UK vs. USA Who Has The Biggest Personal Injury Compensation Payouts Awards? Infographic
By Cat Soong. Last updated 10th May 2022. Welcome to our guide, where we’ll look into the biggest personal injury compensation payouts. If you’d like to see how much you could be entitled to for your case, please check out our personal injury claims calculator for a free estimate.
Which country has the biggest personal injury claims and compensation culture, the UK, or the USA? It is often said that where the USA goes, the UK will follow. In recent years the idea that the UK is adopting an American style ‘compensation culture’.
The myth goes that whenever anything bad happens to someone, and regardless of whether it might be ethical or moral to do so, people will always make a claim for compensation. The idea is that this is costing all of us more in insurance premiums and other costs. We call this a myth because the number of compensation claims in the UK has stayed the same since 1989.
The UK vs. the USA
At Legal Expert, we are one of the biggest and best sources of personal injury claim advice. As such, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the biggest personal injury compensation payouts on either side of the Atlantic and see how the UK stacks up against our American cousins.
Infographic: The Largest Insurance Claims In History
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The Biggest Personal Injury Payouts
The first part of our infographic compares the biggest personal injury claim payouts in the UK and the USA. Interestingly, the fifth highest payout in the USA is almost five times the size of the UK’s.
The biggest compensation payout in the USA was $150 billion. This was awarded in 2011 and due to the size of it, it may never be fully paid out. In the next section, we look at medical malpractice and negligence. These cases are always sensitive and deal with serious injuries or conditions.
Again, the USA has the UK beat when it comes to the size of their top five payouts. And, just like before, the largest payout in the UK isn’t close to the fifth-place American claim. Finally, we move on to the last part of the infographic and the highest road accident personal injury payout examples from the USA and UK.
In each section, we can see that whether they are in the UK or the USA, people are often claiming for very similar accidents and injuries. However, whilst the claims may be similar, the awards that people receive are very, very different.
The Biggest Personal Injury Claims In the UK
The highest compensation payout in the UK’s history was made to a young woman, who has not been named. The young woman, who had intended to pursue a career as a vet, was involved in a car crash.
At the time of the accident, she was in her parents’ car which was parked. The vehicle was hit at speed from behind. As a result of the accident, the girl (who was under 10 when the accident happened) was left with multiple injuries. She lost the use of her arms, requires 24-hour care and can’t walk or week independently.
As a result of the girls’ young age, and the severity of her injuries, she was awarded a record £28 million in general damages for her suffering and special damages for her financial losses. If you’re unfamiliar with what special damages are, they allow you to recover any injury-related costs that you’ve suffered, such as:
- Loss of earnings
- Future loss of earnings
- Impact on pension scheme or work bonuses
- Private medical bills not covered by the NHS
- Home adaptation
- Damage to possessions
- Domestic help costs
- Care costs
Biggest Personal Injury Claim In The USA
The biggest compensation payout in the USA is a little bit more than we had here in the UK at a $150 billion. Again the case involved a child who faced life-changing injuries.
Robbie Middleton and family were awarded the record payout after he passed away due to complications from his injuries 12 years after the attack at the age of 20. The young boy was doused with petrol and set on fire as well as being assaulted. It is unlikely that the couple will ever see the $150 billion, but it has been awarded to them by the court.
Biggest Medical Malpractice Compensation Claim In The UK
Again this claim paid out to a claimant who was a child at the time the medical malpractice occurred. The claimant, Maisha Najeeb, was ten years old at the time and was undergoing treatment.
This involved injecting glue into her to block off bleeding in blood vessels. She was left brain damaged after the glue was injected by accident into her brain. The courts awarded her a total of £28 million in general and special damages.
Biggest Medical Malpractice Compensation Claim USA
The claimant, Tiffany Applewhite, was awarded a record $172 million dollars in damages, the biggest medical negligence payout in US history. Her claim was against the State of New York.
Tiffany had suffered brain damage whilst waiting for an ambulance to get to her. Tiffany was provided with the wrong medication by a private nurse which sent her into anaphylactic shock. Whilst an ambulance was dispatched, it was a more basic version which did not have the necessary, life-saving equipment.
Tiffany suffered brain damage whilst the waiting for a second ambulance to arrive. After several cases, the claimant was awarded the biggest personal injury claim filed for medical malpractice.
Highest Road Accident Claim UK
The record road accident compensation claim in the UK was also the largest personal injury claim in UK history.
Highest Road Accident Claim USA
The biggest payout in the USA for a road accident was a record $262 million which was paid out to an unnamed claimant. There are not too many details about the case in the public arena, but we do know it involved the family of a deceased child who brought an automotive product liability claim against a US company.
List Of UK Compensation Payouts For 2022
The amount received in compensation following an injury caused by negligence can vary from case to case. This is because personal injury awards depend on specific criteria that are unique to each case, including:
- Your injury severity
- How long it might take for you to recover
- Your treatment, and how invasive it might be
- The effect your injury will have on your life
- Any psychiatric issues you may suffer from following your injury
- Who was responsible for your injury
Because of this, we cannot provide any average compensation payouts for personal injuries. Instead, to get an idea of what you could potentially receive, you can look in the table below, where we have compiled examples of injuries and illnesses listed in the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).
Legal professionals use the JCG to help calculate general damages in personal injury claims, which compensates you for the suffering caused by your injury. This table can provide some examples of medical negligence payouts and examples of other personal injury compensation payouts.
|Injury Type||Severity||Compensation Bracket||Features of Injury|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Moderate||£8,180 to £23,150||Any continuing effects from the injury will not be grossly disabling with the person having mostly recovered.|
|Eye||(d)||£54,830 to £65,710||Where the person has completely lost one eye. The compensation award will depend on factors including the psychiatric consequences, cosmetic effect and age of the injured person.|
|Reproductive System: Male||(b) (ii)||£43,010 to £88,750||Impotence that is likely to be permanent.|
|Neck||Severe (iii)||£45,470 to £55,990||Injuries might include dislocations or fractures or ruptured tendons leading to significant, permanent disability.|
|Back||Moderate (i)||£27,760 to £38,780||Injuries in this bracket include a prolapsed intervertebral disc that requires surgery.|
|Shoulder||Minor (iii)||Up to £2,450||Soft tissue injury to the shoulder that causes considerable pain, but an almost complete recovery is made within three months|
|Brain||Moderate (ii)||£90,720 to £150,110||The ability to work is reduced if not removed entirely, and there is a moderate to modest intellectual deficit.|
|Pelvis and Hips||Moderate (ii)||£12,590 to £26,590||These injuries can lead to surgery being required, such as a hip replacement.|
|Hand||Moderate||£5,720 to £13,280||Penetrating wounds, crush injuries or deep lacerations fall into this bracket.|
|Leg||(a) (iii)||£104,830 to £137,470||Above-Knee Amputation of One Leg: The award will depend on factors like the severity of any phantom pains and any associated psychological issues caused.|
However, these figures are only guideline amounts. The actual amount of compensation you may receive could vary from the figures shown above.
Our team of advisors can offer free legal advice to help you with your claim, as well as a free estimate of what you could potentially receive should your claim succeed.
No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims
Being injured in an accident which wasn’t your fault can have consequences beyond the physical or emotional trauma you have suffered. It can cost you lost income if you can’t work and result in extra costs, such as prescriptions, specialist medical care, adaptations to your home and vehicle. With some many extra costs, the last thing you may be able to afford is to hire a solicitor and claim the damages you are owed.
At Legal Expert, we have developed a specialist no win no fee service that is designed to help everyone access the legal services they need. We believe that no one should be stopped from making a personal injury claim because they can’t afford upfront or ongoing costs. You can find out more about our no win no fee legal services by visiting our guide to no win no fee.
Why You Should Choose Legal Expert
At Legal Expert, we work with a panel of personal injury lawyers that offers unparalleled no win no fee services.
To begin, you can take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our specialist advisors. Why not have any questions answered today? You can see whether you have a claim and get an estimate of how much you could be awarded.
Next, we can provide you with advice on what steps to take next and explain how our panel could help. If you’d be interested in having a member of our panel handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis, you can be connected to them right away.
Other Helpful Compensation Guides
Thank you for reading our guide on the biggest personal injury compensation payouts.