If you have sustained an injury at work, in a car accident or due to the negligence, or wrongful act or omission of another, you may be entitled to the following payments, irrespective of fault or responsibility (click on the highlighted terms below to read more):-
· Common Law Damages, which are made up of a number of elements or what we call, "Heads of Damage". The Court allocates an amount of damages for each head of damage. These heads of damage are as follows:
o General Damages - also known as “damages for pain & suffering and loss of enjoyment of life”. This element of your damages is for the pain and restriction you suffer because of your injuries, and how they have impacted upon your pre-injury lifestyle. In Queensland, claims for General Damages in personal injury claims are generally governed by legislation which stipulate limits that can be claimed according to the dominant injury suffered and the extent of injury. To learn more about this and to see how to calculate your damages for General Damages (Pain and Suffering) click on the term Pain & Suffering;-
o Loss of past and future income - If, because of your injuries, you have had to stop work, lost time from work or suffered some other loss of earning capacity, and you have sustained a loss of income due to this, then you are entitled to claim for such loss. And if it is likely that such loss of income is going to continue into the future because of your injuries, then you are also entitled to claim for that future loss;
o Past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses – if you have incurred expenses for medical or rehabilitation treatment, pharmaceuticals, medical aids, ergonomic aids, vehicle or home modifications or any other reasonable out of pocket expense because of your injuries, then you are entitled to claim reimbursement for those expenses. Similarly, if you are likely to incur these types of expenses in the future because of your injuries, then you are also entitled to claim an appropriate sum reflecting the cost of those future expenses;
o Gratuitous or Paid Care and Assistance - If, because of your injuries, you are unable to undertake tasks of daily living such as personal care, transportation or domestic duties (eg. cleaning your home, doing laundry, caring for your lawns and garden or house maintenance), and you did those tasks yourself prior to your injury occurring, then you may be entitled to claim an amount of damages for the care provided to you.
The care can be provided to you by friends, neighbours or relatives, or you may have engaged paid services to undertake the tasks you could not perform yourself due to your injury.
Legislation in Queensland imposes threshold care requirements in cases of motor accident injury or in public liability claims, and there are increased restrictions on care claims when claiming for a work injury. To learn more about what you can claim for in relation to this head of damage in your case, click on the term Paid care and assistance;
o Loss of past and future superannuation benefits – If you have suffered past and future loss of income as a result of your injuries, then you are also entitled to claim for the loss of superannuation associated with such loss;
o Interest – where you have suffered past monetary loss or incurred expenses due to your injuries, then generally at law you are entitled to claim the interest on those losses from the date they occurred to when your claim resolves. In some cases, interest is also payable on past general damages. In most cases of personal injury in Queensland however, interest entitlements are governed by statute.
· If your injury occurred on the way to or from work, during work or in a work break, you may be entitled to Workers' Compensation Benefits (also known as Workcover Benefits or Statutory Benefits) including:
o Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses – This includes such things as the costs of seeing your GP or medical specialists, X-rays, MRIs, scans, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, massage, pharmaceuticals and medical aids such as crutches, wheelchairs, braces, supports, nursing care and domestic assistance etc;
o Wage Benefits -payment of 85% of average base gross wage per week whilst unable to work and in some cases, workers are entitled to full payment of their lost wages where this is stipulated in Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.;
o Other Benefits - eg. the costs for travel to and from treatment and to purchase pharmaceuticals and aids etc.
For more information about workers' compensation benefits go to the following link: Workers' Compensation benefits;
o Lump Sum Compensation– at the end of a workers’ compensation claim, a worker can request their injuries be assessed for permanent impairment. According to that impairment assessment, the injuries sustained in the work event, are allocated a sum of money by way of lump sum compensation for the work injury. This offer will be contained in the Notice of Assessment.
These compensation amounts are usually very low and do not include any compensation for any income the worker has lost or will lose in the future due to their injuries, or any medical expenses they may incur in the future. In most cases, if the worker takes the lump sum offer, then they cannot sue for their injuries and they can make no further workers’ compensation claims for that injury in the future.
It is therefore imperative that you do not respond to any offer of lump sum compensation payments for work injuries unless you have obtained legal advice. If you receive a Notice of Assessment or any lump sum offer from the workers’ compensation insurer, then you need to contact us at The Personal Injury Lawyers on 1300 782 202 to find out what your entitlements are. Alternatively, you can submit one of our claim enquiry forms and we will contact you.
Please note, time limits apply to bringing personal injury claims in Queensland, so it is important you do not delay.
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