If you are injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) in NSW you are able to make a claim for compensatory damages under the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999 (NSW). However, the precise nature of what can be claimed varies with each claimant.
WHAT CAN YOU CLAIM FOR?
Otherwise known as loss for Pain and Suffering or General Damages. This head of damage is only available for claimants who exceed 10% Whole Person Impairment (WPI) as assessed by an Independent Medico-legal Specialist from the Medical Assessment Service (MAS) or by way of agreement. This head of damage compensates a severely injured person for loss of enjoyment of life and for an inability to lead a life equivalent to that prior to the MVA.
Out of Pocket Expenses (Past & Future)
Throughout the course of your claim, the insurer is required to pay for all medical expenses deemed to be reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances, once there has been an admission of liability, either in part or wholly. Accordingly, the insurer will approve funding for medical and rehabilitative treatment expenses. This allows for the treatment provider to invoice the insurer directly rather than requiring you to pay out of pocket.
Further, when your claim reaches settlement or is ready to be assessed, the insurer is required to compensate you for any future medical and rehabilitation expenses that you are likely to incur as a result of your injuries. Your future medical needs are assessed by your treating practitioners, rehabilitation providers and specialists.
Past Economic Loss
If you have been injured in a MVA, it is likely that you have had to utilise your sick, annual or compassionate leave in order to recover and attend rehabilitation treatment. If this has occurred, you are able to claim for the loss of income.
This means that you are able to claim the difference between what you would have earned in the instance that the accident did not occur and what you have actually earned since the accident. Provided that you have attempted to mitigate your losses by seeking out suitable employment or attempting to work around your limitations, you will be able to claim the lost income.
Future Economic Loss
Have your future workplace plans been derailed as a result of your injuries?
This head of damage is assessed by reference to your most likely future earning capacity in contrast to your new earning capacity, post-accident.
Your most likely future earning capacity is deduced by your past actions such as completion of studies, qualifications or trade certificates; and/or your proven work history. In the instance that you are no longer able to pursue that course of employment as a result of your injuries, we calculate the loss that you are likely to incur up until your anticipated age of retirement. Necessary deductions and discounts apply. Ask us for more information.
Domestic Assistance (Past & Future)
Should you be unable to perform your domestic duties in the same manner as prior to the accident you are entitled to compensation for any domestic or attendant care services provided either gratuitously by friends or family or by a commercial provider such as a cleaner or gardener. Note, certain threshold requirements apply.
If you have been offered a lump sum payment by an insurer, DO NOT sign any document unless and until you have sought legal advice. Signing a document may preclude you from future compensation.