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GENERAL DAMAGES (Compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity)

The Judicial Studies Board produces guidelines (in book form), for the assessment of general damages in personal injury cases. These guidelines are circulated to all Judges, Recorders and District Judges who may be involved in the assessment of general damages in personal injury cases.  In addition, the guidelines are used generally by Solicitors and Barristers to help assess awards in personal injury cases. They are a useful guide for calculating asbestos claims.

Although no two cases are ever precisely alike and damages cannot be assessed simply by the process of an asbestos claims calculation, the guidelines help to provide a consistency between awards.    The guidelines are useful when considering current levels of awards and settlements, for particular injuries.   The book is now in its 10th Edition and includes a section in Chapter 5 (under the heading “Injuries to Internal Organs”), on asbestos related disease.

Awards in the guidelines for asbestos related disease are set out into 5 brackets or levels of compensation. The awards are for general damages (pain, suffering and loss of amenity) only and do not include any amount for special damages (such as loss of earnings, pension, care, health aids, travel expenses and the like) which may be claimed in addition. The brackets cover:

  • Mesothelioma;
  • Lung Cancer;
  • Asbestosis;
  • Pleural thickening;
  • Provisional awards for the least serious cases within (Pleural thickening)

The awards are calculated as follows:

  • Mesothelioma – of the pleura or of the peritoneum.  Variations within the bracket account for the duration of pain and suffering
    £35,000 – £83,750
  • Lung Cancer
    £51,500 – £66,000
  • Asbestosis – Asbestosis is likely to have a fatal outcome but the symptoms can last for several years affecting mobility and quality of life.   A respiratory disability of 10-20% will probably attract in the region of £46,000
    £31,500 – £69,500
  • Pleural thickening – symptoms are typically progressive
    £25,250 – £51,500
  • This bracket is for the least serious asbestos related disease cases allowing for provisional awards which do not include risk of development of Mesothelioma, lung or other cancer or asbestosis
    £4,330 – £7,250

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