Advice On Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims

This guide will summarise special damages in serious injury claims and explain when you can seek compensation for the financial impact of injuries suffered in an accident.

Your ability to pursue a personal injury claim will depend on certain eligibility criteria, which we will cover in this guide. Afterwards, you can see examples of accidents which could bring about a claim for general and special damages, alongside the legislation which sets out the duty third parties have to keep you safe in different spaces and situations.

Eligibility to claim needs to be proven, so we will lay out types of evidence that will support a case. Finally, we will note the benefits of the No Win No Fee terms that a solicitor from our expert panel of serious injury solicitors could offer if you have a legitimate claim.


A Guide To Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims

Beyond this guide, you can get useful information relevant to special damages by speaking to our advisors. Their free support and assessment of your potential claim are available all day, every day. To reach an advisor, you can:

Browse Our Guide

  1. How Are Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims Calculated?
  2. Eligibility To Claim For Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims
  3. What Accidents Could You Claim Special Damages For?
  4. Proving Liability For A Serious Injury
  5. How To Secure Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

How Are Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims Calculated?

Personal injury claims, if successful, are made up of two Heads of Loss: general and special damages. General damages compensate for the injury itself, while special damages cover the financial losses and costs caused by the injury. In order to claim for special damages, you must also qualify for general damages.

A special damages payout aims to restore the claimant to the financial position they would be in if the accident had never happened. Special damages in serious injury claims can therefore be significant, or even the largest share of a settlement.

They could cover a loss of earnings, accounting for being unable to work while injured or recovering, or not being able to work again, ever due to the injury. 

Other expenses you could seek to reclaim include:

  • Travel costs, if being injured, means you have to find and pay for alternative travel.
  • Mobility aids, including prostheses.
  • Prescription fees.
  • Personal healthcare charges.
  • The cost of adapting your home.
  • Care costs
  • At-home nursing fees
  • Child care

You will need to hold onto supporting evidence such as receipts, payslips or invoices.

Our advisors are on hand to help if you have any questions about special damages and how to determine what you can claim for.

General Damages

Special damages can only feature in a settlement in addition to general damages, which is the head of claim compensating for physical and mental pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

Legal professionals can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) alongside medical records to assign a value to the one or multiple injuries suffered in an accident. We have used the JCG’s guideline compensation brackets, which you can see below.

However, please remember that the brackets are a guide, not a guarantee.

Compensation table

Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Special DamagesUp to £1,000,000 and beyondA combination of more than one serious injury and compensation awarded because of financial loss caused by injury.
Paralysis£324,600 to £403,990Paralysis affects the upper and lower body, leading to a quadriplegia diagnosis.
Very Severe Brain Damage£282,010 to £403,990Top end of bracket could be awarded if the injured person has no or little response to their surroundings.
Injuries Affecting The SensesIn the region of
An accident causes total blindness and deafness.
Amputation Of Arms (a)£240,790 to £300,000Both arms are lost to amputation.
Foot Injuries (a)£169,400 to £201,490Both feet are amputated.
Severe Neck Injuries (i)In the region of £148,330The injured person wears a neck collar all day over a long period. However, they still have no or little neck movement.
Leg Amputation (iii)£104,830 to £137,470The amputation of one leg above the knee.
Severe Injuries To The Pelvis And Hips£78,400 to £130,930Substantial disabilities may stem from extensive pelvic fractures.
Loss Of EarningsUp to £100,000 and moreCompensation requested to cover lost earnings brought about by time taken off work due to injury. This could be temporary or permanent.

Eligibility To Claim For Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims

In order to make a personal injury claim following serious harm to claim for both general and special damages, you must satisfy the eligibility criteria. You must be able to prove: 

  • A third party owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident;
  • They breached their duty of care;
  • This led to an accident, which then caused your physical and/or mental harm.

Our advisors can give you relevant and useful information about the eligibility criteria. Our contact details can be found at the top and bottom of this guide.

Serious Personal Injury Claim Time Limits

The Limitation Act 1980 states that generally, personal injury claims have three years from the accident date to begin, but time limits can differ in certain cases.

Our advisors can explain the potential exceptions and let you know how long you have to start your claim.

What Accidents Could You Claim Special Damages For?

The following subsections will focus on three potential causes of serious injury: road traffic accidents, accidents at work and public accidents. There are third parties in each of these spaces who could owe you a duty of care and, therefore, may be liable for an accident if they breach this duty.

Example Of Traffic Accident Claims

Road users – which could be a HGV driver, a car driver, a cyclist, a pedestrian or anyone else using the roads – must travel safely to prevent road traffic accidents. This is their duty of care, and road users can uphold it by following the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code, each of which rules must be adhered to. A failure to do so could constitute a breach of duty.

Example: A driver fails to slow down at a zebra crossing and strikes a pedestrian. The pedestrian suffers a significant paralysis injury and claims general damages for the injury and special damages for numerous expenditures, including necessary home adaptations.

Example Of Work Accident Claims

Employers must take all reasonably practicable steps to maintain employee safety. This duty of care is entrenched in legislation, in Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This means that employers could be liable for failure to uphold this duty by not providing correct training, equipment or PPE, or not assessing possible risks.

Example: An employer provides a broken ladder which an employee uses and then falls from while working at height. They suffer a serious spine injury, causing them to leave their job and include lost earnings in their personal injury claim.

Example Of Public Accident Claims

When you are in a public space, the person or organisation controlling that space likely owes you a duty of care. These occupiers need to do everything possible to keep visitors reasonably safe while on the premises. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 sets out this duty. It can be referred to in a public liability claim if an accident results from an occupier not taking reasonable action to keep visitors safe.

Example: A takeaway restaurant customer suffers a serious brain injury when a faulty sign falls from the external wall and hits their head. They receive special damages accounting for required home care alongside general damages compensation.

Proving Liability For A Serious Injury

Personal injury claims rely on relevant evidence proving a breach of duty as well as showing that the accident caused injury. Special damages in serious injury claims can be supported by financial documents, while a case in general may benefit from:

  • CCTV or dashcam footage.
  • Photographs.
  • Medical records.
  • Witness contact information.
  • A work accident book entry – if the accident was at work.

Solicitors from our panel support claimants by gathering and presenting evidence for a case. Our advisors can tell you in detail about collecting proof and the services a solicitor can provide. You can call the above number if you want to know more.

How To Secure Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

A solicitor from our panel could take on your case and keep you updated while they ensure everything is completed on time. This would be the case as long as you have a valid claim. They could offer a No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement, which means you do not have to pay solicitor fees:

  • Upfront;
  • During the case;
  • At all in a losing case.

Your solicitor would capture a success fee if the claim results in a settlement in your favour. This fee is a percentage of the compensation awarded. Due to The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, the percentage is capped. 

Speak To Our Team

Because of the time limits for a personal injury claim, it is never too early to call. Whether you want to know more about special damages in serious injury claims, or anything else, our advisors can lend a hand. An advisor could assess your possible claim and, if it has grounds to proceed, forward your details to a solicitor from the panel.

Our advisors are ready to give round-the-clock free guidance. You can:

Further Resources On Claiming For Serious Harm

We have several guides sharing useful information about making a claim, including the below:

Here are some external links that could be of use as well:

If you have any questions related to special damages in serious injury claims, please get in touch with an advisor from our team today.