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Personal injury is an injury that a person sustains as a result of another person’s negligent act or omission; that is through the fault of another person. The injury can be a physical injury or a psychological injury.
Personal Injury, Compensation Claims and Injury Claim
Personal injury law is established in Australia to compensate the injured person for medical treatment and expenses, economic loss and pain and suffering resulting. It is always a good idea to seek legal advice if you injure yourself in a public place, private property, at work, in a motor vehicle accident or in any type of incident through no fault of your own.
Compensation Lawyers and Personal Injury Lawyers
Compensation or personal injury lawyers are generally public liability Lawyers. At Jameson Law we provide a free consultation to discuss your accident and injuries and determine whether you have a potential claim.
Public Liability Claims involve accidents that occur in public places as well as private property, for example on the footpath, in a restaurant, shopping Centre or someone’s home or even rental property. The injury may be physical in nature or a psychological injury and may have resulted from a variety of occurrences such as slip and fall, sexual assault, tripping over etc. The amount of compensation you may receive will depend on whether you sustained a significant injury and the impact it has and will have on you and your capacity to continue your life had the accident not happened.
No Win No Fee
Public accidents claims are run on a no win no fee basis which means that you will not pay for our legal fees unless we have successfully resolved your matter.
Generally, compensation claims are run on a No Win No Fee basis which means that you don’t pay a cent on legal fees if you are unsuccessful, however some solicitors still charge for disbursements.
At Jameson Law, we have a guaranteed No Win No Fee Agreement including any legal costs and disbursements we incur to run your case. This means that if your claim is not successful, we do not charge you anything. This allows us to maintain a high rate of success as we will let you know up front, if we feel that your case will not win.
Any costs payable to Jameson Law will be deducted from, and will not exceed, any compensation that you are entitled to receive meaning you will not pay anything out of pocket.
Difference between Public Liability Claim and Car Accident Claim
Generally speaking, personal injury claims revolve around the same concept. That is you sustain an injury as a result of the negligence or fault of another person and therefore you may be entitled to compensation from an insurance company for medical treatment, past and future economic loss, non-economic loss, and past and future care and assistance. The amount of compensation you are entitled to receive depends on a number of factors including the severity of the injury, your age, your occupation and the loss you sustained as a result.
However, although compensation claims are all considered the same area of law, they differ in many respects. For example, car accidents (also known as motor vehicle accidents) and workers compensation claims are governed by different NSW legislations which also differ from public liability compensation and medical negligence claims. While Motor vehicle accident and workers compensation claims are regulated by their own laws, medical negligence and public liability claims are governed by the Civil Liability Act NSW.
Also, public liability claims and Medical Negligence claims are brought by commencing court proceedings against the relevant party that is considered to have breached its duty of care towards the injured person.
For example, if you slip and fall in a Shopping Centre because they failed to ensure that there was no water on the floor, you are entitled to make a claim against the shopping centre who will put in an insurance claim with their public liability insurance so that their insurer responds to your compensation claim.
What is a public place/public liability claim?
Public Liability revolves around the notion that the owner or occupier of a premises has a duty of care to ensure the safety of patrons and/or individuals who enter.
If a person sustains an injury in a public place or private property through an act or omission by the owner and/or occupier of that premises, they may be entitled to injury compensation as a result.
The loss that is incurred as a result of the injury is referred to as a head of damage. The following are the potential entitlements that you may be able to claim:
Non-economic loss refers to the injury you sustained that has resulted in the loss of enjoyment of life. This is also sometimes referred to as pain and suffering compensation. Simply, you are entitled to this component purely as a result of the injury you sustained and the loss that transpired which is not financial in nature.
In order to claim this head of damage, you must be assessed in accordance with the relevant guidelines by an approved medico-legal doctor who ascertains that the severity of the non-economic loss is at least 15% of a most extreme case. This requirement is set out in section 16 of the Civil Liability Act NSW. It also states that the maximum amount of damages that may be awarded for non-economic loss is $350,000, but the maximum amount is to be awarded only in a most extreme case.
If you do not exceed the threshold, this does not mean that you are not entitled to compensation. You are still able to proceed with a claim for compensation for economic loss only however your are not entitled to claim non-economic loss.
Your Solicitor should refer you to a medico-legal doctor for an assessment of your whole person impairment. If the assessment satisfies the legislative requirements, your solicitor should serve the of the report of the doctor on the insurer asking they concede that your whole person impairment as a result of the injuries sustained in the subject incident is at least 15% of a most extreme case or a certain percentage. The insurer will generally refer you for an assessment with their medico-legal doctor before making a decision. If the parties agree that your impairment satisfies the requirements, this component of the claim should be factored into your final settlement amount.
Remember, whether you are entitled to non-economic loss will impact on the amount of compensation you receive. You will receive a greater settlement or verdict if it includes a component for non-economic loss.
If you are working at the time of the incident or had intended to commence working, you are entitled to claim loss of earning or earning capacity. Reference to the loss of earning capacity takes into account potential loss. For example, if you had been completing the course at the time of the accident that would have enabled you to have your own business and were unable to complete that due to the injuries sustained in the incident, your loss would be calculated on the basis of your potential earnings as a business owner.
This lump sum factors in actual past out of pocket expenses and proposed future treatment expenses even they are will not be incurred immediately. For example, if your doctor has recommended surgery in the future, the cost of the surgery and related treatment expenses will be accounted for as part of this component.
Personal care and domestic assistance may be provided on a gratuitous or commercial basis.
In order to be entitled to claim compensation for past gratuitous personal care and domestic assistance, you must satisfy the threshold imposed by the civil liability act.
The Act states that no damages may be awarded to a claimant for gratuitous attendant care services unless the services are provided (or to be provided):
(a) for at least 6 hours per week, and
(b) for a period of at least 6 consecutive months.
This limitation does not apply to future care and assistance which is generally claimed on a commercial basis.
The Public Liability Compensation Process
Notify Owner / Occupier
Put the owner/occupier on notice that you intend to make a claim and obtain an incident report and CCTV Footage (if available).
Obtain a report on liability to show why you say the owner or occupier is at fault for your accident and consequent injury.
File a Statement of Claim and Statement of Particulars in Court.
Proceed through the case management process in Court, including arranging the necessary medical assessments in order to prove your injury, and entitlement to non-economic loss, past and future care and assistance, and past and future medical expenses/treatment.
Attempt Dispute Resolution
Participate in an informal settlement conference or mediation with the insurer to attempt to resolve your claim.
If dispute resolution is unsuccessful, proceed to a hearing in Court.
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Frequently Asked Questions.
A claim for personal injury compensation will be made against the driver’s (driver at fault) Compulsory Third Party better known as CTP insurer. You must establish that you have suffered a serious injury (non-minor injury) for example a brain injury and that you have suffered a loss as a result of the car accident.
It is extremely important that investigations commence as soon as a car accident occurs as the new CTP scheme places strict time limits as to when a claim form must be lodged. For this reason, you should contact our law firm immediately after an accident for legal advice.
The CTP insurer will attend to payment of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment, hospital and medical expenses, rehabilitation and medication. In addition, you can claim for loss of earnings, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering as well reimbursement of all your out of pocket expenses relating to your injuries.
A large component of car accident claims is damages (compensation) for non-economic loss that is pain and suffering. The Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 dictates that an injured person is only allowed to claim for pain and suffering if the degree of whole person impairment is more than 10%. The maximum payout that an injured person can claim for pain and suffering is 521,000. This does not include your entitlements for past and future economic loss which is the loss of income.
At Jameson Law, our car accident lawyers guarantee to achieve the best possible outcome for your car accident compensation claim. You may also be eligible to claim for Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) as a result of Motor vehicle accidents claims are taken on a no win no fee basis which means that you will not pay for our legal fees unless we have successfully resolved your matter.
Pain and suffering is proved by medical evidence. This includes clinical notes and reports from treating doctors, diagnostic imaging reports (x-rays, MRIs, CT scans)as well as obtaining reports from doctors who are authorised to comment of the degree of impairment.
The maximum amount of compensation that can be awarded for pain and suffering is $521,000.
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