When someone is injured because another person has been negligent, he or she can file an action in the court asking the court to compensate him or her for the injury obtained.
The question with which most injured persons are concerned is: “How much money am I entitled to in compensation for my injury?”
In determining how much compensation you are entitled to for your injury, the court looks at the following matters:
- the nature and extent of injuries suffered;
- the nature and seriousness of any resulting physical disability;
- pain and suffering endured;
- loss of amenities, meaning, whether, how and to what extent the injury prevents you from enjoying life in the same or similar manner as you did before the injury occurred; and
- the extent to which your ability to earn money, that is, to engage in gainful employment, present and future, has been affected by your injury.
What the court does is not a mathematical calculation. It tries to assess what is a reasonable sum to compensate you based on the pain, inconvenience and expense you have suffered and may continue to suffer.
Regard will be given to the amount of money awarded to other persons in prior cases which are sufficiently similar to yours. In comparing similar cases, the court would make adjustments for the impact of inflation and cost of living based on the age of the case and the country in which it was decided.
Some of the similarity factors taken into account are nature, type and body part injured; age and sex of the individual injured; activity level of the individual before and after the incident; extent of hospitalisation, if any; and geographical location similarities.
Based on the factors above, one of the most important pieces of ammunition an injured person must present to the court is a proper medical report. A proper medical report should address the following:
- Age or Date of Birth of Patient
- Patient History
- Accident History
- Drug History
- Social History
- Date(s) of treatment and finding upon examination
- Any progress at the date of the report, including the degree of pain or discomfort reported by the patient, if applicable
- Prognosis- particular attention should be given to:
- details of future medical treatment and future care, including any special needs,
- assessment of any permanent/temporary disability,
- the prospects for full recovery, and
- the impact of the injury on the Patient’s quality of life.
Ideally, the medical report should be obtained from a doctor registered to practice medicine in Grenada. If necessary or desired, the doctor should be willing to give a witness statement and to attend court for the hearing of your matter.
If your medical report stops short of addressing all or substantially all of the matters outlined above, the extent of compensation you might obtain is compromised from the outset.
Grenada Bar Association