken wrist, a head injury etc. apart from the more serious injury, the Court kept the level of damages effectively as they were, in no small part due to the challenge made by insurance companies.Damages in this country are not particularly high. They are of course significantly lower than damages you might expect to receive if you sustained an injury in the United States although this country must stand alone as being the country which pays the most for personal injuries sustained.. and damages in the US are of course meant to penalise the party who caused the injury.The way that damages are generally assessed is by looking at past cases. I would therefore look up in the appropriate reference books having obtained my completed medical evidence by way of reports from consultants setting out the injuries sustained, the diagnosis and in particular the prognosis, how much a Court awarded in say Newcastle-upon-Tyne District Registry or Cardiff County Court for very similar injuries sustained. The previous cases I look at could be some time ago or even sometimes longer. I would then apply an inflation table to provide an indication upon which a court is likely to award in 2010/11 and this will provide me with an indication of how much a Judge is likely to award should this claim proceed to trial or assessment where the Court is asked to decide on the value.In addition there is a thin book called the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines which is now in its 10th edition and which sets out brackets for various different types of injury. This is meant to provide guidance to the judiciary when they are considering cases on how much a claim is worth having obviously considered the presentations made by barristers, the evidence of the injured party and the medical evidence before doing so.Damages for injuries sustained are known as General Damages. They are meant to provide compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity sustained by the injured person. By loss of amenity I mean not being able to go to the gym, being limited in the amount of walking or running the person can do, not being able to go fell walking as often as that person did before the accident etc.As I say, this is not an exact science however the assessment of these damages is still done with some degree of accuracy and this is the system that we have.Tristan Hallam is a partner in Personal Injury in the London office of Russell Jones & Walker. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046, or email enquiries@rjw.co.uk and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.

Comments