A serious injury (such as brain damage) will mean that any resulting personal injury compensation claim will be much more complicated than low level injuries (such as a broken wrist). It is very important that our visitors understand that overseeing a compensation claim for these opposing types of injuries are extremely different from one another.
With serious injury, a lawyer must consider every fine detail of their clients life in order to achieve the best possible compensation result. This compensation is there to fund the highest possible quality of life for with person with the injury, and so ultimately, it is this which will suffer from any mistake made by their solicitor.
Remember that for those with a serious injury undertaking a personal injury claim, achieving a large amount of compensation is not the final goal. The compensation is the means by which they can fund their needs to ensure that they have the highest quality of life possible. For example a spinally injured person who required 24 hour nursing care for the next 20 years (if the nurse cost £5 per hour) would need £876,000 to cover their nursing requirements alone. It is these requirements, known as heads of loss, which must be thoroughly analysed. For more information on heads of loss, please see the subsection below titled 'establishing the compensation value'.
This area of the website will explain what is involved in a personal injury compensation claim, and will also give an insight into why it is essential that the lawyer representing a person with a serious injury be sufficiently qualified.
Overview of the personal injury claim process
Agreeing who was at fault
One very important step in a personal injury compensation claim is establishing who was at fault, and to what degree. Only once all parties have agreed this point, can matters progress to establishing the level of compensation.
It is not black and white. A person can be deemed to be only partially responsible, and this is known as contributory negligence.
Contributory negligence is the concept where a person is deemed to be only partially responsible for an accident. Damages are assessed completely seperatly, and are calculated as if the injured party was entirely blameless. This amount is then apportioned according to the percentage of contributory negligence (if any).
For example if damages are calculated at £100,000, and the person was deemed to be 10% at fault towards their accident, they would ultimately receive £90,000 in compensation (90% of £100,000).
A common situation is that the injured person was not wearing their seatbelt. Many people may assume this to mean that they are not eligble to claim for compensation, but this is not the case. Instead it may mean a high level of contributory negligence. Even if a person is deemed to be as high as 90% responsible for their accident, they would still be entitled to 10% of any damages calculated.
With serious injury cases establishing the ratio of negligence is critical, because even small changes in percentage will have a large overall effect when the damages awarded are in the millions of pounds. A difference of 5% with damages of £5,000 will mean a reduction in compensation of £250. However that same 5% of damages totalling £5,000,000 will mean a reduction of £250,000!
Expert Liability Analysis
As a serious injury law firm, we place huge emphasis on the importance of establishing the best proportion of negligence possible. Our expert team is not surpassed anywhere in the country.
With each case we undertake liability analysis meetings in which all of our senior lawyers take part. This is so that each lawyer can bring their considerable experience and logic to bear, to ensure that no stone is left unturned in trying to achieve the best possible negligence result.
We are very proud of this system and our ability to make progress where others have failed. It is this approach that allows us to take on cases which have been rejected by some of our competitors.
Establishing the compensation value
Heads of loss
Securing our costs
If you have any questions that have not been answered in the above sections, please contact us so that we can answer them for you. If we are unable to answer your questions personally, we will be able to point you in the right direction through the medical and professional relationships that we have built up over 20 years.