When you make a personal injury claim, one of the most important things you might want to know is how much compensation you could receive. The answer is not always straightforward, especially if you suffered multiple injuries, psychological trauma, or have ongoing symptoms.
In every claim, you can get compensation for two types of damages. General damages cover the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity caused by the injury and is more difficult to calculate. Below you can see various examples of what some claims could be worth.
Special damages cover the financial losses and expenses related to your injury or illness. They are generally easier to assess and cover things like medical expenses, costs of care and assistance and lost wages if you have to take some time off work.
A compensation calculator can give you a rough idea about your compensation prospects. Nonetheless, you should also contact a professional solicitor who will be able to provide a more accurate assessment.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back. They can let you know if you have a valid case, how much compensation you could claim and answer any questions you may have.
How are compensation claims calculated?
Calculating compensation for a personal injury is a very detailed and complex process. Each claim is unique, and even if two people get the same injuries in the same accident, they will almost certainly receive different compensation awards because their individual needs would differ.
The compensation award aims to restore you to the position that you were in before your accident or illness. To calculate the value of your claim, your solicitor will carefully consider how your injury has affected every aspect of your life.
The value of a claim is usually proportional to the extent of your injury or illness. Therefore, the more severe the harm, the larger the settlement you could expect to receive. For example, a simple arm fracture will not be worth the same compensation as a severe spinal cord injury.
To calculate compensation for your injury, your solicitor will consider two types of damages:
- General damages – awarded to compensate for the direct physical and psychological effects of your accident and the way it affected your day-to-day life.
- Special damages – compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses you incurred as a direct result of your accident.
Your personal injury solicitor will calculate how much compensation you could receive based on general damages and your past and future financial losses. The other side will also present to you their settlement offer, and negotiations will continue until you can agree on a compensation award that suits both parties.
An accident claims calculator is a rough guide to the compensation award you might be entitled to get. To see an estimate of how much your claim might be worth, you can enter your details into our compensation calculator.
How do you calculate compensation for pain and suffering?
Every person is unique and suffers in different ways, which makes it difficult to calculate just how much compensation each claimant should receive for pain and suffering. Even if two people had the same injury, they would likely have different pain thresholds, and the impact of the injury on their daily life may differ for each person.
Nonetheless, the award for general damages mostly depends on the type and severity of your injury or illness. To calculate compensation, your solicitor will use medical evidence such as the treatments you received and your recovery prospects.
They may also consult with expert witnesses such as mental health professionals and physicians. They will help determine the full extent of your injuries and work out how much compensation would be fair for your pain and suffering.
The valuation of general damages, also known as compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA), is broadly subjective. Usually, judges, solicitors and insurers will refer to the guidelines published by the Judicial College. These set out various brackets of compensation for different types of injuries. They may also refer to previous cases where a claimant received a settlement for similar injuries.
You can use the accident claims calculator to get a better idea of how much compensation you could receive for your pain and suffering.
How much compensation will I receive?
If you make a personal injury claim, your solicitor will calculate how much compensation you could receive by adding together:
- General damages – awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, which may include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and psychological trauma
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Changes in the quality of life or reduced life expectancy
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
- Inability to pursue a hobby or social event
- Physical injury or impairment, including scarring and disfigurement
- Special damages – awarded to compensate for the financial losses and expenses you incurred, such as:
- Prescriptions and medical treatment
- Adaptations to your property to accommodate a disability
- Care and assistance during recovery
- Travel expenses
- Rehabilitation, physical therapy and psychological counselling
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity
- Special equipment such as prostheses or hearing aids
- Missed career or educational opportunities
Your solicitor will consider how various aspects of your life were affected by your injury or illness to calculate compensation for your damages. According to the Judicial College guidelines, you could receive the following awards:
Head and brain injuries
- £1,760 to £32,210 for minor to severe skull fractures with no brain damage
- £1,880 to £10,890 for a minor brain injury with complete recovery within a few weeks
- £40,410 to £85,150 for moderate brain injuries requiring little dependency on others
- £264,650 to £379,100 for very severe brain injuries that require full-time care and assistance
- £5,150 to £6,960 for a simple jaw fracture that does not require surgery
- £3,150 to £7,000 for a minor eye injury
- £8,480 to £12,650 for a severe nose fracture with permanent repercussions
- £24,950 to £36,310 for total hearing loss in one ear
- £50,970 to £84,510 for blindness in one eye and reduced vision in the other eye
- £240 to £4,345 for whiplash
- £23,460 to £36,120 for dislocations leading to significantly reduced mobility
- £52,390 to £104,370 for severe fractures or spinal disk damage
- Up to £38,280 for a very severe shoulder injury
- £13,360 to £27,320 for a moderately severe elbow injury resulting in restricted movement
- £2,810 to £3,790 for minor wrist injuries with full recovery within a year
- £24,740 to £171,920 for severe hand injuries that might lead to amputation of one or both hands
- £10,380 to £31,350 for amputation of one or more fingers
- Up to £3,950 for a soft tissue injury or minor rib fracture will full recovery within several weeks
- £5,320 to £12,590 for an injury caused by inhaling toxic fumes or smoke
- £31,310 to £54,830 for damage to the lungs and chest causing some degree of disability
- £100,670 to £150,110 for severe injuries leading to the complete removal of one lung
- £1,960 to £6,300 for moderate back injuries with complete recovery within two years
- £9,970 to £22,130 for ligament and muscle damage that requires surgery
- £30,910 to £55,590 for lesions of fractures that result in chronic back pain and lack of mobility
- £85,4700 to £151,070 for spinal cord damage causing disability or some degree of paralysis
- £135,030 to £167,690 for severe or permanent damage to both kidneys
- £10,040 to £19,520 for a bowel injury with complete recovery
- Up to £119,650 for a total loss of bowel function
- £34,280 to £49,350 for severe damage to the digestive system
Hip and pelvis injuries
- £3,710 to £11,820 for injuries that cause minor or short-lasting disability
- £36,770 to £49,270 for a hip injury that causes long-term instability and mobility issues
- £73,580 to £122,860 for very severe injuries causing permanent disability or deformity
- £7,780 to £12,010 for minor leg injuries with full recovery within a few months
- £12,900 – £19,770 for severe crush injuries leading to partial amputation of one or more toes
- £11,730 to £42,710 for ligament tears and ankle fractures causing disability
- £78,800 – £189,110 for severe foot injuries that may lead to amputation of one or both feet
- £43,710 to £67,410 for very severe leg injuries with permanent symptoms
- £191,950 to £240,590 for loss of one or both legs above the knee
- Around £4,380 for mental anguish
- £3,950 to £8,180 for PTSD with virtually complete recovery within a year or two
- £8,180 to £23,150 for moderate PTSD with long-lasting symptoms that are not disabling
- £59,860 to £100,670 for very severe PTSD causing permanent symptoms that severely interfere with the victim’s ability to function
You can use our compensation calculator to get a better idea of how much compensation you could receive for your injury.
You can also call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and answer any questions you may have.
Does accident type affect my compensation calculation?
If you suffered an injury or illness due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to make a compensation claim. There are many different types of claims, of which the most common are:
- Road traffic accidents
- Accidents at work
- Medical negligence claims
- Slips, trips and falls
- Criminal injury claims
- Accidents in public
While the official guidelines for general damages do not consider the cause of your injury, this could, as a matter of fact, affect your personal injury compensation calculation and final award. The circumstances of your accident might affect how much compensation you will get in several ways. For example:
- Compensation deductions due to split liability are more common in road traffic accidents.
- If you suffered an injury in the workplace, your compensation award is less likely to be reduced, even if you were partially at fault for your accident.
- If you suffered an injury due to a criminal attack, you would likely claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA tariffs differ from the general damages tables usually used to calculate compensation, and the maximum of any awards paid to a victim cannot exceed £500,000.
- If you were involved in a hit-and-run or a road accident with an uninsured driver, your claim would be handled by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). The MIB may calculate your compensation using a different tariff scale.
- If you had a holiday accident abroad, the value of your claim might need to be assessed according to foreign laws. While US law often provides more generous settlements than English law, the compensation award may be less substantial in other countries.
If you believe you may have a valid compensation claim, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser. You can also use our accident claims calculator for an estimate of how much compensation you might be entitled to.
How is compensation calculated for multiple injuries?
While there is no legal definition for multiple injuries, a multiple injury claim will generally include:
- More body parts that are injured in the same accident
- Injuries that resulted in permanent scarring or deformity
- An illness that affects more than one part of the body
- An injury or disease that results in long-term or permanent health problems or complications
- In addition to a physical injury, psychological damage such as post-traumatic stress disorder
If you suffered multiple injuries in an accident, calculating the value of your claim is more complicated. In this case, the individual compensation awards for each injury are not simply added together.
Instead, you would receive the upper bracket award for the most severe injury and a reduced percentage for the other less severe injuries. For example:
- General damages for a severe hip injury that leads to mobility issues could be between £36,770 and £49,270;
- For a mild knee injury, you would usually receive £11,700;
- If you suffer both a severe hip injury and a mild knee injury, you would typically receive £49,270 plus a smaller percentage of the £11,700.
If the effect of other less significant injuries on your life is minimal, your final compensation may only be slightly more than the award for the most severe injury. However, if the effect of multiple injuries on your life is significant, the compensation may be considerably larger to reflect this.
Before calculating a suitable settlement, your solicitor will ensure that all your injuries are assessed to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your pain and suffering.
You can use our online compensation calculator to get a rough idea about how much compensation you could receive for multiple injuries. If you feel you may have a valid claim for compensation, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser.
Can I claim compensation for lost wages?
After an accident, even a mild injury such as a sprained ankle or wrist can disrupt your daily activities and keep you from going to work. More severe injuries may take a lot of time to heal and even cause you to lose your ability to work.
If your injury was due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to recover damages for all your personal and financial losses. Lost wages are a substantial part of the damages you can recover in a personal injury claim.
You can also claim compensation for lost wages if you missed work to look after a loved one who suffered an injury due to another party. The award for lost wages will usually cover:
- Net monthly pay
The net monthly pay refers to your income after tax, insurance and other incentivised deductions.
You can include any lost overtime pay in your claim, supported by evidence that you usually work overtime hours, and that this would have been available to you during your recovery had you not been injured.
If you usually receive commissions, you need to be able to prove what your missed commission would have likely been through historical earnings.
Your compensation claim can include any bonuses you missed out on during recovery. To support this, you need relevant proof, such as a report from your employer detailing what additional compensation you have likely missed.
- Holiday or sick days
If you had to use your sick days or holiday time during recovery, you have the right to claim compensation for the fair value of each day.
- Any other work-related losses such as lost perks, promotions or loss of pension
If your injuries were so severe that you could not return to work, you could also claim compensation for future lost wages. To calculate a settlement for loss of earning capacity, your solicitor will consider your long-term lost pay, promotions and any other benefits you will miss due to the accident.
To support your claim for lost wages, you should:
- Keep your payslips
- Keep a record of historical overtime and commissions
- Record the days you were unable to work
- Provide correspondence about promotions, pay increases, bonuses and other perks you might have missed
- Provide copies of past years’ income tax returns if you are self-employed
Calculating compensation for a personal injury can be complicated. Our compensation calculator can let you know how much compensation you could receive and what you could claim.
Will injury compensation affect my benefits?
Yes, depending on how much compensation you win for a personal injury, this might affect the means-tested benefits you could receive from the state, such as:
- Income Support and Housing Benefit
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Cold Weather Payment
- Council Tax Support
- Sure Start Maternity Grant
- Universal Credit
Means-tested benefits are awarded based on your income and capital. Unfortunately, your compensation award is not disregarded and might affect your eligibility.
If you have between £6,000 and £16,000 in your bank account, you will receive reduced benefits. If you have more substantial capital, it is likely that you will entirely lose your entitlement to means-tested benefits.
If your compensation award is large enough to impact your benefits, you could potentially set up a personal injury trust. The PI trust ring-fences your settlement, so the funds will not affect your eligibility for means-tested benefits.
Furthermore, a trust protects your right to receive social care funding and protects your funds from third parties, such as if you go through a divorce or declare bankruptcy.
To set up a personal injury trust, you must appoint at least two trustees who will have control over your funds and will have to authorise all cheques and transactions. However, they cannot use your compensation as their personal property or for their benefit.
Will anything be deducted from my compensation?
Based on the circumstances of your accident and whether you are claiming on a no win no fee basis, some of the following will probably be deducted from your compensation award:
Contributory negligence deduction
If you were partly to blame for your injuries, such as not wearing your seatbelt in a road traffic accident caused by someone else, you are still entitled to make a personal injury claim. As long as you hold less than 51% of the blame, your compensation will just be reduced to reflect this.
Your solicitor will work with the other side’s lawyer to apportion blame between you and the defendant. That percentage will be used to calculate compensation for your injuries. For example, if you were 25% to blame for your injuries, you would receive 25% less compensation than you would have if the other party were 100% at fault.
The success fee deduction
Most personal injury claims are funded through a conditional fee agreement (commonly known as no win no fee) between the claimant and their solicitor. This arrangement means that you do not have to pay them any upfront fees, and they will charge nothing if your claim is unsuccessful.
This service allows everyone to pursue compensation, regardless of their financial situation and without taking any risks. However, your solicitor will charge a success fee of up to 25% of your settlement if they win your case. You will agree on the success fee before starting the claim, so everything is upfront, and there will be no surprises down the line.
The ATE insurance premium
If you want to claim on a no win no fee basis, your solicitor will likely advise you to take out an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy. The ATE insurance covers the legal costs you would otherwise have to pay the defendant if your claim fails, such as court and expert witness fees.
The ATE policy is self-insuring, meaning you do not have to pay for it if your claim is unsuccessful. If you win compensation, the cost of the ATE premium will be deducted from your award.
Whether you have settled in or out of court, you do not have to pay tax on your compensation award. The money is awarded to you to cover the costs incurred because of the injury and help you get back to the financial situation you had before your accident.
However, your compensation award might gain interest from when your accident happened until your case settles. In this case, the party paying the interest will deduct tax before you receive the money, and you will incur no further tax deductions.
You can use our accident claims calculator to find out how much compensation you might be entitled to for your personal injury. Once you speak to a solicitor, they will be able to tell you what might be deducted from your compensation award following a successful claim.
How long will it take to receive my compensation?
How long it takes to receive your compensation mostly depends on the claims process. Once you are awarded damages for your injury, you should receive the money within one to four weeks after accepting the final settlement.
Several factors will affect how long your claim might take to settle, such as:
- The type and extent of your injury or illness
- The cause of your injury
- Whether you have ongoing or permanent symptoms
- The time needed to gather evidence for your claim
- Whether you know the defendant’s identity
- Whether the other side admits liability for your injuries
A straightforward road traffic accident claim may settle within 4 to 9 months, while a complex claim for a brain injury with ongoing symptoms may take several years to conclude.
There are several things you could do to speed up the claims process and get your compensation faster. These include contacting a solicitor as soon as possible and gathering as much evidence as you can from day one. You should:
- Seek medical care immediately after the accident
- Take photographs of the accident scene and your injuries
- Get the contact details of anyone else involved in the accident and any witnesses
- Keep a diary of all the financial losses and expenses related to the accident
If the other side admits liability for your injuries, or they are likely to be found guilty if your case goes to court, you can also ask for interim payments. An interim payment is a sum of money advanced to you from the final compensation award to cover urgent bills that you cannot otherwise afford.
If the defendant denies responsibility for your accident and you have to take the case to court, this can add at least six months and up to two years to your claim.
To find out how much compensation you could receive for your injuries, you can use our compensation calculator or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. Alternatively, call free on 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser now.