Other heads of general damages

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Other heads of general damages
  • General damages
  • Loss of congenial employment
  • Handicap on the open labour market
  • Loss of use
  • Disruption of a specific holiday
  • Damage to relationships or loss of marriage prospects
  • Aggravated damages
  • Unnecessary medical treatment

Other heads of general damages

General damages

General damages comprise those heads of loss that are non-pecuniary and are not capable of precise calculation.

The most common and important item of general damages is the award for pain and suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA). Within the general damages head of loss, there are additional awards that can fall within this category including:

  1. handicap on the open labour market (Smith v Manchester Award)

  2. loss of congenial employment

  3. loss of use

  4. loss of enjoyment of a holiday

  5. marriage breakdown or loss of marriage opportunities

  6. aggrevated damages

  7. unnecessary medical treatment

PSLA damages are awarded for physical and/or psychiatric injury and encompass suffering from the past, present and future. One overall sum is awarded, although the damages may be divided into two elements:

  1. pain and suffering—this is the subjective experience of the victim

  2. loss of amenity—this is the reduction in the ability to perform everyday tasks

For further guidance, see Practice Note: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

Loss of congenial employment

Loss of congenial employment applies to a claimant who, by reason of the injuries sustained in an accident, is no longer able carry out a job that they enjoyed and experienced satisfaction performing. In these circumstances, an award can be made to reflect this loss.

For further guidance, see: Loss of congenial

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