Catastrophic / Serious Injury Compensation Claims

Catastrophic / Serious Injury Compensation Claims – Hello, I am Marguarita Tyne and a partner in the Bristol office of Simpson Millar and am going to talk about catastrophic injuries today.

Catastrophic injuries are what we lawyers would describe as the most serious level of injury and these range from brain injuries, spinal injuries through to injuries involving paralysis and include amputations.

So, how do catastrophic injuries differ in scope from other personal injury claims? Well, in most personal injury claims you pursue a claim for loss of earnings and quite often you pursue a claim for care and also out of pocket expenses but there may not be an awful lot more than that. However, in catastrophic injury claims there is a lot more to consider. Often a central focus of the claim is how the injured person is going to be cared for, for the rest of their life. So that is not just their care needs currently but also their care needs going on into the future and one of the issues which has to be addressed is the question of life expectancy and how long that individual is going to need care for.

In addition to the care itself there is also a need for equipment to be provided to support the individuals life as it is going to be and also things like transport and housing which will be specific to that individual. The scope of all of that means that these are claims which have to be thoroughly and properly investigated and they need someone handling them who is able to balance all those different issues and coordinate specialists from different fields such as occupational therapist and nursing experts. We also have access to specialist housing architects who can look at either an individuals current accommodation or look at recommendations for future accommodation needs and assess and advise on what might be required in the future. So far as equipment needs are concerned, we are in the hands normally of a specialist occupational therapist who will again provide an assessment and that may include recommendations for wheelchair equipment or computer equipment and other things to aid the individuals lifestyle.

So, how is the sum that is going to be needed for the future calculated in a catastrophic injury claim? Well, there are normally two different approaches, either settlement which can be by way of lump sum or which what is becoming increasingly popular a lump sum supplemented by periodical payments and what that means is that you receive a lower figure in your hand at the end of your case but you receive an annual payment which will ensure that you are protected for life. The annual payment generally deals with the care element of the claim.

There is one thing which it is important to be aware of in a catastrophic injury claim, that there are time limits which do have to be complied with for bringing a case and these do differ from case to case. There are some cases where the time limit is quite long but you do need to be conscious of the general three year time limit which applies in personal injury cases and obtain specific advice about the limitation period which may apply to you.

Get in touch today if you have an enquiry regarding catastrophic injury compensation on:

Freephone: 0808 129 3320 or drop us an email at

Marguarita Tyne

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serious injury compensation