In Australia, a personal injury claim is when someone seeks legal action after getting hurt physically or emotionally due to someone else’s negligence, mistakes, or purposeful actions. These claims cover various accidents, like car crashes, workplace injuries, medical errors, and incidents involving public places.
To make a personal injury claim, the person who got injured (known as the plaintiff) needs to show that the other party (the defendant) owed them a duty of care and failed to fulfil it, leading to the injury. This breach of duty might be due to carelessness, recklessness, or even intentional harm.
The main goal of a personal injury claim is to get compensation for the damages suffered by the plaintiff. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, rehab costs, and other related losses. The process involves negotiation, mediation, or sometimes going to court, depending on how complicated the case is. Each state and territory in Australia has its own rules and laws about personal injury claims and the compensation available to the injured person.
Personal Injury Law in New South Wales
In New South Wales, the law for Personal Injury is primarily governed by the Civil Liability Act 2002. Even though negligence laws originated from Australian case law, NSW courts are bound by the provisions of the Civil Liability Act 2002 for all claims filed after 20 March 2002. This means personal injury claims must be filed in line with this Act. Luckily, the act covers several things.
What are the steps of a personal injury claim?
- Get Medical Help: First and foremost, take care of yourself and get the necessary medical attention for your injuries. Your health matters the most, and it’s crucial to have proper documentation of your injuries for the claim.
- Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer: Reach out to a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases like yours. They’ll give you advice, check the strength of your claim, and help you navigate the process. Your lawyer will dig into the details, collect evidence, talk to witnesses, and get all the necessary documents like medical records to back up your claim. Lawyers at Jameson Law specialise in all the major areas of Personal Injury law, contact us today to begin a claim!
- Speak to the other party: Your lawyer will send a notice to the person at fault or their insurance company, telling them that you’re seeking compensation for your injuries and losses. Your lawyer will talk to the insurance company and try to work out a fair settlement. They’ll be your advocate and fight for the compensation you deserve.
- Legal Proceedings (If Needed): If negotiations don’t work out, your lawyer might suggest filing a formal court claim.
- Hearing and judgement: If it comes to it, there will be a court hearing where a judge or jury listens to the evidence and makes a decision. If your case is successful, the court will rule in your favour, and you’ll get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
Remember, every personal injury claim is different, so having a lawyer on your side from the start can make a big difference in getting the best outcome for your situation.
What are the time limits for bringing a personal injury claim?
In New South Wales (NSW), Australia, the time limit for a successful claim is generally three years from the date of the accident or incident that caused the personal injury or personal injuries. This means that individuals who wish to pursue personal injury compensation claims must file their claim within three years of the date the injury occurred. This is to prevent backlog in the courts and ensure the most accurate facts to a judge in court proceedings.
It is essential to be aware of the limitation period as failure to file a claim within the prescribed time frame can result in the claim being time-barred, and the injured party may lose the right to seek compensation for their injuries through the legal system.
While in most personal injury cases the injuries sustained are very obvious, If you are dealing with personal injury cases where the personal injury only becomes apparent at a later date, then the date of discoverability becomes an important term to understand. This is applicable when an individual experiences an injury that is not immediately evident.
For example, you could be exposed to a harmful chemical at a work site which only becomes apparent after several months. As such, the date of discoverability commences from the moment the person becomes aware of the injury, which was caused by someone else’s negligent actions. To establish the validity of the date of discoverability and commence court proceedings, the following conditions must be met:
- You should be able to clearly show that the injury happened because of the other person’s fault. If it’s not easy to identify the other person, the Court will figure it out and decide when the discovery date is.
- You need to provide evidence showing how bad the injury is. This is important to make sure the injury is serious enough for you to file a personal injury claim. This might mean showing medical reports or evidence of medical treatment, or the need for future medical treatment.
If you have suffered personal injuries, time is of the essence! For any personal injury compensation and to secure the money for medical treatment, you need to work quickly within the prescribed time limits. Contact Jameson Law today for the help of an expert personal injury lawyer. Our personal injury lawyers will help you through every step of the claim process. Remember, we are in it to win it!
Personal Injury Claim Compensation
Personal Injury Compensation Claims are a complex area of law. It is important to understand what the compensation is supposed to cover. Compensation is to help you cover four different things – medical expenses that you incur as part of any injury, Loss of earnings that you suffer as a result of being injured and unable to go to your job, the physical and psychological suffering that you suffer – many individuals must go to therapy or seek mental health for what they go through – and a general loss of enjoyment in life as a result of your injury.
The compensation amount available in personal injury cases can range from thousands to millions of dollars. The final settlement of the personal injury compensation that you receive will be determined by several factors, such as :
How the injuries were sustained
How much the injuries impact your future work
What you do for work
- Minor injuries that require minimal time off work and a quick recovery period may result in settlements in the tens of thousands, while more serious injuries that entail surgeries, prolonged time off work, or permanent work limitations can lead to compensation reaching hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Here is an example, courtesy of data sourced from SIRA (New South Wales State Insurance Regulation Agency), of what the compensation in the past that has been received has looked like, for some of the major areas.
A Motor vehicle accident :
A personal injury compensation claim relating to a Motor vehicle accident is one of the most common forms of personal injury claims. During the 12 months leading up to April 2023, New South Wales (NSW) saw a total of 11,210 reported motor accident injury claims, resulting in a substantial payout of $1.04 billion in benefits and lump sums. On average, this translates to $92,774 paid out for each new claim that was reported.
Workers compensation :
In the fiscal year 2021-22, New South Wales (NSW) received a total of 100,688 workers’ compensation claims, resulting in a significant payout of $4.57 billion in benefits and lump sums. On average, this amounts to $45,433 paid out for each new claim that was reported.
The payout for medical negligence claims varies greatly based on the circumstances of the particular claim. Medical negligence can be can stem from either incorrectly done medical procedures, giving a patient the wrong care or providing them with a wrongful diagnosis. While the payouts at the high end can be extremely high and given the fact that it is easy to establish the duty of care that a doctor has to their patient, medical negligence cases can be some of the most complex in the entire legal world. This is because you need to have expert knowledge of the medical procedures and the law that surrounds individual treatments.
The compensation amount in medical negligence claims can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances of each case. According to the Australian Government Actuary, most medical negligence claims are settled for less than $100,000. Nonetheless, there are instances where larger claims are settled for $500,000 or even higher. The largest payout ever in Australia was to Zachary Quinn in WA, where he received $9 Million for a botched surgery that resulted in life-changing medical conditions.
As we examine the averages for medical negligence, it’s important to understand that every case is different, and your injury and circumstances may not be the same. Seek legal advice with Jameson Law’s personal injury lawyers for a free consultation on an estimate for the potential compensation claims that you can make today.
Understanding Personal Injury Claims
What happens in a personal injury claim?
The lawyer then talks with the insurance company of the at-fault person to try and agree on a settlement amount. If they can't agree, the claim might end up in court, and a judge or jury will decide how much compensation the injured person should get. If the claim is successful, the injured person can get money to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages caused by the accident.
What are the different types of personal injury claims?
If you're involved in any of these situations, talking to a personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights, figure out if you have a valid claim, and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages
What is personal injury cover?
Personal injury cover in NSW is all about insurance and compensation for people who get hurt because of someone else's mistakes or careless behaviour. For motor vehicle accidents, there's this thing called Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance that helps injured folks with medical bills, rehab costs, and lost income. It's meant to give support to victims and their families while they recover and also make sure those responsible for the injuries take responsibility for their actions.
What are the 3 types of damages?
In personal injury cases in NSW, there are three main types of damages that a person can claim:
- Compensatory Damages: These are meant to cover the actual expenses and losses you faced because of the injury. It includes things like medical bills, rehab costs, lost wages, and other expenses directly related to the injury.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are more for the stuff you can't put a price on, like how much pain and suffering you've been through, emotional distress, and the impact the injury has on your life and relationships.
- Punitive Damages: These are not as common and are given when the person who caused the injury acted recklessly or intentionally. They're more about punishing the wrongdoer and making sure they don't do it again, rather than compensating you directly.
Talking to a personal injury lawyer at Jameson Law can help you understand which damages apply to your case and get the fair compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.