Let’s take a look at one of the first questions you’ll have to ask when you begin to explore the option of a Personal Injury* claim – What is The Book of Quantum?
As with many aspects of the law, the information you require can seem dense with legalities that you need an expert to untangle. Here at Anthony Joyce & Co., we like to do our best to make things clear and easy to understand, so read on to get a simple outline of everything you need to know about The Book of Quantum.
What is The Book of Quantum?
The objective of The Book of Quantum is an admirable one. When you suffer an accident and want to make a personal injury* claim, it acts as a guide for you, insurance companies and lawmakers on what kind of pay-out you can expect. Within its pages is a catalogue of information that equates personal injuries* with workable financial figures. However, there are some very basic flaws with The Book of Quantum personal injuries* guide that you should be aware of.
Firstly, it only refers to the physical injury of any claim. If you haven’t suffered a serious accident this might seem more than fair, but if you think about it a little more, you’ll quickly realise there is a lot more that needs to be taken into consideration to calculate a fair claim amount. Medical costs, psychological trauma, loss of amenity and loss of income are all major consequences that an accident can have.
Secondly, a very basic problem with The Book of Quantum is that it simply doesn’t offer fair amounts for particular injuries. The text is heavily skewed to recognising broken or dislocated limbs over the likes of a repetitive strain injury, which can often have just as dire an impact on a person’s life as anything else.
Your Personal Injury* Claim is Unique
The biggest fault with The Book of Quantum is that it is not particularly designed to take the unique circumstances of your personal injury* claim into account. For example, you might have had a car accident or accident at work and broken an arm. The guide will suggest a claim amount on the projected medical costs and how long it takes you to recover, but its broad overview is not very useful when taking into account your actual recovery period, the psychological damages, and your actual ability to work.
There are many subtle and not so subtle reasons like these to explain why awards should vary. If you rely on The Book of Quantum as a guide, you’ll miss out on many of them, and perhaps end up accepting a claim amount that is far below what you’re entitled to.
To make our point more salient, imagine an accident where a person who is blind in one eye loses the sight in their healthy eye. The Book of Quantum personal injuries* guide would only award them a claim amount associated with the loss of that one eye and not take into consideration that they are now blind for the rest of their life.
How are Personal Injury* Awards Calculated?
There are four basic factors that the Book of Quantum often fails to account for, but that a personal injuries* solicitor can make a case around – Claim Amounts for your physical pain and suffering, claim amounts for any psychological injury you have sustained, claim amounts for the deterioration in your quality of life, and, “special damages,” for the financial consequences of your injury.
1. Pain & Suffering
Claim amounts for your physical pain and suffering are based on the financial values published in the Book of Quantum, but claims can also be adjusted to account for your age, your gender and your general state of health before you were injured.
2. Psychological Injuries
If you claim damages in Ireland for a psychological injury – i.e. depression, loss of confidence, PTSD, etc. – your claim has to be supported by a medical report from your doctor or a psychiatrist confirming your injury. When you speak with a solicitor and describe the consequences of your injury, the solicitor may suggest that you ask your GP for a referral to somebody who can support claims for a psychological trauma.
3. Loss of Amenity
When you speak with a solicitor about how much damages you may be entitled to, your solicitor may ask you about how your injury has affected your day-to-day activities and your ability to participate in past-times that were part of your regular routine prior to your accident. This is so that your solicitor can establish whether you can claim damages for any deterioration in your quality of life – something the Book of Quantum can’t do.
4. Special Damages
Finally, when you claim in Ireland, you have the opportunity to recover any lost wages or accident-related expenses you have incurred. This element of personal injury* claims is known as, “special damages”. Any lost income or costs you have incurred has to be supported by payslips or receipts. Your personal injury* solicitor will be able to inform you which of your expenses are “allowable” when you speak with him or her.
As you’ve gathered by now, The Book of Quantum simply isn’t written to acknowledge all of your suffering, and as a personal injury* solicitor firm, we believe that you deserve better than that.
Do I Need The Book of Quantum?
The Injuries Board Book of Quantum makes a noble effort to protect your interests, but unfortunately, it falls short of being perfect, and can just as easily be used to work against your personal injury* claim. Here at Anthony Joyce & Co, we know from our experience of assisting clients with many hundreds of injury claims that every claim has to be treated as individually as the person that is making it.
When you talk to us we will provide you with confidential, friendly advice on how to proceed with your personal injury* claim, so put The Book of Quantum aside and make sure that you give us a call.