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Title: Am I missing out on some of my payout?

Date: 21 September 2012


I had an accident in March 2011 and have just had the final report from the orthopaedic surgeon instructed by my solicitors (the second report). He has now been able to give a prognosis and other than scarring and some sensitivity in the cold I should be fine. I am back at work.

I sustained several broken bones, psychological issues (resolved), scarring and extensive soft tissue damage. My solicitor has explained that I receive compensation for the injuries but I don’t understand why I am not compensated for all of the injuries rather than just a blanket figure for them all. Surely I am missing out on compensation?

Russell Browne, Herts


Cases involving multiple injuries are more complicated to value that cases involving one discrete injury. This is because the compensation one receives for injuries comprises of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The pain may be shared across various injuries and not actually greater than the pan experienced form just one injury. Likewise the pain from one injury may be excruciating as opposed to moderate pain from another.

The loss of amenity could be very different if, say, rather than having one leg out of action through two broken bones in that limb as compared to one broken bone in each leg causing wheelchair dependence as opposed to say crutch dependence.

The key here is experience of valuing claims like this as such valuations are an art rather than a science and being able to justify the valuation to the court is essential. There was a recent case (Sadler v Filipiak) where Claimant successfully appealed her award of compensation for multiple injuries from £32,000 to £40,000, an increase of 25%. The courts are reluctant to interfere in awards of compensation for injuries but in this case the award by the lower court was manifestly too low.

This illustrates the importance of obtaining expert advice on the correct level of compensation attributable to each case.

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