Life Changing Injuries at Work Claims
This is were expert legal advice is required as the compensation award needs to last for the duration of the employee’s life time. If the accident at work compensation is insufficient, it will mean that the employee will be under-compensated resulting in hardship for the employee and his/her family.
Catastrophic Injuries at Work
The term “life changing injuries” at work is quite a new phrase in the personal injury terminology. When accident at work solicitors deal with multiple injuries, they are often called “serious” or “catastrophic” injuries at work. The terminology is not important however. It is the impact of the life changing injuries upon the claimant that is most important and dealing with the aftermath of the accident.
One definition of “catastrophic injuries” are life-changing injuries that usually occur suddenly and without warning. They have long-term implications, which may not be apparent until years later after the accident occurred.
Catastrophic & Life Changing Injury Claims
As solicitors with experience in dealing with life changing injuries, our experience extends across a wide range of catastrophic injuries. Some of the most catastrophic injuries we experience on a regular basis at work are:
- loss of, and amputation of upper and lower limbs
- head and brain injuries
- spinal injuries
- severe burns
- crushing injuries
- multiple injuries at work
- fatal accident claims
Compensation for Life Changing Injury Claims
The starting point of assessing a claim for personal injury including serious life changing injuries (including fatal accident claims) is the “pain and suffering.” As a general guide, the longer the pain and suffering the greater the award of compensation but within a certain bracket for the particular serious injury concerned. It follows, therefore, according to the arguments by the Employer’s solicitors, that if an employee sustained a head injury at work that rendered him or her unconscious or even killed instantly there will be no award for pain and suffering. Quite a remarkable piece of law but it is still applicable today.
The law takes the “victim” as it finds him or her. Thus the test is “subjective” that is to say the pain and suffering experienced by the particular claimant has to be evaluated not on a scale of associated by other claimants. So if we have two identical serious injuries at work, but one employee experiences a greater degree of pain and suffering than the other, the compensation will therefore be greater to reflect that “greater”pain experienced.
Spinal injuries (back injuries at work) are often a cause of a serious injury – debilitating to the employee giving rise to a substantial compensation at work claim.
Loss of Amenity
When you speak to accident at work solicitors you will often hear the words, pain and suffering and loss of amenity. But what does loss of amenity mean? In short, we often say that as a result of the pain and suffering as a result of the accident at work, the knock on effect also means that the claimant’s quality of life has deteriorated such as being unable to undertake hobbies, sport, skills or craft like playing the piano. This loss can be reflected on the award which often flows from a life changing injuries at work claims due to the seriousness of bodily harm.
Therefore claims for loss of amenity will add to the value of the serious accident at work compensation claims such as loss of sex life or even a reduction in marriage prospects (that is a facial disfigurement will run a risk that the injured claimant may well never marry).
Quantification of Serious Life Changing Injuries at Work Claims
To assess such claims can be difficult as the injuries are often multiple in nature and often takes many years to “mature” from the date of the work accident to the extent that the medical experts can advise the claimant’s solicitors the full extent of the injury and what the future holds for the claimant, that is, what injuries will be of a permanent nature, what assistance and level of care will be required and any aids and appliances that will help the claimant’s mobility.
Once the full extent of the life changing injuries are established, the serious injury solicitor can then begin to value and assess the claim.