|If your personal injury claim is successful and, you would ultimately be entitled an Award, the components of which are set out in more detail as follows:
- Pain and suffering compensation
This area of your claim is also known as general damages and attempts to compensate you for the damage done to your body and the pain suffered; both from a physical and emotional standpoint. In order to assess this loss, we obtain reports your treating doctors, specialists and the doctors qualified by this firm. It may also be necessary to obtain proofs of evidence from family members and friends as to their recollection of what you were like before the accident compared to the way you are post-accident.It is in the interests of a Plaintiff to keep an exercise book or diary that they complete either daily or weekly noting the following:-
- the activities that you were unable to perform due to pain and discomfort in the preceding week;
- the activities that you were only able to perform with pain and discomfort in the preceding week;
- the medication consumed including the cost and frequency;
- the days and times you worked including the nature of the work that you performed, i.e., light or restricted duties or full duties;
- if you left employment and the reasons why.
The maximum amount payable for pain and suffering is presently $350,000.00 which is reserved for injuries of the gravest conceivable kind. Any Plaintiff who is not catastrophically injures, will receive damages representing a proportion of a most extreme case.In order to qualify for pain and suffering compensation under the Civil Liability Act we must build up your case through the evidence of the medical professionals and lay witnesses to establish that your condition constitutes at least 15% of a most extreme case. We have the skills and experience to ensure that the correct assessment of your injuries is carried out and the right result is achieved at Court.
- Past wage loss
This is the amount of money lost from the date of the accident to the date of trial due to your inability to attend employment.In order to assess the past wage loss, we will write to your employer at the time of the accident and any subsequent employer to obtain details of your absences and the like together with comparable employee records.It is essential when attempting to prove past wage loss, that we provide the insurer with copies of your taxation returns from five (5) years prior to the date of the accident until the date of trial. In this regard, we must provide the whole of the taxation return not merely your group certificates or notices of assessment.
Should you not be employed at the time of the accident, it may still be possible to claim for past wage loss. When your medical condition permits you to apply for work, you should make such applications keeping a note of the following:-
- the name and address where you apply;
- the name of the person to whom you speak;
- the response given.
- If possible, please obtain a letter or card from each place where you apply.
- Future wage loss
If you have suffered loss in the past, it is reasonable to assume that that loss will continue in the future and we attempt to project that loss into the future based on your past loss and with the use of comparable earnings.In this regard, it may be necessary to engage the services of specialised accountants and litigation support services to calculate that loss in conjunction with our firm. In our experience the cost of engaging such expert services is warranted with the result achieved. We would point out that should you be entitled to a future loss of wages, the past loss is not merely projected forward on a weekly basis but rather tables are used to project this amount forward taking into account the vicissitudes of life. This amount then tends to be less than by just projecting forward. It is a legal requirement of bringing the value of future income to present day values and is enshrined in the Civil Liability Act. As you can appreciate, $100.00 today for example is worth more than $100.00 in five years time.As an alternative, there may be a general diminution in your earning capacity, that is, in the future it may become more difficult for you to perform the same work procedures and a loss may be claimed on that basis.
If your claim involves wage loss and we ultimately need to engage the services of a specialised accounting group we will endeavour to assist you by engaging the services of a forensic accountant on a No Win – No Charge basis.
- Medical treatment expenses
You are entitled to claim for your past expenses, however, all of these expenses must be documented. If attending a medical provider, for whom you pay, please ensure that you keep the receipt. If you do not pay, please ensure that you provide our firm with the name and address of the provider so that we may ascertain the amount outstanding prior to settlement conference or hearing.With regard to medication expenses, it may be of assistance if you attend the same chemist on each occasion that you have a script filled or buy medication so that a printout can be obtained prior to hearing indicating the frequency of prescriptions and the amount.Again, with precise documentation as to past expenses, it is possible with the assistance of medical reports indicating the need for future medication, to project this loss forward. You should therefore ask your medical providers to send to our law firm regular updated medical treatment accounts and if you hold any accounts and/or receipts you should forward them to us regularly. Immediately prior to the end of your claim, we will contact each of your medical providers, assuming that we have been given notice by you of their names and addresses, and ask them for the balance of accounts outstanding for presentation to the Court and/or insurer. If we become aware that the insurance company is prepared to attend to payment of your treatment costs prior to the conclusion of your claim, we will immediately advise you.
- Gratuitous services
If you are unable to care for your home, yourself or family due to your injuries and disabilities, you may be entitled to a claim for the services provided by other persons. This aspect of your claim is more tedious to recover and it is essential that you keep careful notes of the following:
- the name of the person assisting;
- the number of hours each day that the assistance is provided;
- the nature of the duties performed by the person assisting.
- You might care to keep these details in an exercise book or diary so that it can be easily furnished when called upon.
- Interest on past wage loss
The court is also entitled to award interest on past wage loss.
- The Fox v Wood Component
The further component applies if your claim involves the recovery of damages for an injury which was previously being covered under workers compensation legislation. In those circumstances, you will be entitled to seek recovery of the totality of tax that that was paid on the gross value of all your previous workers compensation payments.
- Legal costs- We have a No Win – No Fee policy
If your claim proceeds to Hearing or Arbitration and you are successful, you will receive an amount for your legal costs payable by the Defendant(s). As regards legal costs, if you recover more than $100,000.00 from the Defendant, any litigant that is successful recovers the majority of all of their legal costs from the losing party, but not the totality of their legal costs. You would be entitled to party/party legal costs on an ordinary basis and this usually represents approximately 70% of your true legal costs. The gap is paid from the verdict or settlement monies received by you. Prior to any hearing or settlement conference however, we will provide you with a detailed account of all legal costs and disbursements and the likely net result you will achieve from any verdict or settlement. This is a matter that is applicable to all cases not simply personal injury compensation claims. It applies to all matters run before any civil court in New South Wales.