Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims Explained

Our guide will help you understand what can be claimed for under special damages in serious injury claims. If you are awarded compensation in a personal injury claim, the settlement will be made up of up to two Heads of Loss. We will discuss these in the sections that follow.

We will also clearly outline the eligibility requirements for making a personal injury claim after being injured in an accident by detailing where and when you are owed a duty of care. 

Personal injury claims have strict time limits that must be adhered to; we highlight the important time limits for starting the claims process proceedings and discuss evidence that could be used to support your serious injury claim.

Finally, we discuss No Win No Fee agreements and how an expert personal injury solicitor from our panel could offer to work with you under these terms. 


Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims Explained

By contacting our advisors today, you can ask questions about special damages and see whether you have valid grounds to start a personal injury compensation claim. Learn more by:

Select A Section

  1. Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims Explained
  2. Eligibility Criteria For Personal Injury Claims
  3. What Is The Time Limit For Your Serious Injury Claim?
  4. What Do You Need To Prove For Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims?
  5. No Win No Fee Serious Injury Claims

Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims Explained

Personal injury claim settlements are made up of general damages that compensate the claimant for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by an injury, as well as special damages that reimburse for losses and costs caused by the injury.

You can seek special damages if you have been financially impacted by the injury. Special damages can compensate for a loss of earnings for past, present or future losses if you were or are unable to work. The amount awarded could cover pay you missed out on while you recovered or, in the most severe cases, account for work you can no longer do.

You can factor multiple expenses into special damages so, as well as a loss of earnings, you could include:

  • Care costs;
  • Home adaptation fees;
  • Travel charges;
  • Medication costs;
  • Mobility aid expenditure.

Our advisors can talk you through what you can and cannot include in special damages, so please do not hesitate to call.

Calculating General Damages

Claimants can only claim special damages if they receive general damages in their settlement. General damages is the main head of claim and tries to account for physical and mental suffering.

The table below is based on Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) figures. Legal professionals often use the JCG and medical evidence when assigning value to different injuries.

It should be noted that the compensation brackets you can see below are purely a guide; the amount awarded for a successful claim tends to vary depending on the case.

Compensation table

Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Special Damages Up to £1,000,000 and above The settlement factoring in more than one serious injury, plus financial losses and expenses incurred.
Paralysis £324,600 to £403,990 Cases of tetraplegia.
Very Severe Brain Injury £282,010 to £403,990 Numerous factors such as life expectancy affect the amount awarded.
Moderately Severe Brain Injury £219,070 to £282,010 The injured person suffers physical or cognitive disability, or both.
Leg Amputation (ii) £201,490 to £270,100 Both legs are amputated below the knee.
Hand (a) £140,660 to £201,490 Both hands are completely lost or effectively lose all function.
Severe Back Injury (i) £91,090 to £160,980 Severe disability and pain resulting from an injury impacting the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Arm Amputation (b) Loss of One Arm (i) Not less than £137,160 One arm is amputated at the shoulder.
Other Arm Injuries (a) £96,160 to £130,930 Severe arm injuries which do not involve amputation but leave the arm little better off.
Foot (b) £83,960 to £109,650 The amputation of one foot.
Loss Of Earnings Up to £100,000 and beyond A claim for lost earnings or potential future earnings could form part of special damages compensation.

Eligibility Criteria For Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims need to satisfy three key eligibility criteria, which are:

  • A duty of care was owed by a third party;
  • They breached this duty;
  • The breach led to an accident which inflicted physical and/or mental injury.

Read on to learn about the duty of care third parties in different areas owe.

Serious Injuries Caused By Public Accidents

The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 states that those in control of public spaces must do everything possible to keep visitors reasonably safe on the premises. This means that the occupier could breach their duty if there is a hazard or safety risk in an area they control that they have not dealt with.

Example: A person using a supermarket has a slip and fall on a wet floor that had not been cleaned or signposted. They suffer a serious brain injury from hitting their head and claim special damages for the cost of their rehabilitation as part of their personal injury claim. 

Serious Injuries Caused By Accidents At Work

An employer has the duty of care to take all reasonably practicable steps that prevent employees from being injured at work, as set out by Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. If they do not take steps like maintaining equipment and providing necessary training, there is a heightened risk of injury.

Example: A manufacturing business does not perform a risk assessment on a new conveyor belt and fails to note a defect. An employee’s arm is trapped in the malfunctioning belt and has to be amputated. As part of their personal injury claim settlement, they receive compensation to cover their future loss of earnings as they cannot return to their job, under special damages.

Serious Injuries Caused By Traffic Accidents

People navigating the roads must do so in a way that keeps themselves and others safe. This duty of care for road users is supported and enforced by rules and guidance in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. Reckless, careless or illegal road use is a breach of duty.

Example: A road user exceeds the speed limit and causes a rear-end collision. The impact inflicts a serious spine injury on the struck car’s driver.

As well as learning about special damages in serious injury claims, you can contact our advisors about identifying when a duty of care has been breached.

What Is The Time Limit For Your Serious Injury Claim?

The Limitation Act 1980 places a three-year time limit on starting a personal injury claim after being hurt in an accident. However, some exceptions can alter time limits.

For example, if the person injured in an accident is under 18, their limit is paused until their 18th birthday. A claim could be handled by a litigation friend prior to them turning 18. If they turn 18 and no claim has been initiated their 3 year time limit begins. 

The limitations are paused indefinitely for a person without the mental capacity to make a claim. Once more, a litigation friend can step in, but if they do not, the injured person has three years to claim from their recovery date.

You can discuss time limits and find out how long you may have to start a claim by calling our advisors today.

What Do You Need To Prove For Special Damages In Serious Injury Claims?

When making any kind of personal injury claim, you will need evidence for the harm caused (general damages) and if you want to claim back financial losses (special damages). As well as evidence for each separate damage you will also need evidence showing a breach in the duty of care owed to you and how this led to your injury. 

To seek special damages, you must show documents such as receipts, invoices or payslips highlighting your expenses or loss of earnings.

Otherwise, evidence you could gather that shows a breached duty of care alongside its consequences include:

  • Records such as an entry in the accident book at work.
  • Footage from CCTV or a personal device like a dashcam.
  • Photographs of the scene.
  • Medical records.
  • Witness details.

Solicitors can help gather and organise evidence to help a claim for general and special damages run smoothly. Get in touch today and speak to our advisors about steps you should take to secure proof for a claim.

No Win No Fee Serious Injury Claims

If you have a legitimate serious injury claim, you could call upon the professional support of a solicitor belonging to our panel. There are many benefits to this route, such as having an experienced solicitor who can:

  • Organise your case and make sure it is submitted within the time limit.
  • Calculate special damages.
  • Keep you updated, allowing you to focus on recovery.

All of this could be offered under a No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement. You would not pay for your solicitor’s services up front or during the case. Your solicitor will not charge for their work at all if the case loses, while a legally capped percentage of your compensation would be taken if the claim is successful. You can find out more about the cap through The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Speak To An Expert

Our dedicated advisors can discuss your experience and tell you if you have a valid claim. If you do, you could be put in touch with a solicitor. Our advisors’ help is entirely free, and you can talk at a time that works for you.

To make the most of this round-the-clock service, you can:

Serious Injury Claim Resources

Thank you for reading our guide on special damages in serious injury claims. Our advisors can answer your questions, although these internal and external resources may also help.

From our collection of guides:

And from other sources: