Not so long ago, someone could cause you a life-changing injury and there was absolutely nothing you could do about it. Your life would be forever changed through no fault of your own, but the person who had done it would have no liability towards you and continue their daily activities, and you’d be left to face the consequences alone. Perhaps you would be unable to work or take care of your children. You might not be able to visit the toilet alone, or perhaps you’re immobile. Meanwhile, the person responsible for the harm that came to you is living without consequence.
Those days are over. Nowadays, you have the right to seek compensation for minor injuries that befall you if they are the fault of someone else, never mind major ones. In this article, we’ll discuss what constitutes a major injury, and how you can claim compensation from whoever is responsible for causing it.
What is a life-changing injury?
A life-changing injury is one that changes your life. That might sound obvious, but we’re not talking about broken bones that bother you every year in the winter, we’re talking about injuries that leave you in a wheelchair, or unable to take care of yourself.
Life-changing injuries are permanent, and they substantially interfere with your ability to perform everyday tasks. They could result in long-term medical problems, disability, or shortened life-expectancy.
Any injury that stops the body from doing what it needs to do – walking, sitting, bending or thinking, for example – or impacts your touch, taste, sight, smell or hearing is counted as a life-changing injury.
Life-changing injuries usually result in loss of income through the loss of career or livelihood, as well as a decrease in the enjoyment of life. This is all compensable.
How much compensation will I win for a life-changing injury
This completely depends on several factors and is not quantifiable without knowing the full circumstances of your life-changing injury, but it could be anything from a few hundred to several million pounds, depending on the situation.
In 2018, a 6-year-old boy in West Herefordshire was awarded £37 million when he received a catastrophic brain injury after medical professionals did not detect and treat the herpes simplex virus quickly enough. Damage to his eyesight, cognitive function, communication and movement was caused by negligence admitted by the institution, receiving an incredibly large lump sum alongside annual tax-free payments to fund care he will need for the rest of his life.
There’s no doubt that the boy’s injuries were life-changing, or that the responsibility lay with the healthcare provider. There was no doubt he’d be awarded a hefty sum of compensation.
How much you will receive will depend on:
- the extent of your injury
- whether you can prove it was the fault of someone else
- how badly the life-changing injury has impacted your ability to work
- how badly the life-changing injury has impacted your ability to enjoy life (for example, if you used to play guitar and you no longer can, this is an example of an area of your life that will never be the same, and all examples like this add up and strengthen your case).
What accidents are considered life-changing?
The most common accidents that lead to life-changing injury are as follows:
- Crashes between vehicles
- Defective products
- Bites from animals,
- Poisoning by lead or asbestos
- Medical malpractice
- Abuse in a position of vulnerability (a care home or nursery)
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall
- Wrongful death
- Accidents in the workplace.
It doesn’t matter where your accident took place; if it is life-changing and someone else’s fault, you’re entitled to compensation. It’s our job to get it for you.
The difference between general damages and special damages
If you make a claim for compensation because you have sustained a life-changing injury, any money you win will be split into two components; General Damages and Special Damages.
General Damages are awarded for the pain, suffering and loss caused from the injury. To claim general damages for a life-changing injury, you may need a medical expert to assess your injury and confirm that it has impacted your ability to live pain-free and without suffering.
Special Damages are awarded for past and future financial loss you have suffered because of the injury you sustained. If you can no longer work and it isn’t your fault, why should you spend the rest of your life without an income? A solicitor will make sure that doesn’t happen.
Special Damages will also include money for the loss of your pension, the cost of long term medical treatment, rehabilitation, and any care you need. You can also ask the court to consider modifications to your home and car.
To make sure you get everything you are entitled to, it is important you choose a solicitor who is experienced in making life-changing injury claims on behalf of clients, as they’ll make sure you claim compensation for absolutely everything you are entitled to.
JMR Solicitors can help. Email email@example.com or call 0161 491 3933.