Understanding the amount your personal injury claim is worth | Bolt Burdon Kemp Understanding the amount your personal injury claim is worth | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Understanding the amount your personal injury claim is worth

Injured clients tend to want to know early on how much compensation they are likely to receive so here we explore the different types of damages you could be entitled to and how they are calculated.

In a personal injury claim, the terms ‘damages’ and ‘compensation’ are used interchangeably. This is the payment the injured person (claimant) receives following a successful claim.

How much is my personal injury claim worth?

This is a very common question we get asked as claimant personal injury lawyers and it is usually possible for us to provide an estimation of a claim’s potential value at an early stage.

However, accurate valuations can only be given once a client’s recovery has plateaued, expert medical reports have been finalised and evidence of financial losses has been gathered.

There are two types of damages:

  1. General damages

This is compensation for the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity (PSLA) that you have experienced, and the impact the injury or illness has had on your life.

Medical evidence will be used to support this element of your claim. A medico-legal report is prepared by an independent medical expert following an examination appointment. The report will detail the incident, the injuries sustained and any effect the injury has had on working capacity and daily life. The report will also consider the appropriateness of past treatment undergone and recommend any future treatment.

A key part of the report is confirmation of whether the injury was caused by the incident and nothing else. The amount of general damages you can expect to receive depends on the severity and length of time of your pain and suffering.

Multiple medico-legal reports may be required from experts specialising in a variety of disciplines. Once the reports have been received and finalised, they will be considered alongside the Judicial College Guidelines (JC Guidelines). These are guidelines acknowledged by the court that provide settlement brackets for different types of injury.

Based on JC Guidelines, these are some example figures for specific injuries:

  • Total blindness and deafness – in the region of £493,000
  • Loss of both legs (above the knee amputations) – £293,850 to £344,150
  • Leg fractures from which an incomplete recovery is made or serious soft tissue injury – £21,920 to £33,880
  • Continuing pain and/or limitation on physical activities, sport or employment, after hernia repair – £18,180 to £29,490.

The damages available for pain and suffering in England and Wales is widely regarded as being too modest. Most people would not accept these sums of money for that level of injury.

The medical reports will also be considered alongside previous cases where damages have been agreed or awarded to claimants who have suffered similar injuries.

  1. Special damages for past and future financial losses

This is compensation that is generally more straightforward to quantify. It will include any loss of earnings, care costs, treatment, medication, travel expenses, damaged items and other such financial losses that have resulted from your injury or illness.

Past financial losses consist of those losses from the date of the incident to the date of settlement or trial. Future financial losses, as anticipated by the medical experts, may be life-long, to retirement or throughout a particular recovery period.

Special damages are easier to quantify as we look at payslips and receipts which lay out the exact amount of costs incurred or lost.


Valuing a personal injury claim is not as straightforward as it may seem. There are many factors to consider. Reliable medical reports and specialist legal advice are necessary in order for an accurate valuation to be determined.

It is important to note personal injury claims are not lottery wins. They are designed to put the injured person back in the financial position they would have been in were it not for the incident. Any perception of a compensation culture in England and Wales is therefore misconceived. The vast majority of injured people are only looking to recoup what they have lost along with some damages for their pain and suffering.

Have you suffered an injury, which was not your fault, and you are now suffering as a result? Get in contact with our specialist team of personal injury lawyers to see if you have a claim.

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