How can you put a dollar value on everything that I have lost as a result of someone else’s negligence – an injured person asks.
The fundamental principle of compensatory damages is to put the injured person back into the position they would have been in had the accident not occurred.
Calculating compensatory damages can seem cold and clinical to a person who is now suffering every single day. It is therefore important that an injured person’s lawyer effectively communicate to their client the basis upon which the claim for compensation is made.
You can appreciate that for most injured people this can be so much more than calculating lost wages for a few days off work and the cost of some conservative treatment. Injuries can have a devastating and long-term effect a person’s life both physically and psychologically. The person will now carry these injuries, often for the rest of their lives. Consider not only the person’s pain and suffering, but the loss of employment opportunities, the expensive specialist appointments, the need to rely on family members for personal care and help around the home – these are just a few ways that an injury can impact a person.
There are a number of ‘heads of damage’ (or categories of compensation) that a person may be entitled to if they have suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. These can include loss of wages, medical expenses, domestic care and compensation for pain and suffering. Generally, calculation of an injured person’s losses is by reference to evidence such as expert medical opinion on the injured person’s likely treatment needs and ability to return to work, evidence from treating doctors, the person’s circumstances before the accident, evidence from family members as well as a person’s own evidence and instructions on the impact the injuries have had on their life. No two injured people are the same, and therefore each case it built on its own evidence.
We understand the significant effect that an injury can have on a person’s livelihood and we are dedicated to ensuring that our injured clients recover the maximum amount of compensation to which they are entitled.