Types of Damages you are Entitled to in a Personal Injury Claim
When you have been injured because of someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation for ‘damages'.
There are two types of damages that are claimed: general damages and special damages.
- General damages:
The first part of a compensation claim is general damages. This award of compensation relates directly to injury and covers pain and suffering as well as loss of amenity – meaning the effect your injury has had on your quality of life.
The amount of general damages claimed will depend on the extent of your pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
In the Cayman Islands, the value of the claim for general damages will be assessed by the Court, considering the Judicial Guidelines from the U.K., as well as previously decided cases relating to similar injuries.
- Special Damages:
Special damages are designed to help put you back in the financial position that you would have been in, had you not sustained your injury.
They are commonly referred to as ‘out-of-pocket expenses' and cover not only expenses that you have already incurred as a result of your injury but also any expenses you may have in the future. These can include:
- Loss of earnings – this includes any lost earnings you have already incurred as well as future loss of earnings if you are unable to return to work because of your injuries or if you may lose your employment or have difficulty finding employment in the future.
- Treatment, rehabilitation and care costs – this covers any treatment, rehabilitation and care costs you have already incurred and also those you may need in the future.
- Gratuitous Care – Gratuitous care means care and attention above and beyond what might usually be expected. It is the time provided by a relative or friend to help you with everyday tasks that would not have been necessary but for your injuries. The claimant is entitled to recover compensation on the carer’s behalf. In this way, it is possible to recover significant compensation payments for care providers who have given assistance and services to their loved one.
- Aids, equipment and adaptations – this covers aids and equipment which may be necessary as a result of your injury now and in the future. It also covers any home modifications you may require (for example, widening doors for wheelchair use).
- Loss of property – this covers any loss of your property which has been incurred as a result of an accident (for example, damaged vehicle, damaged clothing, or broken eyeglasses).
- Travel expenses – this covers any additional traveling expenses which have been incurred as a direct result of the incident. For example, if you have had to get taxis to various medical appointments.
When do you receive your compensation?
Once your general damages and special damages have been agreed between the parties involved or determined by the Court, you will receive your final settlement payment.
In some cases, when claiming damages, where the other side has accepted responsibility for your injuries, you may be entitled to interim payments. These are payments that are paid to you before the final settlement.
Interim payments are designed to help people who have been seriously injured as a result of personal injury and who need financial assistance to pay for medical care, lost earnings, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
How much is my serious injury claim worth?
Every injury claim is different. The final amount of compensation depends on the severity of the injury and loss, as well as the possible extent of recovery. These factors affect the amounts for general and special damages.
However, our expertise is not just in getting compensation for our clients, it is understanding the need for rehabilitation and the support that you and your family need. That is why we take most injury cases on a NO WIN NO FEE BASIS, and why obtaining interim payments to help avoid hardship is often a key part of our approach.