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Title: How much compensation?

Date: 23 July 2012

Confused by compensation calculation

Question

I have an injury case on going due to my bike accident (a wheel came off a car and ploughed into me causing multiple fractures and 2 months in hospital). My doctors tell me I will never get back to my previous work as a builder. I recently had a meeting with my solicitor’s barrister and he bamboozled me with how my lost income will be dealt with! I have no qualifications and have been a builder all my life. Surely I get the next 20 year’s pay?

Phil Longstaff, Reading

Answer

Lawyers use statistically based tables called the Ogden tables to work out future loss of earnings claims in serious injury cases. We need to calculate what is called a “multiplier” (number of years to claim) for loss of earnings to allow for periods of non-employment due to sickness/disability.
Under the current Ogden tables a person is now classified as being disabled if all 3 of the following conditions are satisfied:-

1. Illness or disability which has or is expected to last for over a year or is a progressive illness.

2. Satisfies the Equality Act 2010 definition that the impact of a disability substantially limits the person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

3. Their condition affects either the kind or the amount of paid work that they can do.

Being disabled under the above test has the net effect of increasing the amount of compensation that is claimed as it makes provision for the reduced available working capacity and time. The medical experts in your case will be able to confirm if you satisfy the above test. Just because a person injured at 40 that would have retired at 60 had the accident not happened, does not mean he will receive 20 year’s loss of earnings. The figure will be reduced to reflect early receipt if made by way of lump sum.

This is a complex area and I suggest you ask your solicitor to explain it in detail.

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