Need a Workers Compensation Lawyer?
Personal Injury Lawyer – Motor Accident Scheme
In early 2017, the NSW Government passed significant reforms to the CTP scheme under the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017.
This new legislation commenced on 1 December 2017. However, the new legislation will only apply to motor accidents that occur after its commencement.
Some of the major changes include:
- All motorists will now be covered by the new act, regardless of who was at fault
- Any involved party who has ‘minor injuries’ will receive statutory benefits such as medical and commercial attendant care, and loss of income benefits for up to six months
- Under section 1.6(1) of the Act, a ‘minor injury’ is defined as being one or more of a soft tissue injury or a minor psychological or psychiatric injury.
- Drivers and other road users who are moderately injured (whole person impairment of 10% or less), will receive medical and attendant care and loss of income benefits for two years.
A personal injury claim for loss of earnings falls under the category of special damages.
Special damages cover out of pocket expenses such as medical expenses and loss of earnings caused by your injury. This is opposed to general damages which covers pain, suffering and emotional harm experienced due to your injury.
Loss of Earnings Claim
In order to prove your personal injury claim, you must produce evidence to show that there has been a genuine loss of wages. These can be shown through past payslips prior to injury.
Your loss of earnings claim will be determined by the court by calculating your average salary through your net monthly wages over the previous 3 months. This will usually be multiplied by the amount of time you have had off work.
Often, people claim that they would have a received a promotion or pay rise but for the incident occurring. This can be proven through witness statements from their employer or a comparison of promotions and pay rises received by colleagues.
Personal Injury Claim
A question personal injury lawyers are commonly asked is: if I were to pass away before my personal injury claim is finalised, can the estate still recover damages?
The answer is YES – a personal injury claim for damages can be bought on behalf of the estate to recover damages that the deceased would have received.
However, only economic damages can be recovered in this case. These include:
- The loss of earning capacity prior to death;
- Medical and hospital expenses prior to death;
- Damages for gratuitous care services provided prior to death that were both received and provided by the deceased to other individuals; and
- Funeral expenses.
The estate is not able to claim damages for lost earning capacity after the date of death. Additionally, punitive or exemplary damages are not available.
Usually, general damages (non-economic loss damages) are not available. There is however an exception in dust disease cases, whereby the estate can be awarded general damages (such as damages for loss of expectation of life). However, these can only be awarded if the proceedings have been initiated whilst the deceased is still alive.
Personal Injury Lawyer Parramatta – Public Liability Claims
What is a Public Liability Claim?
This includes a claim for damages as a result of personal injuries sustained where you have been injured in a public place, due to the fault of another party. The fault of the other party may be as a result of failing to keep a reasonably safe environment free from slippery surfaces, spilled fluids or any other contaminant.
How long will the claim take?
This can be based on the injuries which are sustained by the victim in the public liability claim. Often, an injured person may take 6 – 12 months following surgery or longer for their injuries to have stabilised to the point where an independent specialist can determine future needs and whether there are prospects of an impact of future work capacity.
Most claims can take at least 18 months – 2 years to resolve after expert medical evidence is exchanged between the parties and genuine attempts made to resolve the claim.
Personal Injury Lawyer – Inadequate medical advice but no causation
In a recent NSW case, the Plaintiff claimed personal injury damages against the Mental Health Unit of a public hospital for failing to provide adequate advice.
The Plaintiff suffered brain damage following a suicide attempt whilst on weekend leave from the hospital. Two prior suicide attempts had arisen in the context of the Plaintiff consuming alcohol and having contact with his former fiance. The Plaintiff had then been transferred involuntarily to the Mental Health Unit.
Through his tutor, the Plaintiff claimed his parents were not warned about the significance of particular stressors to be avoided whilst on leave from the hospital; in particular, that the Plaintiff should avoid alcohol and association with the former fiance. He also claimed that his parents were not provided advice about what to do if they became concerned about his condition.
The Court found that the advice given to the Plaintiff’s parents and a social worker was inadequate and a breach of the duty of care.
If you have been injured and made a workers compensation claim, you may be receiving ongoing weekly payments from a workers compensation insurer.
If the insurer has disputed liability for your claim, you may still be entitled to receive weekly benefits. You can speak to a compensation lawyer who will advise on challenging the insurer’s decision.
Either way, it is important to be aware of the workers compensation law in this area to anticipate how and when your weekly benefits may change over time.
First Entitlement Period
The law states that, where a worker is unable to work in any capacity as a result of their work injury, they are generally entitled to 13 weeks of compensation payments at 95% of their pre-injury earnings. Where the worker is able to work in some capacity during this time, the amount of those earnings will be deducted.
Second Entitlement Period
After 13 weeks, for the second entitlement period of 14-130 weeks, a worker who continues to have no working capacity is generally entitled to weekly payments at 80% of their pre-injury earnings.