No win , no fee claims Derby solicitors

McIntosh Fleming Lawyers, specialise in no win, no fee accident claims, and we guarantee that you keep all of your compensation without any deduction for our charges. Get in touch with no win , no fee Derby Lawyers by e-mailing gary.dickie@btinternet.com , or ring us on 01332 518135 .

How Damages are Assessed

General damages explained

General damages are monetary compensation awarded by a judge (or agreed by your opponents). They are intended to recompense you for (amongst other things) your injury and the pain and suffering this has caused you and also for any resulting physical or mental disability and the restrictions that this imposes on your way of life.

General damages are assessed by comparing previous court awards in cases with facts similar to your own.

Other examples of general damages include: compensation for being handicapped in the job market, for the loss of a congenial form of employment or compensation for losses and expenses that you are likely to incur in the future.

The courts usually award only a notional amount of interest on general damages, currently at the rate of 2% per year, from the date your proceedings are commenced to the date of the award.

Special damages explained

Special damages are compensation for the losses and expenses that you have incurred up to the date of the hearing. Special damages are the actual losses or expenses that you have incurred, as opposed to those that you estimate have occurred or will occur in the future.

Special damages can include the following heads of claim: Accident damage to your property, lost earnings, medical and treatment expenses, the cost of care and assistance, transport costs and other items of expense which you have incurred as a direct result of the accident and/or the injury.

A slightly higher rate of interest of 6% a year is currently awarded on special damages. The interest is calculated from the date that each item of expense or loss was incurred to the date of the hearing or settlement of the claim.

Some basic principles

Damages are designed to compensate an injured party; a court will not allow a party to profit from the claim (ie to be put in a better position than before the injury).

There are a number of principles which the court applies to limit the extent of a party’s liability:

  • You have a duty to mitigate your loss. Which means that you must take reasonable steps to minimise your losses. For example: if your injury has prevented you from working, you must take reasonable steps to resume your pre-accident employment or to obtain suitable alternative employment as soon as reasonably possible.
  • Some loss is deemed as a matter of public policy to be too remote in consequence of the injury to be actionable.
  • Damages will generally only be awarded where there is a clear chain of causation, linking the negligent act or breach of statutory duty to the loss or harm suffered.
  • Under the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997, most state benefits received as a result of your injury are repayable to the Department of Social Security. Benefit recoupment is managed by a department called the Compensation Recoveries Unit (CRU). The CRU issue a certificate of benefits received which the Defendant uses to assess the relevant sum to be deducted from your compensation. General damages are exempted from these recoupment provisions. The regulations for recovery of benefits are complex and will be explained to you as and when the need arises.
  • If you are deemed to be partly to blame for the accident, your entitlement to compensation (general or special damages) will be reduced to take into account the extent of your culpability (ie to reflect your own responsibility for the accident). For example, where a court decides that you were equally to blame for the accident then it is likely to reduce the total amount of your award by as much as a half.

We shall advise you what kinds of damages you are entitled to, and their likely amount.

Proving your claim for damages

You must establish your entitlement to compensation by producing evidence to prove not only the nature and extent of your injury but also each and every loss for which you seek damages. It is sensible to work on the assumption that a claim may not settle and proceed to a hearing instead, where the strict rules of evidence will apply.

Accordingly you would be prudent to work on the basis that each and every claim for damages may be contested:

  • For your injury, this means you should keep a clear and accurate continuing record not only of your symptoms and your recovery but also of how this affects your life. This record should reflect any changes in your circumstances as they occur.
  • For your losses and expenses and the voluntary help given by your friends and family, this will involve regularly maintained accounts and you should keep all your receipts and invoices in a safe place, so as to help us prove these claims later on.
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