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Understanding Compensation in Personal Injury Claims

How much is my personal injury claim worth?

This is probably the most common question that I am asked as a claimant personal injury solicitor.

As well as wanting treatment to be organised as soon as possible after an accident, injured clients want to know early on how much they are likely to receive in compensation.

It is one of the most difficult questions to answer, especially very early on in a case, as often a full recovery has not been made. The length of recovery will hugely affect the level of compensation.

There are two types of compensation

  1. General Damages is compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PLSA) i.e. the compensation for the injury
  2. Special Damages are any losses and expenses incurred as a result of an accident such as loss of earnings or medical or travel expenses

Online Calculator

I was asked recently by a client about using an online calculator to determine the amount of compensation. An online calculator may give a very rough estimate, but it won’t be able to accurately assess the level of pain and suffering. There are many factors that determine the amount of compensation; not only the type of injury, but the length of recovery and there may be pre-existing conditions to take into account.

Medical Evidence

The most crucial element in a personal injury claim is the medical evidence. A medico-legal report is prepared by an independent medical expert following an appointment with the client. Their report will detail the accident circumstances, the injuries sustained, the effects that the injury has had on activities of daily living as well as the impact on any employment. The report will also detail past treatment and recommend future treatment and referrals to other medical experts.

As part of the medical report, the expert also reviews the medical records to look at past history and then concludes with an opinion and prognosis. A key part of the report, is the expert confirming that the injury was caused by the accident and nothing else (this is called causation).


Once a medical report has been received, similar case law is also considered alongside the Judicial College Guidelines (JCGs) which offers a valuation bracket. Putting all this information together, allows the solicitor to reach a valuation.

Expert Advice

Valuing injury claims is not as straight forward as it may seem. There are many factors to take into account. Whilst an online calculator and the JCGs can offer a valuation bracket, without a formal medical report and specialist legal advice, an accurate valuation cannot be determined.

If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence you may be entitled to a compensation. For a free consultation with one of our personal injury experts please call 0330 822 3451 or request a call back online.

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Further Reading