Sustaining a serious or life-changing injury through the negligence of a third party can be extremely challenging to deal with in terms of the impact it has on your ability to function and enjoy life. Whilst no amount of money can truly compensate a person for severe injuries such as the loss of a limb or vision, it is nevertheless a high priority for many injured claimants to seek the compensation that they deserve for the injuries they sustained.
Understandably, injured parties need to know what kind of settlement they are likely to reach to help them manage the impact that the injury has had on their lives. In personal injury claims cases, special damages are awarded to cover financial losses and expenses incurred as a result of the injury, including lost wages and medical care bills. However, successful personal injury cases will also lead to a general damages award for pain and suffering. The settlement figure for this type of award is based on the severity and impact of the injury. So, for example, very severe injuries involving paralysis will lead to a larger settlement payout compared to, say, a minor head injury.
Below we have outlined various types of injury scenarios, together with typical personal injury settlements awarded in Ireland. This is based on the Judicial Council’s Personal Injuries Guidelines document published in March 2021. These guidelines may be subject to change, so please speak with our legal team should you require up-to-date advice on seeking a personal injury settlement.
Injuries resulting in shortened life expectancy
Life-shortening injuries can result in very substantial settlements in Ireland. General damages may be as much as €550,000. Those awarded with a settlement of this size will have experienced significant pain and suffering as a result of the injury, whilst also living with the anticipated loss of a partner and/or children. Severe burns with associated lung damage and severe pain would be an example of this type of injury and award. A lower compensation settlement is likely to be reached if the injured party has little or no insight into the injury (enduring little by way of pain).
Injuries involving paralysis
Injuries that result in partial or complete paralysis are among the types of personal injury cases with the highest anticipated settlement awards. Payouts for quadriplegia are in the region of €400,000-€550,000, and paraplegia in the region of €320,000-€450,000, depending upon factors such as age, the extent of residual movement, pain, and effects on other senses.
Brain damage compensation
Compensation awards for brain damage vary considerably and are determined by the severity of the injury. In extremely severe cases, where the claimant is in a vegetative state and requires 24-hour nursing care, personal injury settlements of up to €550,000 may be reached. Cases involving minor brain damage or a head injury will payout up to €25,000, depending on how long it takes to recover from the injury. If the claimant is expected to make a substantial recovery within 6 months, the likely settlement will be in the region of €500-€3,000, alongside a special damages award to cover any loss of earnings, medical care costs and other expenses.
If a claimant has suffered severe psychiatric damage due to the negligent actions of a third party, they may be able to pursue a personal injury settlement in the region of €80,000-€170,000. For this level of compensation to be awarded, the claimant must have suffered significant interference with quality of life and education, severe impact on work and personal relationships, limited success of psychiatric treatments, and a prognosis that includes sustained future vulnerability. At the bottom end of the scale in this category are claimants seeking compensation for minor PTSD, where it is expected that the symptoms will resolve within 2 years. Settlements for these types of cases are usually in the region of €500-€10,000.
Loss of sight, hearing, and other senses
The partial or complete loss of any of the senses is among the most devastating of injuries a person can sustain and, as such, compensation awards reflect the level of pain and diminished ability to function and enjoy life. Successful claims involving total deafness and blindness are likely to result in a settlement in the region of €400,000-€500,000. Claims involving total blindness will likely settle in the region of €270,000-€400,000 and loss of vision in one eye, with reduced vision in the other, will result in a payout of around €120,000-€300,000. Cases involving total deafness and loss of speech may result in a compensation award in the region of €200,000-€350,000. Injuries in this category that are likely to result in lower compensation awards include those that result in a loss of taste. An injury causing partial loss of taste might reach a settlement in the region of €7,500-€20,000.
Neck and back injuries
The most severe injuries in this category would involve incomplete paraplegia, requiring the wearing of a collar for 24 hours a day for multiple years. The settlement for this type of injury will be in the region of €150,000-€300,000. Minor back injuries will payout in the region of €500-€20,000, depending upon the length of recovery time anticipated.
Settlements in personal injury cases can be very substantial when they involve the loss of a limb. Cases where the claimant has lost both arms, for example, will likely payout in the region of €300,000-€475,000. Injuries which fall short of amputation (but are extremely
serious and leave the injured person with little or no use of the limb) will likely result in general damages between €100,000-€150,000.
Require advice on a specific type of injury not documented here?
There are many hundreds of specific types of injuries that can be sustained due to the negligence of a third party, such as an employer or healthcare provider. If you can’t see the category that relates to the injury sustained by you or your family member here, please feel free to send us a message or call our legal team for assistance. We’d be happy to assess your case and provide guidance on the likely settlement that could be awarded, should your case be brought successfully. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.