£280,000 Compensation For A Serious Back Injury
By Daniel Archer. Last Updated 21st April 2022. At Legal Expert the panel of experienced, specialist personal injury solicitors we work with from across the UK have the experience and legal knowledge to help a variety of claimants.
We offer a comprehensive no win no fee service to claimants across the country, helping them to recover the damages they are owed, whilst ensuring they don’t face additional financial pressures. This is a case study where we look at an example of a personal injury sustained by a claimant, and the compensatory damages that they were awarded.
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Compensation For A Serious Back Injury
The claim deals with an injury case that happened in 2010. The claimant was awarded a total of over £280,000 in general and special damages for the permanent, serious back injuries that they suffered. The claimant fell from a vehicle whilst at work and suffered a serious injury to their back.
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At the time of the accident, the claimant was employed in a role where they had to drive a large vehicle with a cab that was several feet off the ground. The claimant fell approximately eight feet to the ground from the vehicle during the course of their duties. They immediately felt severe pain in their back.
The claimant went to a hospital and had scans of the affected area. These scans showed that the claimant had suffered a prolapsed disc in their back. Doctors also diagnosed that the pain they felt would be permanent. Due to the nature and severity of the injuries, as well as the prognosis for continued pain in the future, the claimant was unable to continue working as before. For an initial five year period, their ability to work was seriously restricted and they were only able to work part-time (two and a half days per week). With treatment, it was estimated that the claimant may be able to increase this to around four working days per week in the future.
Medical experts acting on behalf of the claimant and the defendant differed in their assessment and opinion of the injuries. The claimant’s expert alleged that the injury was wholly caused by the accident, whilst the opposing expert claimed the injury had exacerbated a pre-existing condition that would always have occurred.
Solicitors acting on behalf of the defendant alleged that the employer had been negligent as they had failed to provide the claimant with a safe working environment and that this was the cause of the claimant’s serious back injuries. The allegation stated that the injuries suffered were caused entirely by the accident. The claimant alleged that their ability to work was severely affected and would be so on a permanent basis.
The defendant counter-alleged that the injuries were not caused by the accident, but that an injury that would always happen was brought forward by the accident. The defendant also alleged that the claimant was responsible for their fall through reckless behaviour in the workplace.
As the two sides were unable to agree on the causes of the claimant’s injuries, the case had to proceed to a court hearing. In the court case, the judge concluded that the defendant was in fact primarily to blame for the accident, and thus the injuries that they sustained. As such, 40% of the potential claim was deducted, this was undertaken as a deduction for contributory negligence which was made against the claimant.
The case was concluded with a total award to the claimant of £282,298 through the court. This was made up of £17,000 which was attributed to pain and suffering, as well as suffering and their loss of amenity.
The damages also included £12,000 for future medical expenses, £129,166 for their future loss of earnings and £30,000 to account for their disadvantage on the future labour market. Another £34,676 of the claim was awarded for future costs such as decorating and gardening at home (activities the claimant would not be able to do). The remainder of the damages were awarded for repairs to the claimant’s home, medical care and sundry medical expenses.
This section includes some figures taken from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is used, along with medical evidence, to calculate the value of your back injury claim.
Within the JCG is a list of injuries and corresponding guideline compensation awards. The amount that is awarded for the pain and suffering your injuries have caused you is called general damages. Both psychological and physical injuries are included. The example figures are in the table below. As an additional resource, you can also use our compensation calculator.
Injury Description Amount
Back (a) Severe - (i) the most severe cases - spinal cord and nerve root damage £85,470 to £151,070
Back (a) Severe - (ii) loss of sensation, sexual difficulties etc £69,600 to £82,980
Back (a) Severe - (iii) Disc lesions, fractures etc £36,390 to £65,440
Paralysis (b) Paraplegia £205,580 to £255,740
Psychiatric damage (a) Severe - problems that affect various areas of a person’s life £51,460 to £108,620
Post-traumatic stress disorder (a) Severe £56,180 to £94,470
Mental anguish When you think you might die or have the length of your life reduced £4,380
In addition to general damages, you could also be awarded what’s known as special damages. This figure relates to the money you have lost as a result of your injuries. For instance:
Speak to our advisors if you have any questions about general or special damages.
Legal Expert is the UK’s leading site for those looking to make a personal injury claim. We have created a variety of resources for anyone who has had an accident which was not their fault. Our team work with claimants from across the country to recover the damages and compensation that they deserve in cases such as serious back injuries.
If you have suffered a serious or another injury, either in the workplace or other settings, which was not your fault, speak to the specialists at Legal Expert today.
We offer a comprehensive no win no fee service. Also known as a conditional fee agreement, no win no fee contracts mean that a claimant won’t have to make any payments, faces costs or be issued with charges due to their claims case starting. The panel of specialist solicitors we work with won’t charge any fees unless the claim successfully secures damages.
If your no win no fee solicitor does secure the damages, then they will take their fee as a part of the damages which are awarded. Typically this will be lower than 25%, which is the maximum amount which can be charged under UK law. Legal Expert believes in helping people to recover the damages that they are owed, without any additional stresses.
Find out more about making a no win no fee personal injury claim by contacting the experts at Legal Expert today. We work with a panel of specialist legal solicitors from across the country who can help claimants. You can reach us by sending the initial details of your claim in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Claimants can also talk to our team directly by calling 0800 073 8804. We also have a handy online contact form on each page which you can use to reach out to our team today.
How much is the average settlement for a back injury?
A back injury can take many forms. Some injuries to the back result in serious damage and can lead to lasting symptoms or possibly even disability. Other, more minor injuries, may even recover fully over a certain amount of time.
The severity of your back injury is just one factor that can influence how much compensation you’re awarded as a result. Additionally, the recovery time is also taken into account, amongst other things.
Due to the number of variables at play, giving an “average” settlement without knowing more about your circumstances is unlikely to be helpful. Getting in touch with our advisors is the best way to find out more about the potential value of your specific injury.
What is considered a severe back injury?
The severity of a back injury can vary greatly. A more severe injury could involve ongoing pain and permanent disability. It’s also possible that your recovery could be a longer process than if your injuries were more towards the minor end.
For example, a back injury that leads to paralysis could be considered a severe back injury. However, bruising that heals up completely in just a few weeks is unlikely to be considered severe.
Are back injuries permanent?
Some back injuries are indeed permanent. Inversely, some are only temporary. In general, injuries that cause more longer-lasting issues for the claimant tend to be awarded more in compensation than those who made a speedier recovery. However, this is not always the case.
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