A. NON-FATAL CLAIMS
If you win your claim, the court will attempt to put the injured person into the position they should have been in if the accident had not happened.
To do so, the court will award you the following types of damages:
1. General Damages for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity
The court will award general damages to reflect the nature and severity of the injuries suffered, as well as the prognosis for those injuries: in other words, whether you are likely to recover fully from your injuries; if not, to what extent will you probably recover from your injuries; by what date are you likely to either recover fully or recover as fully as you will ever recover?
The court will then compare the nature and severity of your injuries with the nature and severity of injuries suffered by previous claimants who have been awarded damages for similar injuries. This is the basis upon which the court will decide the amount of general damages you should be awarded. For instance, if the court had awarded Mr X for injuries which were similar but less serious than yours £5,000 and £7,000 to Mr Y for more severe similar injuries, the court might decide to award you £6,000. You will note that the assessment of general damages is not an exact science.
General damages can be awarded for both physical injuries (for example, a broken leg) and psychological injuries (for example, depression or post traumatic stress disorder) suffered.
2. Past Loss
The court will award damages for the past losses and expenses which you have suffered as a result of your injury. For example, loss of earnings, past medical expenses, travel expenses etc. It is important that you retain any receipts for any such expenses or losses.
3. Future Loss
The court will award damages for the losses and expenses which you are likely to suffer in the future as a result of your injury.
B. FATAL CLAIMS
In successful fatal claims, the court will award:
the general damages and the past loss which the deceased could have claimed him/herself had (s)he survived (see above); and
the deceased’s funeral expenses;
a bereavement award to certain dependant(s) of the deceased (in 2013 this is £11,800);
damages for any financial (for example, loss of the deceased’s earnings) or services (for example, loss of the deceased’s DIY skills or child care which the deceased would have provided) dependency which has been and/or will be suffered by any of the deceased dependants.
C. HOLIDAY CLAIMS
The court may award you additional damages for the loss of enjoyment of your holiday in you claim damages for an injury suffered whilst on holiday.