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The aim of general damages is provide compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Damages are awarded depending on the severity of the injury and its impact upon the Claimant’s enjoyment of life. 

The Court will look at all the circumstances in order to award an amount that is fair and reasonable. The main source of evidence will be your medical notes and medico-legal report(s) obtained from specialist medical practitioners.

The starting point for assessing general damages is the Judicial College Guidelines. The table below sets out the range of damages available under the Guidelines for some common injuries and conditions.

The Court will consider all the relevant factors to decide which end of the range is appropriate. Factors relevant to all cases include the extent and duration of the pain, time taken for recovery, any permanent effects, previous state of health, age and domestic circumstances. The Court will also take into account any invasive treatment undergone.

It should be emphasised that these ranges are just a starting point and a Court will look at all the circumstances surrounding each individual case. The table does not cover the full range of injuries and complications.

Injury Starting Point for Damages* Relevant factors
     
Injuries affecting the senses    
Total blindness and deafness Around £326,700  
Total blindness Around £217,250  
Total loss of sight in one eye £39,820 to £44,330  
Partial loss of sight £7,370 to £31,625 Extent of sight loss
Risk of further deterioration
Minor eye injuries £3,190 to £7,040  
Total deafness £73,315 to £88,660 Effect on speech
Tinnitus
Deafness in one ear £25,300 to £36,850
Total loss of taste and smell Around £31,625  
Loss of smell £20,185 to £26,620  
Loss of taste £15,510 to £20,185  
     
Injuries to limbs    
Arms    
Loss of both arms £194,700 to £242,550 Place of amputation
Loss of one arm £77,715 to £110,880+
Severe fracture resulting in permanent disability £31,625 to £48,400  
Simple fractures £5,390 to £15,510  
Moderate or minor Injuries to elbow Up to £10,175 Time taken to resolve injury
Loss of both hands £113,575 to £162,800  
Loss of one hand £77,715 to £88,660  
Loss of index finger Around £15,125  
Loss of thumb £28,710 to £44,330  
     
Legs    
Loss of both legs £194,700 to £227,975 Severity of phantom pain
Success of prosthetics
Side Effects
Above-knee amputation of one leg £84,700 to £111,100  
Below-knee amputation of one leg £79,200 to £107,525  
Serious compound fractures or injuries to joints £31,680 to £44,330 Time taken to resolve injury
Scarring
Simple fracture Up to £7,370 Time in plaster
Length of recovery period
Knee injury Up to £77,770 Severity
Ankle injury Up to £56,320
     
Hard Arm Vibration Syndrome £2,420 to £31,075 Number of hands/fingers affected
Extent of effect
Frequency and duration of painful episodes
Effect of symptoms on work, domestic and social life
     
Serious Neck Or Back Injury Up to £130,130 Severity
Permanence
Nerve damage
     
Paralysis    
Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia £262,350 to £326,700 Extent of pain
Effect on senses
Ability to communicate
Paraplegia £177,100 to £229,00 Extent of pain
Degree of independence
Age and life expectancy
     
Head Injury    
Brain damage £12,375 to £326,700+ Life expectancy
Extent of physical limitations
Degree of dependence
Ability to communicate
Epilepsy
Personality change
Effect on intellect
Effect on senses
Minor head injury £1,788 to £10,340 Initial severity
Period of recovery
Presence of headaches
     
Psychiatric Damage £1,238 to £93,500 Effect on relationships
Possibility of treatment
Future vulnerability
Prognosis
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £3,190 to £81,400 Severity
Prognosis
     
Facial Injuries    
Broken nose £1,375 to £18,700 Extent of recovery
Damage to nerves or tear ducts
Broken cheekbone £1,870 to £12,760 Lasting disfigurement
Broken jaw £5,225 to £36,850 Extent of pain
Restriction of eating
Extent of recovery
Loss of several front teeth £7,040 to £9,240  
Loss of one front tooth £1,782 to £3,190  
Facial scarring (female) £1,375 to £78,650 Severity of scarring
Age of victim
Cosmetic effect
Psychological Effect
Facial scarring (male) £1,375 to £53,075  
     
Dermatitis £1,375 to £15,510  
 
     
Minor Injuries Up to £1,980  
 
Broken rib Up to £3,190 Extent of pain
     
Internal Organs    
Breathing difficulties £25,300 to £44,330 Seriousness of symptoms
Prognosis
Bronchitis and wheezing £16,830 to £25,300  
Breathlessness £8,580 to £16,830 Seriousness of symptoms
Prognosis
Impotence £34,760 to £119,900+ Age
Psychological Reaction
Existing children
Infertility £5,390 to £136,950 Age
Psychological Reaction
Existing children
Failed sterilisation leading to unwanted pregnancy Around £8,250  
Loss of one kidney £24,860 to £36,300  
Loss of both kidneys £136,950 to £169,950  
Food poisoning £3,190 to £15,510 Severity and duration
Long-term impacts
Hernia £2,750 to £19,525  
     
Asbestos-related    
Mesothelioma £56,650 to £101,750  
Lung cancer £56,650 to £78,650  
Asbestosis £12,210 to £85,580 Likelihood of progression
Impact on mobility
Quality of life
Life expectancy

*Since 1 April 2013, there has been a 10% increase in the level of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity awarded to personal injury claimants following the recommendations of Lord Justice Jackson. This increase is reflected in the figures above.

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