One of the most common questions we are asked by people who have a road accident claim with us is how much compensation they are likely to receive.
A medical valuation is one of many steps necessary to calculate the amount.
This is an understandable priority for people who have been injured through no fault of their own and maybe had time off work or need to cover rehab and medical costs.
When calculating how much compensation is due for your claim, there are several factors which must be taken into account relating to your injuries. The compensation for general damages will take into consideration:
The majority of claims that are settled each year are for soft tissue type injuries to the neck, shoulders and spine (these are often referred to as whiplash claims, but that phrase doesn’t really cover the full extent and complexity these injuries can have.
Once you have attended a medical assessment, these types of injuries are relatively simple to value. Based on the prognosis given by the expert within their report, including the length of time the injury is expected to last, it is then relatively straightforward to place a value on how much compensation is due.
For more severe injuries, where pain, suffering, and loss of amenity is more severe, the medical valuation will be higher.
The amounts are set by the Judicial Board Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases; which lists compensation amounts for particular levels of injury.
The amount will depend on how serious your injuries are, and how long it will take you to make a full recovery.
At Bott and Co, this is certainly the reference point we would be looking to settle the claim within, although each case must be judged on its own merits.
This is particularly true if you have severe symptoms, in which case the compensation due may fall above the figures given, or where you have only experienced minor symptoms. So the compensation due may fall below those mentioned.
When valuing a claim, we will definitely consider whether you attended GP or hospital as a result of the injury (although failure to attend the GP or hospital will not necessarily affect the value of the claim as a point taken in isolation).
We will also consider whether you required time off work, whether your daily activities were restricted and whether you had any pre-existing conditions, or had been involved in previous accidents resulting in similar injuries.
All of this information should be contained within the medical report as well as being covered through detailed conversations between you and your solicitor.
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When Your Injuries Are Severe
For more serious injuries, it may be that the injury cannot be valued with a GP report alone, and more specialist opinion is required.
For example, if you suffered a broken bone, it would not be appropriate for you to be examined by a GP; it would instead be more appropriate for you to have your injuries assessed by a Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon.
On occasion, the expert instructed will examine you and consider whether the injuries should have a further examination with a different expert of a different medical discipline.
For example, if you were clearly still suffering from psychological symptoms arising from the accident, on examination, the expert may recommend that you be assessed by a psychologist or psychiatrist.
The amount of compensation will depend on how serious your injuries are, and how long it will take you to make a full recovery.
As your solicitor, it is very important for us to ensure that your claim is properly valued in relation to the injuries sustained and that there is no danger of under compensating your claim due to a failure to obtain thorough medical evidence that details every element of the injury sustained.
If a report from a medical expert is unclear, and it is difficult to value the claim based upon the expert’s report, then we would return to the expert and raise questions about the report.
We do this to make sure we are entirely happy and that we have the full picture regarding your injuries relating to the accident, the likely future prognosis for the injuries, any restrictions to your working or home life as a result of the injuries and any future treatment or surgery requirements.
Only when we have the complete picture are we able to provide an accurate valuation of the claim.