If you have suffered personal injury, either as a result of an accident caused by the actions of someone else or being a victim of clinical negligence (previously called medical negligence), your remedy is to claim compensation.
The compensation that you claim is a monetary payment. The compensation paid should restore you to the position that you were in if you had not suffered the injury.
Your solicitor may refer to damages, general damages, special damages and heads of loss and you maybe unsure as to what these terms mean.
This is the sum of money that you claim for the injuries that you sustain as a direct result of the accident. These damages may also be referred to as ‘pain suffering and loss of amenity’.
The amount of general damages that you are likely to receive will be assessed by reference to guidance called Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases. In addition to the guidelines, where cases have been assessed by a Judge at trial and where a report of the judgment is published the assessment made by that Trial Judge can also be used as an aid to assessing the appropriate level of general damages.
Special Damages are awarded in addition to general damages. These are your out of pocket expenses. They can be current losses that you have already sustained but can also cover anticipated future losses.
Heads of Loss
The term Heads of Loss relates to the different categories that your special damages can be split in to. Examples of Heads of Loss maybe loss of earnings and loss of future earnings, medication costs and care costs.
Your out of pocket expenses do have to be linked to the accident or injury that you have sustained. Where available you also need to produce documentary evidence in support of each Head of Loss.
There are some restrictions on the amount that you can recover as damages. You may have partially caused or contributed to your accident or there may be other intervening circumstances that could limit the amount of damages that you are awarded.
At MKB Solicitors we will be able to discuss with you what the claim is likely to be worth for general damages for your injury and can also help you identify the other Heads of Loss that you can claim for. If you have suffered injury and would like to discuss the matter with us then please telephone 01226 210000 to arrange an initial free consultation or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.