What losses are recoverable in an injury claim?

Woman with headache researching injury claim on laptop

If you have been injured or made ill as a result of someone else's actions or negligence, you are entitled to claim financial compensation for the injury itself, and any costs or losses you incur as a result of your injury.

This following is a detailed list of recoverable losses, from medical expenses to loss of earnings, and anything else you may be entitled to.

In this article

    What is the purpose of compensation?

    The principle of financial compensation is to return the injured party (claimant) to the position they were in before the accident, as much as possible. Compensation aims to cover the financial, physical, and emotional losses sustained due to the injury.

    General damages

    General damages is the legal term for compensation awarded for the impact the injury or illness has had on your life.

    Specifically, a general damages compensation award will consider:

    General damages are calculated by solicitors and the courts with reference to a set of tables published by the Judicial College. These tables are known as the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury.

    Special damages

    Special damages in a personal injury claim are awarded for the financial losses you've incurred as a result of your injury. These are quantifiable expenses such as medical bills, prescription costs, travel expenses to medical appointments, and loss of earnings. Special damages aim to compensate for out-of-pocket expenses, so you should keep any receipts, invoices, or wage slips, as these will be needed to support your claim..

    Examples of special damages include:

    Medical expenses

    A medical expenses claim can include any costs you incur for your medical treatment and ongoing care. Examples of medical expenses include:

    • private hospital stays
    • surgical procedures
    • consultations with specialists
    • diagnostic tests such as X-rays or MRI scans
    • medications and prescriptions
    • physiotherapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation treatments
    • home nursing care
    • mobility aids and specialised medical equipment

    Loss of earnings

    If you have had to take time off work as a result of your injuries then you are entitled to seek compensation for loss of earnings. In addition to lost wages, a claim can also be made for a loss of overtime or commission.

    Loss of income (self-employed)

    You can still claim for loss of earnings if you are self-employed, but the calculation can be more complicated than for salaried employees. Generally, you would look at your net profit over a specific period prior to the injury, such as the last tax year or an average of the last few years, and compare it to your earnings post-injury. You can also account for any contracts or business opportunities lost due to your inability to work.

    To evidence your losses, you could include tax returns, invoices, and financial statements.

    See also:

    Can I make a work injury claim if I am self-employed?

    Future (anticipated) loss of earnings

    If you will be unable to work for a period after the claim is settled, it may be possible to claim for future loss of earnings. This can ensure that you are financially covered until you return to work - or if you are unable to do so.

    Calculating loss of earnings can be more complicated if you are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.

    Read more:

    Can I make an injury claim if I am self-employed?

    Loss of pension contributions

    You can be compensated for the pension contributions you would have received if not for your injury. You would typically need to provide evidence of your usual pension contributions prior to the injury, including pay slips, employer pension contribution records, or statements from your pension provider.

    Loss of career trajectory

    You may be eligible for additional compensation if your injury has, or will have, a long-term impact on your ability to progress in your career or receive expected promotions. Proving loss of career trajectory can be complicated, however, and may require an expert testimony from a vocational expert.

    Loss of work enjoyment

    If your injury results in a loss of satisfaction or fulfilment you get from your job. It may also be that your injury has left you unable to carry on with your previous role, and you have had to accept a less fulfilling role in its place.

    To make a successful claim, your solicitor will need to be able to demonstrate how your enjoyment of work has been negatively impacted by your injury. Evidence may include medical reports, psychological assessments, and testimonies from work colleagues or supervisors.

    Family or friend's loss of earnings

    If a family member or friend has had to take time off work to support or care for you, a claim can be made for their loss of earnings. Any costs incurred by the family member or friend in supporting you can also be claimed for.

    Carer and helper costs

    If you have needed help from a carer or nurse you can claim for their costs. Any equipment provided by the carer, where there is a cost implication, can also be claimed for.

    You could also claim to pay for help with chores you used to do yourself, such as DIY, home maintenance and gardening.

    Car and home modification costs

    If your house or car needs to be adapted following your injury, the cost of any special equipment and modifications can be claimed for.

    Travel costs

    The costs of travelling to and from appointments and medical treatments should all be recorded (keep receipts) as these can be included in your claim.

    Damage to personal property

    Any damage to personal effects such as spectacles, clothing, bicycles, computers and phones can be claimed for if damaged as a result of the accident.

    Damage to cars, motorbikes and bicycles can also be included.

    Loss of enjoyment on holiday

    If you broke your leg half way through your holiday, you may be able to claim for loss of enjoyment of the second half of your holiday.

    Increase in utility bills

    Your injury may leave you housebound for a period where you would normally have been out of the house. Any increase in the costs you incur because you have had to remain at home (e.g. increased utility bills) can be claimed for.

    Loss of relationship or marriage prospects

    If your injury has adversely affected your relationship or marriage prospects, you may be able to make a claim for this loss of companionship, affection, and the ability to maintain a sexual relationship.

    Other costs

    The above list is not exhaustive. Special damages have been successfully sought for any number of other things where financial loss (or loss that can be quantified financially) can be established.

    Calculate my injury compensation

    Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

    Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

    Find out what your injury claim could be worth now.

    To get a better idea of exactly what you can claim for and how much you can claim, use our advanced injury compensation calculator to:

    • get an accurate estimate of your potential compensation
    • adjustments for multiple injuries
    • prompts on things you can claim for
    • Clarification of your legal position
    • whether you have a valid claim

    Injury Compensation

    Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

    Updated May 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

    Further reading

    The compensation you will receive for your injury will usually depend on the severity of your injury, not how your injury happened. The process your solicitor will follow when making a shoulder injury claim will depend on where you were injured.

    How did your injury happen?

    The claims process will vary depending on how your injury happened. Click the icons below to learn more:

    Get expert advice now

    Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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    Chris Salmon, Director

    Chris Salmon, Director