5 things that affect how much compensation you can claim for a personal injury

If you’ve experienced a personal injury from an accident, it’s unlikely that the first thing you think about is if you can claim for compensation. Especially if you’ve suffered a serious accident on the road or at work, or you’ve suffered from a painful slip or trip. 

However, when you can’t work, there soon comes a time when you have to think about whether you want to claim and if you have a claim – often because of loss of earnings and financial pressure on you or your family. 

That’s where personal injury solicitors come in. They specialise in taking the financial stress out of recovery and can meet the cost of any medical care you need, including private physiotherapy or counselling if you suffer from trauma. 

When it comes to claiming compensation, our personal injury solicitors work hard to ensure that you receive the personal injury compensation amount you deserve. We have years of experience dealing with various personal injury cases and know that the amount you’re entitled to will depend on several factors.

Your injury

The amount of personal injury compensation that you’re awarded varies depending on the seriousness of your injury. Compensation is awarded for pain, suffering and your inability to lead the ‘normal’ life that you could before. It takes into account the damage to both your physical and mental health. But also, it looks at your lifestyle, activities and hobbies you’re unable to enjoy due to your injury. For example, someone who is a keen runner, who used to run 2-3 times per week but has been unable to do this for 6 months may be awarded more than someone whose hobbies involve reading and watching TV and has been able to continue with this. 

The award is ultimately made based on medical evidence and specialist reports of your injuries. These specialist reports will be made during the course of your recovery and rehabilitation.  

We often get asked: How long does compensation take after a medical? 

Unfortunately, every case is different; therefore the answer to that question will vary depending on the circumstances of your accident and the injuries incurred. As an example, a straightforward whiplash claim with injuries that showed a full recovery within one year could take up to six months. If your injuries are ongoing or worse – permanent – the claim process will take significantly longer.  

All Scottish claims follow a compulsory pre-action protocol, which is a set of mandatory rules that need to be followed during a personal injury claim before raising Court proceedings.

Your employment status

You might need to take time off work following an accident. Personal injury accident compensation covers financial losses from employment. So, if you’ve suffered a loss of earnings since the accident – this will be recovered in your claim. 

In cases involving more serious injuries, it may not be possible to return to work or at least to the job you were doing at the time of your accident. In this case, a claim for future loss of earnings will also be part of your claim.  

There are multiple types of loss of earnings claims that can be made depending on your employment situation. We will give you an overview here, but your personal injury solicitor will be able to provide you with more specific advice based on your own circumstances. 

Employed – if you are employed and were not paid for your time off work, we will write to your employer for details of the loss you have suffered. 

Self-employed – if you are self-employed, you will need to provide profit and loss accounts and tax returns for 3 years prior to the accident and for the period covering your absence, if they are available.  

Subrogated claims – If you are employed and have been paid in full for your absence, your employer may be entitled to make a subrogated clam within your personal injury claim. This is included as a separate head of claim and is not deducted from your injury compensation. 

Adding up all of your out-of-pocket expenses

Injuries have financial implications in every part of your life. Whether it’s the cost of petrol to get to the hospital, medical expenses or the cost of hiring some help at home – you may be entitled to claim for these as part of your personal injury award. 

The most important thing to remember is to keep all invoices and receipts for your out-of-pocket expenses. This way we have a ‘paper trail’ of all the costs related to your accident. We will then build this into a strong case and present it to the ‘at fault’ party in order to claim maximum compensation. 

The extent of medical assistance you require

Anyone who is injured needs fast and effective medical care. Each case needs individual assessment and the care you require will depend on a number of factors. 

You might need specialist medical care to get you on the road to recovery. If you’ve had to pay for extra care services or need on-going medical assistance from a family member, then this can be built into your compensation claim. Again, it’s essential you keep a record of all the out-of-pocket expenses related to your personal injury. 

Your rehabilitation and future needs

Regaining control of your life and rebuilding for the future might take some adjustments. The cost implications of these changes will also be considered when it comes to making a claim for compensation. You might need to have your home adapted or make changes to accommodate your personal interests. You may find that you need to undergo rehabilitation as part of your recovery, too. There are also family commitments and the prospect of relying on state benefits if you are unable to return to work. 

At Watermans, we know that the idea of starting a claim can seem a bit daunting, but that’s why we are here to help. We take the hassle out of the legal stuff, so that you can concentrate on your recovery.

For further information about compensation and personal injury claims, contact our team using the form below, or call us on 0131 555 7055.