If you’re making a compensation claim then it is likely that you are attempting to prove the negligence of another party in order to claim the right amount of compensation. There are always individual circumstances in each personal injury case that can dictate or effect the amount of compensation that can be claimed. Due to this variability, the law across England and Wales dictates that UK personal injury claims are centred around two types of damages to determine the appropriate injury settlement.
The main type of settlement, compensatory damages are awarded in many compensation cases and are designed to cover all of the losses that have been incurred by the victim following an injury that was not their fault. Compensatory damages can be used by the victim to pay off or cover any losses that they have incurred following their accident, ensuring they can move on with their life. These damages can cover a number of tangible and in-tangible losses, including:
- Loss of income: If you have suffered injuries as a result of an accident that was not your fault then you could have been left unable to work. This can lead to a loss of income that can have short term, long term or even permanent effects on the victims income.
- Loss of property: Compensatory damages can include financial reimbursement for loss of property, including clothes, vehicles or any other personal items that may have been damaged or lost in an accident.
- Legal Fees: A victim will take on many legal costs while they’re attempting to claim compensation for their injuries. These costs can be repaid to the victim as part of their compensatory damage settlements.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering is regularly calculated by personal injury compensation lawyers before cases are begun based on the level of pain and suffering that has been experienced by victims of injuries.
- Emotional Distress: Emotional distress is a particular type of suffering that includes fear, anxiety, loss of sleep and the day-to-day effect that an injury might have on the victim.
Punitive damages are awarded to personal injury victims on top of compensatory damages as a form of punishment. These damages are rarely sought by individual victims and are instead used by businesses and corporations as retribution for what is considered bad behaviour. This variety of damages is not as readily awarded as compensatory damages, but there are many claims each year that have lead to victims receiving large sums of money via punitive damages. In order for this to occur, those accused are required to demonstrate a disregard for health and safety alongside an awareness of possible consequences.
Punitive, or exemplary damages, are intended to deter those accused of causing injuries from repeating their conduct, as well as acting as a warning to any individual or corporation considering similar actions.