….Is a question I will hear at least once a day. In less serious accidents, many people wish quick and easy recompense with very little in the way of explanation or debate – this is fine. It is, at the end of the day, their rights that have been wronged and it is they who should decide in which manner they wish to be compensated.
To answer the above question in one sweeping breath is not possible, constitutes guess-work and is a tool of the untrustworthy and unscrupulous.
Your compensation claim will be worth the sum of its contingent parts; each one is unique and requires skill to fully calculate and quantify so that you don’t lose out on what is rightfully yours.
To take an example, a labourer, who fractures his wrist when the hammer he is using breaks, will be due money for the pain and suffering associated with the injury. This amount can only be assessed with the benefit of medical opinion as to the extent of the break and the time it will take to heal, if indeed it will ever heal completely. If the healing time is 6 months, then he will be due compensation for his 6 months of suffering. The monetary amount will be determined by the most recent court awards for similar injuries with a similar prognosis.
The same labourer will likely lose out on earnings due to absence from work. This loss of earnings will also be recoverable, together with any overtime or other benefits he may have missed out on.
If the injury is likely to affect his ability to do the job in the future, then a calculation will require to be undertaken to assess any disadvantage he will face in the job market and how this is likely to affect him.
Often in such circumstances extra costs will be incurred to pay for such things as medicine or transport. A partner or friend may have to spend extra time looking after the injured person or doing jobs they would have otherwise done. All of this goes into the pot and can be claimed back.
The law is not designed to reward the injured, it is designed to put them back to as close as position as possible to what they were in before their accident and, of course, can only do this through monetary compensation. Calculating this is not an exact science but it is a complex skill.
Insurers and claims companies looking to make a fast buck will instantly tell you what your claim is worth and offer you fast payment. This option can be tempting but you will likely pocket many times less than what you are actually entitled to.