If my claim for personal injuries was successful what would I be entitled to receive?

If you are successful in your claim for personal injuries* you will be entitled to receive compensation for your personal injuries claim which is comprised of General Damages and Special Damages.

Calculating your Compensation

What are General Damages?

General Damages cover compensation for pain and suffering resulting from injuries which you sustained in the accident.

The 2016 Injuries Board Book of Quantum will provide you with a guide to the damages you may receive for general damages.

This Book of Quantum was produced by the Injuries Board and is intended as a Guideline as to the likely compensation for a particular injury. This book only reflects compensation for pain and suffering which is supported by appropriate medical evidence.

Are the Courts bound by the Book of Quantum?

While Section 22 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act, 2004 provides that the Courts when assessing damages in a personal injuries claims, the judge must take into account the Book of Quantum, the Judge may also take into account other factors.

An assessment of general damages has a number of components, covering some or all of the following:

• A sum to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life

• Specific losses such as past loss of earnings and medical bills

• Future cost of medical care

You can download the updated 2016 Injuries Board Book of Quantum here.

How to I calculate my compensation using the  Book of Quantum

In order to use the Injuries Board Book of Quantum follow the steps set out below to understand what assessment range may be appropriate for an injury:

1. Identify a category of injury
2. Understand the severity of the injury using the medical report on the claimant
3. Look up the value range
4. Consider the effect of multiple injuries
1. Identify the category of injury

The Book of Quantum is separated into four main categories:

  • head;
  • neck, back and trunk;
  • arms; and
  • legs.
2. Understand the severity of the injury

Generally the severity is categorised into the following broad ranges to reflect the degree of disruption to lifestyle, pain and permanency of the condition. However, there are some injuries that by their nature may have more, or less severity categories.

Minor Injuries that have substantially recovered.

Moderate Injuries includes injuries from which a claimant has substantially recovered but there are ongoing symptoms that interfere with carrying out full day to day activities. Recovery will be achieved from these types of injuries.

Moderately Severe Injuries includes moderate injuries and in addition the injury has resulted in some permanent incapacity or limitation that impacts the body part which has been injured.

Severe and Permanent Conditions will apply if the injury is severe and has caused major disruption to a claimants life in a number of areas or results in serious continuing pain and/or requires permanent medical attention.

3. Look up the value range

After identifying the category and severity of the injury go to the relevant section (as set out in the Contents page) where the guideline values are detailed. The majority of injuries fall within that range but it is neither a minimum nor a maximum for individual cases.

4. Consider the effect of multiple injuries

If in addition to the most significant injury as outlined above there are other injuries, it is not appropriate to simply add up values for all the different injuries to determine the amount of compensation. Where additional injuries arise there is likely to be an adjustment within the value range.

By way of example the following illustrates the spectrum of compensation you might likely receive under the  Book of Quantum  for a head and an eye injury. 

Head Injury

Concussion – Head Injury

Symptoms of a concussion injury commonly includes headaches, dizziness and
nausea. Permanent symptoms may result but most cases recover.

Minor up to €21,800
No loss of consciousness

Moderate €19,000 to €35,200
Loss of consciousness less than 24 hours

Severe €41,600 to €74,000
Loss of consciousness more than 24 hours

 

Skull Fracture (no loss of consciousness)/Minor Head Injuries

Under this category there will be little if any disability resulting from the head
injury.

Minor €34,700 to €60,200

Moderate €54,200 to €91,800

Severe and permanent conditions €73,400 to €105,000

 

Skull Fracture (with loss of consciousness)/Moderate Head Injuries

This category will include an injury that would have had an impact on the state of
consciousness

Minor €34,700 to €66,600

Moderate €54,200 to €98,200

Severe and permanent conditions €73,400 to €124,000

 

Skull Fracture (with loss of consciousness)/Severe Head Injuries

The severity of injury will depend on the degree of awareness and response to

surroundings, the duration of unconscious state and any impact on personality
or behaviour, once the injury has stabilised. There may be a greater risk of future
epilepsy with this level of injury, which should also be considered.

Minor €52,800 to €124,000

Moderate €68,200 to €128,000

Severe and permanent conditions (excluding brain damage) €87,400 to €144,000

 

Eye Injuries

Affecting Sight

Injuries in this category range from the most devastating where sight has been
completely lost, through to transient injury to the eye with minimal impact on
vision.

 

Transient/Minor Eye Injuries up to €9,800

These injuries will include being struck in the eye, having an item in the eye and
being splashed with liquid, which may cause pain and have a temporary impact
on sight.

Reduced Loss of Sight in One Eye €22,500 to €45,400
The amount of the assessment will need to consider the degree of sight that
remains.

Total Loss of Sight in One Eye up to €138,000
The amount of the assessment will need to consider the degree of sight in the
remaining eye.

 

Total Blindness

Cases where total blindness has occurred would need to consider several factors
in order to assess the value.
Such factors would include, age at the time of the accident, occupation, lifestyle,
cosmetic or disfiguring features, prosthetic requirement.

 

Injuries Affecting Hearing

Cases where the hearing has been affected would need to consider several factors in order to assess the value. Considerations would need to include, if the impact of the injury was immediate or a gradual loss over time, the age at the time of the loss and if balance has or will be affected by the injury. There is a separate guide available to assist in the assessment of hearing loss known as the  Report of the Expert Hearing Group (The Green Book).

 

Facial Injuries

The gender and age are factors to determine the exact level of severity. Serious injuries are likely to have an element of disfigurement attached to them and will be considered accordingly.
Fracture of the Cheek Cheek fractures (the zygoma bone) tend to be unilateral (i.e. one-side only) and result in flattening of the cheek. Eye socket fractures often accompany cheek fractures resulting in changes in appearance of the eyeball such as a sunken appearance. Nerve injuries are also often seen with cheek fractures sometimes leaving ongoing symptoms (e.g. tingling sensation) of the face.

Le Forte fractures to the facial bones would also fall into this category.

Minor €21,200 to €42,200
Simple non-displaced fracture to the cheek bone which has substantially recovered.

Moderate €37,700 to €47,300
Fractures to the cheek bone(s) that have required surgery with either a complete recovery expected or minimal cosmetic effect.

Severe and permanent conditions €47,500 to €55,600
Complex and multiple fractures to the cheek bones which required extensive surgery and extended healing but may result in an incomplete union with lasting consequences that may include numbness to the face.

Nose Fractures Because of its prominence (and therefore vulnerability) and structural weakness, the nose is the most frequently fractured facial bone.

Minor €18,000 to €22,100
Simple non-displaced fracture to the nose which has substantially recovered.

Moderate €22,100 to €32,200
Fracture(s) to the nasal bone that may have required surgery where a full recovery is expected or minimal cosmetic effect.

Moderately Severe €32,400 to €46,600
Nasal fractures that have required surgery which may have had some short term consequences on the ability to smell.

Severe and permanent conditions €44,500 to €63,900
Complex and multiple fractures to the nasal bones which required extensive surgery and may have lasting consequences on the ability to smell.

Jaw – Soft Tissue

A jaw sprain is an unusual sprain. This category is for sprains of the joint between the top and bottom jaws (the temporomandibular joint).

Minor €11,000 to €20,800
Minor sprains are mild injuries where there is no tearing of the ligament, and often no jaw movement is lost, although there may be tenderness and slight swelling which has substantially recovered.

Moderate €19,500 to €27,600
Moderate sprains are caused by a partial tear in the ligament. These sprains are characterised by obvious swelling, extensive bruising, pain, and reduced function of the jaw. These sprains may have caused some impact on diet but a full recovery is expected.

Severe and permanent conditions €25,900 to €52,700
These injuries will be the most severe and will include where the movement of the jaw is restricted due to the ligament or muscle damage. Extensive surgery may have been required.
These severe sprains will have required a change in diet and result in ongoing pain, possibly clicking of the jaw and also a possibility of restriction on opening of the mouth.

Jaw – Dislocation A jaw dislocation is a dislocation of the lower jawbone (mandible). Jaw dislocations are usually reduced by closed manipulation. Analgesics and a soft diet may be prescribed or even a cervical collar.

Minor €21,200 to €35,400
These injuries will have substantially recovered and may have required the joint to be replaced back into the original position and has substantially recovered.

Moderate €36,100 to €63,300
These injuries will have required manipulation of the joint back into normal position and may have taken longer to recover with extensive treatment with a full recovery expected. These dislocations may have caused some impact on diet.

Severe and permanent conditions €52,700 to €68,600
These injuries will have required manipulation of the joint back into normal position and may have included more invasive treatment or even surgery to keep the joint in position. May also include ongoing pain and stiffness with some loss of movement and the jaw being more susceptible to future dislocation. These severe dislocations may have required a change in diet and also a possibility of restriction on the opening of the mouth.

Jaw – Fracture

After the nose, the jaw (mandible) is the most commonly fractured facial bone. Some jaw fractures may be very simple and require only observation and soft diet or with just bandage immobilisation but the more severe fractures will require internal fixation with the use of wires.

Minor €21,200 to €47,100
Simple fracture to either the top or bottom jaw bone which has substantially recovered.

Moderate €35,900 to €74,900
Fractures to the jaw bone(s) that may have required surgery with either a full recovery expected or minimal cosmetic effect. These fractures may have caused some impact on diet.

Severe and permanent conditions €52,700 to €80,200
Complex and multiple fractures to the jaw which required extensive surgery and extended healing but may result in an incomplete union. These severe fractures may have required a change in diet and also a possibility of restriction on the opening of the mouth.

Damage to the Teeth

For these injuries there will generally have been a course of treatment. The level of severity and amount will vary depending upon the degree of discomfort and the extent of such treatment. Any difficulty with eating is also a consideration.
Loss of Milk Tooth €4,400 to €7,000
Broken Tooth €7,500 to €10,300
Loss of One Tooth €10,300 to €12,700
The impact of the loss of more than one tooth There are several factors that need to be considered when calculating the assessment for loss of multiple teeth. Such factors would include, the number of teeth affected, location of the teeth, the level of previous dental hygiene, cosmetic effect, possible impacts on the requirement to change to a softer food diet.

 

Neck Injuries

Whiplash/Soft Tissue

The most common type of neck injury is called a “whiplash” injury which is an
over extension or sprain often suffered in a motor vehicle accident or high impact
slip/trip/fall type of accidents.
Whiplash injuries can involve a very minor sprain that heals within days or weeks
or they can in extreme cases cause long lasting pain and permanent disability.
Sometimes a neck strain can irritate or aggravate a pre-existing condition that may
or may not have been treated before the accident. These can include disc lesions,
spondylosis, osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis.

Minor – substantially recovered up to €15,700

Minor – a full recovery expected up to €19,400

These injuries are minor soft tissue, whiplash injuries. Whilst the duration of
symptoms will be of importance, there are also other factors that need to be
considered when calculating the assessment. Such factors would include the
nature of the neck injury, the intensity of the pain and extent of the symptoms,
the presence of additional symptoms in the back or shoulder areas, the impact
of the injuries on the persons ability to work and/or the extent of the treatment.

Moderate €20,400 to €30,200

These injuries would be moderate soft tissue injuries where the period of recovery
has been protracted and where there remains an increased vulnerability to further
trauma. Also within this bracket would be injuries which may have accelerated or
exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a period of time, usually no more than
five years.

Moderately Severe €34,400 to €52,200

These injuries involve the soft tissue or wrenching type injury of the more severe
type resulting in serious limitation of movement, recurring pain, stiffness and
discomfort and the possible need for surgery or increased vulnerability to further
trauma. This would also include injuries which may have accelerated and/or
exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a prolonged period of time, usually more
than five years resulting in ongoing pain and stiffness.

Severe and permanent €44,600 to €77,900

The most severe category. These injuries will have also affected the structure
of the neck and the discs, resulting in serious limitation of movement and the
requirement for surgery. Little or no movement regained on a permanent basis
resulting in ongoing pain and stiffness with the necessity to wear a collar for long
periods in the day

Back Injuries and Spinal Fractures
A. Back

Serious injuries may involve partial or complete damage to the spinal nerves,
serious exacerbation of disc lesions requiring fusing of vertebra, irritation of a
spinal nerve root, and those most severe back injuries involving paralysis, or other
severe consequences such as loss of sexual function or loss or impairment of
urinary or bladder function.

Soft Tissue

These injuries would include an over extension or sprain often suffered in a motor
vehicle accident or high impact slips/trips/falls type of accidents.

Minor – substantially recovered up to €14,800

Minor – a full recovery expected up to €18,400

These injuries are minor soft tissue injuries. Whilst the duration of symptoms will
be of importance, there are also other factors that need to be considered when
calculating the assessment. Such factors would include the nature of the back
injury, the intensity of the pain and extent of the symptoms, the presence of
additional symptoms in the buttocks or hip areas, the impact of the injuries on the
person’s ability to work and/or the extent of the treatment.

Moderate €21,400 to €34,400

These injuries would be moderate soft tissue injuries where the period of recovery
has been protracted and where there remains an increased vulnerability to further
trauma. Also within this bracket would be injuries which may have accelerated or
exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a period of time, usually no more than
five years.

Moderately Severe €32,100 to €55,700

These injuries involve the soft tissue or wrenching type injury of the more severe
type resulting in serious limitation of movement, recurring pain, stiffness and
discomfort and the possible need for surgery or increased vulnerability to further
trauma. This would also include injuries which may have accelerated and/or
exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a prolonged period of time, usually more
than five years resulting in ongoing pain and stiffness.Severe and permanent €52,300 to €92,000

The most severe category. These injuries will have also affected the structure
of the back and the discs, resulting in serious limitation of movement and the
requirement for surgery. Little or no movement regained on a permanent basis
resulting in ongoing pain and stiffness with the necessity to wear a back brace/
support for long periods in the day.

B. Spinal Cord Injuries

Quadriplegia is paralysis of all four limbs with paraplegia being paralysis of both
lower limbs and partial or total loss of urinary and bowel function, due to spinal
cord disease or injury.

The Courts set the maximum compensation with the exact value being based on
a number of considerations:

a) level of movement
b) level of pain and suffering
c) depression – level of achievable rehabilitation
d) age and life expectancy

The most catastrophically injured members of society suffer great pain and distress,
may never work or enjoy the benefits of a loving relationship and may remain
dependent on the care of others for years or indeed for the whole of their lifetime.
The upper range for compensation of this type rests in or around €450,000.

C. Vertebra

This category includes all types of vertebral fractures including fracture dislocations,
wedge fractures, chance fractures, burst fractures and flexion tear drop fractures.
Wedge spinal fractures are regarded as stable fractures and rarely result in
neurological complications. These occur most commonly in the thoracic spine.
Burst fractures are regarded as stable fractures but may result in spinal cord
involvement if there is bone fragmentation.

Minor €32,500 to €63,300
Simple fracture to one vertebra which has substantially recovered.

Moderate €54,900 to €92,700
May include multiple vertebra fractures that may have required surgery with either
a full recovery expected or ongoing minimal pain and stiffness which may impact
on movement of the spine.

Severe and permanent conditions €76,000 to €139,000
Multiple fractures to the vertebra with ongoing consequences, but without
paralysis.

 

4. Upper Limb Injuries

A. Arm or Hand Amputations

Complicated traumatic amputations are ones involving delayed treatment, delayed
healing or major infection. The necessity for stump revision or the existence of
phantom limb pains may also occur. An amputation can also be provided as a
treatment required due to a severe injury.
Loss of Single Digits •
There are several factors that need to be considered when calculating the
assessment. Such factors would include dominant hand, appearance, use of any
remaining stump, age, gender and occupation impacts.

Index Finger – partial up to €55,800

Index Finger – total up to €61,200

Middle Finger – partial up to €51,100

Middle Finger – total up to €57,200

Ring Finger – partial up to €43,300

Ring Finger – total up to €57,200

Little Finger – partial up to €41,600

Little Finger – total up to €46,400

Thumb – partial up to €44,200

Thumb – total up to €80,500

Loss of Multiple Digits

There are several factors that need to be considered when calculating the
assessment for loss of multiple digits. Such factors would include, which digits
and how many digits, dominant hand, appearance, impact on hand function, age,
gender and occupation impacts.

Loss of Arms or Hands

There are several factors that need to be considered when calculating the
assessment for loss of arms or hands. Therefore each case will need to be assessed
on its individual merits. Such factors would include, above or below elbow, above
or below wrist, dominant hand, appearance, use of prosthetic, age, gender and
occupation impacts.

You can read see the full Book of Quantum here.

Injuries Board Book of Quantum Personal Injuries

What are Special Damages?

However, every personal injury  claim is unique and will be decided on its merits and of course does not deal with the financial losses associated with an accident such as loss of income, medical expenses incurred etc.

Special Damages are any expenses that you have incurred as a result of an accident. Special Damages cover areas such as loss of earnings, medical expenses, out of pocket expenses and vehicle damage costs. In serious cases there may also be future loss of earnings, future expenses etc in addition to general compensation for your personal injuries claim.

How is loss of income calculated?

Loss of earnings into the future caused by the injury A claim will be assessed in its entirety including all components appropriate to the case that have been vouched.

We are here to help. Please do not hesitate to telephone Mulroy and Company Personal Injuries Solicitors at 091 – 586760 or email us to discuss your claim.

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*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.