Anther recent question was answered with a reference to a textbook which I don't have access to, but it gives examples such as injuries to an elbow.

How much are guidelines for general damages in a scenario with no physical or psychiatric injuries sustained but only fear and horror of them in the moment, deliberate intimidation by the perpetrators, and the public humiliation and embarrassment of being publicly assaulted? As well as the (apparently intended) demoralisation and chilling effect of having ones political expressions countered with physical violence?

In other words, suppose that the victim did not develop diagnosable PTSD or the like, but simply had a really bad day full of distress and horror. How much are they due to be compensated for this?


1 Answer 1


You allude to the answer How are general damages for assault calculated? given in response to your previous question.

The answer cites the book Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases.

The answer says "In the case of assault, one might find reference to Chapter 4, which is on psychiatric effects including PTSD..."

The book might be available in a library. If you do a web search for "Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases Chapter 4", the search results will include links to the purported text of Chapter 4 of that book.

The specific numbers might be out-of-date (depending on the age of the edition from which the text is copied) but will remain in these magnitudes or 'ballparks':

  • Less severe - low four figures

  • moderate - four to five figures

  • moderately severe - low to mid five figures

  • severe - mid to high five figures

The more severe, the harder to treat and recover, the longer lasting and so on, the higher the damages. There may also be "aggravated damages", depending on the conduct of the defendant.

You can google for discussion of or the judgments themselves in real cases where there were awards for "injury to feelings" or "mental distress" to get a sense of what is awarded for what kinds of claims. These seem to range from (mostly) four figures all the way up to (rarely) six figures.

Some judgments don't separate the amount of "damages" from the amount of "aggravated damages". So it can be difficult to get a sense of how much aggravating conduct affects compensation.

Some websites operated by "claims management companies" and other purported specialists in compensation claims offer "personal injury compensation calculators" in which you input broad features about a claim to see the compensation range the calculator 'thinks' could be awarded, based on the Judicial College compensation guidelines. With the company's assistance, of course.

(Interestingly the 2021 Personal Injuries Guidelines for Ireland are freely available from Ireland's Judicial Council's website in pdf format https://judicialcouncil.ie/assets/uploads/documents/Personal%20Injuries%20Guidelines.pdf. This also has a Chapter 4 about psychiatric damage, with similar bands and numbers.)

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