Personal injury compensation calculators do not properly work, will never properly work and it’s therefore irresponsible for any law firm to advertise one on their website. Personal injury claims calculators are therefore gimmicky, only designed to make an unsuspecting potential Claimant think that bringing a personal injury claim is entirely straightforward and without complexity and nuance, with a likely guaranteed pot of money at the end of the rainbow. If your Solicitors are using a compensation claims calculator to attract your business then I strongly suggest that you consider switching Solicitors.

No personal injury calculator could ever take into consideration the multiple factors which influence the value of a personal injury claim. You are unique and so is your claim, so are your injuries and so are your losses. No two claims are the same. A brutal online calculator isn’t going to do the job. You know that.

Do not bother with claims calculators

A personal injury claim should be run by an experienced personal injury solicitor or legal executive and not treated like a widget is being produced in a factory process. You cannot commodify a personal injury claim, so that it can easily slide into a personal injury calculator. It cannot.

You may only ever need a personal injury lawyer once in your lifetime (if you’re unlucky), so make it a qualified, experienced one. Ignore online calculators: a personal injury claim will never fit into a comparison-type site.  personal injury calculator

What factors determine the value of a claim?

The factors which can influence the value of a personal injury claim are numerous and are as follows:

1. Extent of your physical injuries.
2. Extent of your psychological injuries.
3. Your age.
4. Your gender (particularly for scarring claims).
5. Whether you enjoyed your job before the accident and whether you can do the same job after the accident even if the pay is better.
6. The length of your pre-accident employment and whether your job is vulnerable because of the accident.
7. Whether you have seasonal work.
8. Whether you were self-employed before the accident.
9. Your own ability to keep and produce helpful documents to support your claim.
10. Whether you were disabled before the accident.
11. Whether the accident has made you disabled or more disabled than you were before the accident.
12. Your personal experience of the pain and suffering.
13. What social and sporting activities you were unable to do because of the accident.
14. How much care and assistance you have needed.
15. How much care and assistance you will need in the future.
16. Whether you have had or will need any future surgery.
17. Whether you will be left with scarring following any future surgery.
18. Any pre-existing injuries, vulnerabilities and/or terminal illnesses.
19. Life expectancy.
20. Where in the world that you live.
21. Whether you were at fault for the accident or at least partially at fault for the accident.
22. Whether you were unable to take any pre-arranged holidays or enjoyed holidays less because of the accident-related symptoms.
23. Whether any life events – marriage, child birth, etc – were impacted because of the accident.
24. How many medical appointments you needed to take and the distance that you had to travel.
25. Whether you were injured in winter as heating bills are higher in the winter.
26. Your ability to cook following the accident.
27. Whether you need to recoup any sick pay for your employer.
28. Your future earnings ability.
29. Your pre-accident life plans.
30. Whether you live alone or with someone.
31. How much in benefits you have needed because of the accident.
32. Any changes at your workplace which are unconnected with the accident, such as likely redundancies unconnected with your claim.
33. Your lawyer’s ability to locate similar case law for claims like yours.
34. Your own appetite to risk and to waiting out your claim until there is a prudent time to settle your claim.
35. Your dependents, if any.
36. The cogency and clarity of the medical expert reports.

…and many, many more factors besides.

Conclusion on compensation calculators

Although I welcome and embrace technological changes (I’m no Luddite), a crude compensation calculator is simply an absurd marketing tool which is disrespectful towards injured people.

With pride, I can tell you that my team of experienced personal injury Solicitors often find ourselves debating the value of a claim. This is because there are usually so many factors at play; so many grey areas; often no right answer, that we need to bounce ideas off each other. If my Solicitors cannot always agree on the precise valuation of a personal injury claim then no blunt compensation calculator is going to be of any assistance.

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Catherine Reynolds
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