If you have suffered an accident or injury in a public place, whilst visiting private, commercial or government premises, or perhaps as a contractor going about your work, you may very well have a personal injury claim and be entitled to compensation. Here are just a few of the injury circumstances which may entitle you to such compensation:
- Slip and fall accidents (ie. slipping and falling on a footpath, or in a supermarket, shopping centre or business centre);
- Accidents in retail stores or commercial or government buildings;
- Accidents at private residences;
- Accidents at schools or in parks or playgrounds;
- Injuries due to defective or faulty products;
- Dog attacks;
- Equestrian accidents;
- Boat, jet ski and other marine accidents;
- Train, tram and light rail accidents;
- Injury suffered by an independent contractor on a work site;
- Construction site accidents;
- Mining accidents or injury whilst working in a mine;
- Injury in host employment or whilst working through a labour hire company.
What compensation can you claim?
If it can be proven that your injury has resulted from the wrongful or negligent act or omission of another party, you may be entitled to the following compensation:
- Compensation for pain and suffering and loss of your amenities of life;
- Loss of earnings (including loss of past and future income and loss of superannuation payments);
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses you have incurred and are likely to incur in the future;
- Care costs (including past and future care);
- Out of pocket expenses;
- Interest on out of pocket expenses, past care & assistance, and past lost income (including past lost superannuation);
- In some cases, you will be entitled to claim workers' compensation benefits, including lost wages and medical & rehabilitation expenses.
Accidents or injury resulting from the wrongful or negligent act of another party, not falling within the province of motor vehicle or work accidents, are usually referred to as “public liability claims” or "PIPA claims". This is because these types of claims are governed by the provisions of the Personal Injury Proceedings Act 2002 (also known as “PIPA”) in Queensland. To pursue your public liability or PIPA claim and ensure it is protected, you must comply with the procedural provisions as stipulated in PIPA. The Personal Injury Lawyers have a team of personal injury lawyers who specialise in PIPA claims and can guide you through the legal processes involved in such claims to ensure your claim is protected and you receive the compensation and damages you deserve under such legislation and at Common Law.
The Civil Liability Act 2003 (also known as the “CLA”) and associated Regulations govern the awards of damages in relation to pure PIPA claims in Queensland. Navigating the provisions of the Civil Liability Act 2003 can be quite complex and it is therefore important that you obtain legal advice in respect to what compensation entitlements you may have under such legislation and, most importantly, whether your claim is one in fact governed by, and therefore restricted by, the Civil Liability Act. The Personal Injury Lawyers will be able to provide you with this advice.
When can you claim workers' compensation benefits?
If your injury occurred on your way to or from work, during the course of your work or during a work break, you are most likely entitled to claim workers' compensation benefits (or Workcover Statutory Benefits as they are also known), whilst you are recovering from your accident injuries. For more information on what such benefits mean to you, click on the term workers' compensation benefits.
What compensation or damages will you receive for your claim?
Injuries affect everyone in different ways. A minor injury to some, may impact upon another person to a much greater extent. The purpose of compensation is to compensate an injured party for the loss and damage they have suffered and are likely to suffer in the future, as a consequence of the injury. The more the injury or injuries impact upon your pre-accident lifestyle and employment, the more compensation you will receive.
Because of the subjective nature of compensation and damages payments for personal injury claims under Queensland law, it is not possible to state a specific compensation for a certain injury. It will depend on what loss and damage has been suffered and is likely to be experienced in the future because of the injury. Some of the more dominant factors that impact upon compensation payments are the extent of the injury sustained as well as the age, occupation, recreational interests and health of the injured party at the time of the accident occurring.
However, to give you an indication of the average compensation and damages payments made by insurers in Queensland for personal injury claims during recent years, according to available statistical data*, we provide the following:
- Motor Accident Claims:
- The average claim payment for minor injury was around $70,000;
- The average claim payment for moderate injury was around $140,000;
- The average claim payment for serious injury was around $300,000;
- The average claim payment for severe injury was around $520,000;
- The average claim payment for critical injury was around $1,853,200.
- Work Injury Claims:
- The average claim payment for minor injury (0% work related impairment assessed) in 2013 was between $160,000 to $260,000;
- The average claim payment for more serious injury (5 to 10% work related impairment assessed) in 2013 was between $213,000 to $468,000;
- Average overall claim payment in 2014 was around $182,500.
However, these are purely calculated on average claim payments, and every case is different. For example, in the case of Austin v Parmalat Australia Ltd (2013)QSC 227, Mr Austin sustained a minor head injury however, the impact of the injury upon Mr Austin’s employment and occupation as a truck driver was such that he was awarded damages of $1.052 million dollars for his claim. And more serious injuries will of course result in damages awards of greater than this, as in the case of Mr Lamble who suffered a moderate head injury as he was standing on the periphery of a brawl at a Gold Coast nightclub, and was awarded damages of $1.4 million (Howl at the Moon Broadbeach v Lamble (2014) QCA 74), or in the catastrophic injury case of Susan Delaney, who sustained extreme head injuries in a motorcycle accident leaving her in a vegetative state, resulting in a damages payment of over $9,000,000 by the insurer AAMI (Delaney v AAMI (2013) QSC).
Of course, in cases of very serious injury and catastrophic injury such as brain injury, paraplegia or amputation injury for example, compensation will be much higher than the average claim payments discussed above, most likely resulting in compensation payments involving multi-millions of dollars.
Lifetime care and support under the National Injury Insurance Scheme
If you suffer catastrophic injury in a car accident, work related incident, through a medical mishap or some other accident, then under the National Injury Insurance Scheme, you may be entitled to lifetime care and support. The type of support provided under the scheme is in relation to healthcare (medical, rehabiliation & dental), medical aids, pharmaceuticals, home and vehicle modifications, and domestic and attendant care.
Injuries that are considered to be "catastrophic injuries" under the NIIS are the more seriously debilitating injuries such as, traumatic brain injury, severe burns, serious spinal cord injuries, permanent blindness and multiple amputation injuries.
The NIIS is a no fault scheme and available to all ages. In relation to motor accident injuries, the scheme comes into effect as at 1 July 2016. There is also some indication that those who suffer catastrophic injury from work accidents will also be able to take advantage of the scheme from 1 July 2016, although there is still some uncertainty in this regard. In relation to injuries sustained from other accidents or medical negligence, it is expected those streams of the NIIS will be implemented over the next 3 years.
To learn more about the NIIS, go to the link: What is the National Injury Insurance Scheme.
The Personal Injury Lawyers are specialists in public liability claims
The Personal Injury Lawyers have a team of personal injury lawyers, headed up by Accredited Specialists in Personal Injuries Law, who specialise in public liability and PIPA claims and can assist you with your enquiries all on a NO WIN NO FEE* basis. We will provide you with a free appraisal of your claim in a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION* with one of our specialist trained personal injury lawyers specialising in public liability and PIPA claims.
The Personal Injury Lawyers have their head offices in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast and offices throughout Queensland, including the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Longreach, Emerald, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns, where you can visit us. But don't worry if your injury or your lifestyle makes it difficult for you to come to us. We can come to you, or alternatively, you may prefer to communicate with us via telephone, email or skype. The Personal Injury Lawyers are set up to meet all your communication needs.
Under the law that regulates public liability or PIPA claims in Queensland, STRICT TIME LIMITS APPLY in relation to placing the party at fault on notice of your claim and for pursuing Common Law Damages. If you fail to comply with such time constraints, it may very well result in you not being able to proceed with your claim. You should contact The Personal Injury Lawyers to see what compensation rights you do have in relation to your injury and how to protect such rights.
For FREE LEGAL ADVICE* concerning whether you have a claim to pursue, contact our personal injury solicitors at The Personal Injury Lawyers on 1300 782 202 (available outside normal business hours)or submit this Free Appraisal Form.
If you would simply like to know more about public liability claims or PIPA claims, you can request one of our FREE Claim Information Packs which will provide you with more information about your claim and what steps you need to take to protect and pursue your personal injury claim, by submitting your Request for Claim Information Pack.
* Click each term below to view the definition:
* Statistical data supplied by Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) & QComp (Workers' Compensation Regulator) for 2014/2015