Back injuries can vary greatly. The most severe injuries will usually attract the most compensation.
The following figures are from taken from the 14th Edition of the Judicial College Guidelines. These are the same figures that judges often use when assessing the value of a personal injury claim.
|Back Injury||Description and Factors Considered||Compensation|
|Severe||Cases at the lower end of this bracket will involve serious damage to the back, such as fractures of vertebrae or discs and ongoing disability such as pain, discomfort, impaired bodily function, and long-term effects upon quality of life.
Cases which also involve factors such as a loss of sensation, scarring, or an increased combination of effects will warrant the mid-point of this bracket.
Towards the upper end of the bracket, cases will involve damage to the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing severe pain, partial paralysis, and impaired bodily function. Only the most severe combinations of these factors will lead to the highest figures.
|£34,000 to £141,150|
|Moderate||Cases in this bracket include those where there is an ongoing residual disability but which is not as severe as described in the bracket above. This includes less severe fractures, prolapsed discs, nerve root irritation, reduced mobility, and significant pain and discomfort.
Cases towards the lower end of this bracket may include very severe soft-tissue injuries.
|£10,970 to £34,000|
|Minor||This bracket covers cases with mainly soft-tissue injuries where a full recovery is possible or there is a recovery to ‘nuisance level’ symptoms.||Up to £10,970|
NB – in very rare and severe cases, which involve complete paralysis, a different set of brackets may be appropriate. For such cases, injuries may warrant an award of up to £354,260.
The descriptions above are only very general. When valuing the compensation which would be reasonable for your injury, many factors will be looked at such as:
- The pain and discomfort you have experienced.
- The duration of your symptoms.
- How your injuries have affected your life.
- The extent of treatment and/or medication you required (or continue to require).
- The combination of different symptoms you have experienced.
As you can see, claiming for a personal injury does not just mean claiming compensation for the pain and suffering your injury has caused, it also involves claiming compensation for how the accident has affected your life. This is a claim for ‘loss of amenity’. The personal injury element of a claim is sometimes called ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’.
However, other losses, which have arisen from the accident and injury, can be claimed in addition. Frequently claimed categories of loss include:
- Travel expenses.
- Medical expenses and treatment costs.
- Care and assistance.
- Loss of earnings.