What are Damages and how are they calculated?

Damages are sums of money paid to claimants who suffer an injury due to the fault of another.
The purpose of damages is to attempt to put the claimant back in the same position as if s/he had not been involved in the accident. Since April 2021 all claims not yet concluded must be assessed in accordance with the principles contained in the Personal Injury Guidelines.

Damages are broadly speaking awarded under two separate headings:

  • General Damages.

General Damages are compensation for the pain and suffering a claimant endures as a consequence of the injuries. This will vary depending on the type and severity of the injuries, and also the consequences for the individual concerned. Everyone is different and everyone suffers pain and suffering in their own and unique way. At the time of assessment of General Damages either by PIAB or the Courts a claimant may be entitled to a sum for pain and suffering to date, and pain and suffering into the future.

The PIAB in assessing General Damages must now have to regard the Personal Injuries Guidelines which have been established at law since April 2021. PIAB will normally arrange for a medical examination from one of their panel doctors in order to assist with the assessment of a sum for general damages. PIAB will also consider the claimants medical reports and any additional medical records that are deemed appropriate. We at Downes solicitors believe a claimant should have the benefit of a specialist personal injury solicitor when considering an assessment of General Damages.

  • Special Damages.

Special Damages are expenses incurred by the injured claimant as a direct result of the injuries. These expenses are typically loss of income and medical treatment expenses. For cases involving serious injuries with life changing consequences a claimant may require nursing care and assistance, medical aids and appliances or home adaptations to allow a claimant to live as independently as possible. We at Downes solicitors have experience with the computation of complex special damage claims and we have a panel of expert witnesses available to act for our clients.


© 2021 Downes Solicitors

*In contentious business, a legal practitioner shall not charge any amount in respect of legal costs expressed as a percentage or proportion of any damages (or other moneys) that may become payable to his or her client or purport to set out the legal costs to be charged to a junior counsel as a specified percentage or proportion of the legal costs paid to a senior counsel. A legal practitioner shall not without the prior written agreement of his or her client deduct or appropriate any amount in respect of legal costs from the amount of any damages or moneys that become payable to the client in respect of legal services that the legal practitioner provided to the client.