£1.2bn: Delay in Delivering Troubles Injuries Compensation
The Troubles Victims’ Payments Regulations scheme, which was due to open 30 Jun 2021, with estimate costs as high as £1.2bn, is now postponed, due to open to applications from 31 Aug 2021.
The scheme is a year behind schedule after being impacted by political rows over funding and eligibility. Medical assessment guidance will be published on 30 June. The Victims Payments’ Board intends to organise information sessions during July and August to provide more detail on how the scheme will work.
The Victims’ Payments Regulations 2020 legislation states that a person is entitled to a payment as a victim of an injury caused by a troubles related incident, in the following circumstances;
- The injury resulted in you being permanently disabled
- Your disablement is at least 14%
- The incident was Troubles related
- The incident took place in the UK, or Europe if you were a British/Northern Irish/Irish citizen, serving the Crown or accompanying a relative serving the Crown
- The incident took place on or after 1 Jan 1966 & before 12 Apr 2010
It is anticipated there could be as many as 30,000 applications in total and the process could take years to work through, with annual payments of between £2,000 and £10,000.
The scheme could run for up to 30 years.
Guide to the 3 Main Types of Damages
General Damages are those awarded to you for pain and suffering for the injury sustained. General Damages are not just for physical injuries, but psychological injuries too.
How do I prove these? After telling your solicitor what injury you have sustained, your Solicitor will obtain Medical Evidence from specialised Doctors to confirm whether the injury could be reasonably linked to the accident. The Doctor will often comment upon how long it will take you to recover from the injury, if at all.
How are these calculated? Once a medical report is obtained the Doctor will place a recovery period on your injury. Your Solicitor will then use the ‘Green Book’ which is the Judicial Guideline used for calculating personal injury in Northern Ireland.
What do the Courts look at? The Courts will look at a number of different factors including;
- The suffering you have sustained and how long you have suffered for.
- The effect on your daily life.
- Your ability to carry out daily tasks, including your work.
- The impact on things that you enjoy, such as hobbies.
Special Damages [Already Incurred] are those costs that you have paid as a result of the injury.
How do I prove these? You should provide your Solicitor with all receipts for costs incurred, such as;
- A loss of earnings;
- Private medical costs;
- Extra equipment;
- Receipts for travel to appointments;
- Travel expenses if your injury has prevented your ability to drive;
- Gym/sports memberships if unable to use.
How are these calculated? These damages are calculated on the basis of the proof provided and usually are calculated from the date of the injury until the conclusion of the case.
What do the Courts look at? The Courts will consider reasonable expenses directly linked to the accident. The Court may ask medical experts to comment upon whether the costs incurred were necessary, and whether the period of time off work was reasonable in the circumstances of the injury.
Special Damages – Future Losses will be calculated on the basis of money you will need to spend in the future
How do I prove these? These special damages are usually proven by obtaining a report from a forensic accountant. The accountant will review your documents and medical reports and compile a list of the estimated costs that you will require for future care.
How are these calculated? Your forensic accountant will compile a report based on:
- Your current and projected future income;
- Any family members which are dependent on you;
- The need for future care;
- The need for further medical equipment.
What do the Courts look at? The Courts will consider the items addressed in the forensic report along with those in the medical reports provided by your Solicitor. They will consider equipment that may need replaced, the cost of any nursing/future residential care required, missed career opportunities, promotions etc.
How does personal injury compensation work?
Every personal injury action is calculated on individual circumstances. Injuries affect us all in different ways and can have substantially different outcomes.
How much Compensation will I get?
Your Solicitor will be able to accurately assess an award of compensation when they obtain medical and other reports based on their experience. The main purpose of personal injury litigation is to put you back to your position had the accident not happened. Your life may have changed forever, or for a certain period of time. No-one plans to be injured. This can have a detrimental impact on your livelihood, your ability to work, and you may even need to pay people to assist you with tasks that you could do before as a result of someone else’s negligence.
If you or a family member have sustained a Troubles related injury, get in touch with our Personal Injury & Negligence specialist team. We can guide you forward.