If you have suffered a personal injury and can show that the injury was caused by someone else’s actions, you might have a claim for ‘damages’.
But what are damages and how are they calculated? We’ll break it down for you.
If you believe you have a case for claiming damages, contact us to discuss your options.
What are damages?
A personal injury claim involves injury to someone’s body, mind or emotions (physical and psychological injury). It also includes fatal injuries.
Damages – or compensation – is the money awarded to cover expenses and losses suffered as a result of that injury. The goal of the compensation is to return the injured person to the position they were in before the injury – to the extent that’s possible.
There are general damages that compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. This is especially relevant in serious accidents, which can cause long-term damage and chronic pain, and reduce enjoyment of life for many years.
There are also special damages that cover monetary loss, including:
• past and future medical expenses
• lost past and future earnings
• the cost of domestic care and household assistance
• home modification expenses.
How damages are calculated
The amount of damages or compensation you can receive depends on many factors, including:
- the extent and nature of your injuries
- your quality of life before and after your injury
- the expenses you have paid – and will continue to pay – due to the injury.
The more severe or life-changing your injury, the more compensation you may be awarded.
Some damages are easy to calculate, like medical bills and home care. But others, like pain and suffering, are more complex.
Calculation of pain and suffering considers things like age, life expectancy, pre-existing conditions, loss of life enjoyment and more. The assessment is different in every state.
In Queensland, there is a scale of injury from 0 to 100. Your injury severity is given an Injury Scale Value (ISV), based on type, severity and impact on your life. The amount you can claim is determined by the personal injury law that applies (e.g. workers compensation law, motor accident law, public liability law).
In NSW, injury severity is given a percentage, as assessed by a medical professional. You’re awarded compensation based on the specific percentage of impairment you’ve suffered.
Proving your injury severity
You will need as much evidence as possible to receive the damages you’re entitled to.
Keep all receipts and paperwork for expenses you’ve paid, including medication and treatment. And obtain medical reports and other documentation that shows the extent of your injury, and pain and suffering, and it’s impact on your life.
Getting a settlement
Be aware that a final personal injury settlement is ‘once and for all’. You won’t be able to make any later claims for injuries or symptoms due to the accident. So it’s important not to settle a personal injury claim without getting expert advice from a legal professional.
How can Main Lawyers help?
If you believe you’re entitled to damages from a personal injury, schedule a free consultation with our personal injury lawyer. They will listen to what’s happened, consider whether you have a case and advise you of your options.
We also offer a no-win no-fee service for all Gold Coast, Brisbane and Northern NSW residents. So you won’t pay professional fees for our services unless you win your case or settle it.
Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation about how we can help!