Smith v Manchester awards
Smith v Manchester awards

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

  • Smith v Manchester awards
  • The nature of the award
  • Assessing the risk
  • Valuing the award
  • Practice points
  • The future of Smith v Manchester awards

The nature of the award

Where an injured person is disadvantaged in seeking employment in the labour market as a result of a residual disability resulting from an injury, they are entitled to claim a head of damage commonly referred to as a Smith v Manchester award, named after the case that popularised the claim.

A Smith v Manchester award is usually made as a separate lump sum award. However, practitioners should note that the 6th edition of the Ogden tables introduced a more scientific method (now contained in the current 7th edition of the Ogden tables) of assessing the impact of a disability on a claimant’s earning capacity. Application of this approach leads to higher awards and should always be considered by those acting for a claimant. Smith v Manchester awards may therefore become less common. For further information, see Practice Note: Future loss of earnings—personal injury claims and The Ogden tables.

It is worth noting that in Murphy, a Smith v Manchester approach was adopted for one period and a multiplier/multiplicand used for another.

Smith v Manchester awards remain relevant where a claimant is unable to establish that their injuries are severe enough for the Ogden table method to be applied but where there is, nonetheless, some impact on the claimant’s position in the labour market.

If the traditional approach is