Every year, according to the Labour Force Survey, nearly a quarter of a million people receive some form of injury while at work. Many of these injuries are minor, but tens of thousands of people find themselves badly hurt after a work-related accident. For these people, claiming compensation can help prevent financial hardship and go some way towards compensating for the pain and suffering caused by the accident. If you have an accident, you can claim for two different types of damages, ‘general damages’ and ‘special damages’ but the amounts awarded for each will depend on individual circumstances.
General damages is compensation paid for the pain, suffering and the effect the accident has on your quality of life. How much you receive in general damages is dependent on how seriously you are injured, how long it takes for you to recover, and the severity the injury has had on your quality of life. For instance, if you are unable to drive because of your injury, this may cause problems in getting about, which the damages will address.
Calculating general damages
To make the calculations for general damages compensation, the court will want to see a report based on your medical records and hear from witnesses to the accident. In addition, the amount of compensation may differ depending on what part of your body is injured. For instance, somebody with a head injury will receive a higher amount of compensation compared to somebody with a broken arm.
Special damages are paid out for any financial loss that your injury has caused, such as loss of earnings, which includes any pay rises and bonuses you may lose out on while you are off work. Special damages also cover you for medical expenses and additional costs your injury has caused, such as getting to and from hospital. Furthermore, if you have a profession or a job that is considered a vocation, such as working as a police officer or fire fighter, and you can no longer do this work after the accident, the amount awarded in special damages will compensate you for the loss of your career.