Posted in General Legal Tips on 19 February 2014


An award of damages is monetary compensation and is the most common remedy sought in civil claims. In a personal injuries claim the Court will assess the damages a Plaintiff is entitled to in order to compensate the Plaintiff for injuries sustained. Irish Courts attempt to put injured parties back, insofar as money can do, to the position that they would have been in, but for the injury.

Before the Court awards damages there must be negligence on the part of the Defendant. That negligence in turn, must have caused the Plaintiff’s injuries. It is not enough to have been in an accident or suffered an injury to obtain compensation from the Courts.

Your claim for compensation will be divided into general and special damages.


The Court will decide the level of damages by considering all the medical evidence put before it, considering the pain already suffered and the prognosis for the future.

General Damages are usually assessed having regard to a number of criteria, including:

1. Pain and Suffering

The Court considers what pain you have suffered or may suffer in the future as a result of the accident. 

2. Loss of Amenities

Damages may be increased if, as a result of the accident or injury, the injured party can no longer participate in sporting or other activities previously enjoyed.

3. Loss of Life Expectation

When awarding general damages, even for catastrophic injuries, the Courts have recognised that a limit must be set as to how much can be awarded for general damages.  Generally speaking it is difficult for the Court to award a sum greater than €500,000.


Special damages relate to financial costs and expenses incurred by the Plaintiff as a result of an injury. These are commonly referred to as the Plaintiff's out-of-pocket expenses, arising as a result of the accident or injury. Special Damages typically include:

1. Medical Expenses

Nursing care, therapies, medication, medical aids and equipment, home help etc. A Plaintiff may be asked to produce receipts and bills to prove these expenses, so it is important to keep every bill and receipt of expenses incurred.

2. Car Damage

If your car has been damaged in an accident, you are entitled to be reimbursed the cost of repairs and to receive a sum for depreciation. 

3. Loss of Earnings

Loss of earnings from the date of the accident or injury to the hearing and also loss of earnings into the future. If the accident or injury sustained has rendered you absent from work you are entitled to be paid for the value of such loss of earnings up to the date of the trial.

4. Loss of Future Earnings

If your injuries are likely to affect your ability to work in the future, you are entitled to compensation for the value of lost future earnings, including lost earning capacity and opportunities. There is no limitation on the amount of special damages the Court can award.

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or [email protected] if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.


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