Compensation Guide

Provisional Damages

Provisional damages allow greater security for clients who have not made a full recovery from their injuries. If there is a chance in the future that they will develop some disease or serious deterioration in their condition, it may be sensible to include an order for provisional damages in the final settlement. This provides the client with an option to return to the Court to seek a further sum of compensation if they do indeed deteriorate significantly after the original claim has been settled.

Awards of provisional damages are most commonly seen in brain injury and spinal injury cases. In brain injury cases for example, an independent medical expert may consider that there is a risk of the person ultimately developing epilepsy in later life as a result of the original injury.

The key aspects of a claim for provisional damages are that the chance of significant deterioration must be measurable and not fanciful. In addition, the disease or deterioration itself must be serious.

A Court generally cannot impose a provisional award upon a client and it is usually a matter for the client as to whether, subject to the legal advice they may be given, they wish to pursue such an award.

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