Things to Know About Assessing Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims are made by injured parties to recoup the costs incurred as a result of the injury they have endured. Depending on the injury, its severity and the lack of earning capacity and quality of life in the future, the claimant may also be awarded funds to assist with impending expenses.

If you have suffered an injury and want to lodge a claim, a personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you with what can sometimes be a complex and time-consuming process. It is important to be open and honest with the lawyer so that they can help you determine what type of claim you should be making, to ensure you can recoup as much money as possible and, depending on your claim, costs to assist you in the future.

The way claims are assessed will vary from case-to-case, but an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to put together a claim that details the exact losses incurred so that you can be made whole again financially.

So, what type of information should you provide to help your lawyer make the strongest case possible? Here are some examples.

Details of your income and what you stand to miss out on

When your earning capacity is being assessed, there is a range of factors that should be considered to ascertain the whole amount of lost earnings for the time off work due to injury as well as future lost earnings. To find this figure, it isn’t as simple as adding together existing pay slips, although these are a great place to start to prove your past earnings. Your week-to-week or month-to-month salary doesn’t provide the full picture of your earning capacity, however, so certain other elements will need to be considered to understand the extent of the loss.

These elements may include:

  • Your tenure and your capacity for pay increases;
  • Industry based factors, including changes to industrial awards; and
  • Other economic factors.

Additionally, information will be assessed from various sources regarding salaries based on employment contracts, surveys, statistics and statements from other employees.

Tax considerations

It is a personal injury lawyer’s aim to restore you to the same financial position you would have been in had you not endured the accident. Any lump-sum payments you receive in relation to your personal injury claim are not taxable once you have received them.

Therefore, for you to be able to return to the financial position you would have been in had you not endured the injury, you will need to factor in your after-tax income from before the accident and provide the correct figures to your personal injury lawyer so they can prepare the claim correctly.

Other areas where a financial loss may occur

While the loss of income on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis can be hugely detrimental to a person’s livelihood, further losses can also occur as a result of an injury. These can include a loss of superannuation, the cost of additional or modified transport and the cost of paying for a carer or additional assistance with day-to-day tasks.

Where and how the injury came about will also play a part in determining how your claim is assessed, so again, it is crucial that you provide your personal injury lawyer with as many details as possible.

As no two claimants’ circumstances are the same, each claim will need to be considered based on the individual facts for each person. The more information you provide your lawyer with, the more complete your claim will be and the more thoroughly it can be assessed.

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