What is loss of amenity and how is it calculated?
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In relation to a personal injury claim, the term ‘loss of amenity’ refers to how the victim/Claimant’s quality of life has been effected by the injury. Loss of amenity therefore relates directly to the non-financial impact the injury has on the Claimant’s social life, family life, ability to do their job and so on.
A personal injury compensation payout is typically made up of two main elements – general damages and special damages. The ‘special damages’ are for the financial losses incurred as a result of the accident, for instance loss of earnings or any medical costs. General damages are paid out to compensate the victim for the affect the injury has had on their day to day life, which is where the loss of amenity aspect comes in.
Loss of amenity then places a financial value onto non-financial losses such as the Claimant’s loss of lifestyle e.g. unable to socialise, unable to carry on the same hobbies etc…
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Loss of amenity examples
The loss of amenity basically refers to an injury that has diminished the quality of life of the Claimant, for example:
- a factory worker who loses all or part of their hearing because they were not given the correct ear protection, is no longer able to watch television, listen to music etc…
- a driver who suffers a severe leg injury and is no longer able to play football
How is loss of amenity calculated?
Attributing a financial value to something intangible like your quality of life can be a complicated and personal issue. As such, it is difficult to calculate the amount of compensation to be paid for loss of amenity using the usual methods e.g. medical reports, payslips, receipts etc..
Instead, the Court will be looking for evidence that shows the extent your quality of life has been diminished by the accident e.g. testimony from you, your family and friends as well as photographs and video evidence. The Judge will then be able to assess your personal situation against previous compensation payout amounts.
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