Cairns Injury Lawyers | Injury Lawyers
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Who can make a public liability claim, and what can I claim for?

Who can make a public liability claim?

Anyone who is injured can make a claim for compensation. Whether such claim will be successful depends on:

  • your ability to demonstrate that a third party is legally responsible for your injuries (what is often referred to as liability)
  • demonstrating that you have suffered loss and damage (financial or otherwise) arising from the injury.

In certain circumstances, a financial dependent of a person who has been killed can also make a claim for compensation (under a “Lord Campbell’s Action”).

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What can I claim for?

You are entitled to compensation under various categories of damage, known as “heads”. You can generally claim for any type of loss that you have suffered as a consequence of your injury.

Courts will calculate appropriate compensation based on factors like the type of injury sustained, the degree of impact it has had upon your life, your pre-injury lifestyle, your employment, and any ongoing needs you will have as a result of your injuries.

Detailed below are the categories of damages.

General damages/loss of amenity of life/pain and suffering

General Damages is the compensation you receive for the pain and suffering, or loss of quality of life that you have incurred as a result of your injury.

Past economic loss

Past economic loss is the financial loss (usual in the form of lost wages) that you have suffered from the date of the injury to the date that compensation becomes payable (i.e. at the compulsory conference/mediation or at a trial).

In cases where you are self-employed, it is quite common for the past economic loss to be measured not by the loss of your wages, but by the amount of additional wages or sub-contracting costs that you have incurred in employing a third party to do tasks that you would have otherwise done yourself.

Future economic loss

In almost every case, future economic loss is the most significant portion of any compensation that you receive. Determining future economic loss is quite complicated, but in broad terms it involves assessing the likely economic impact that your injuries will have on your financial circumstances for the rest of your life.

Past special damages

Special damages is the out of pocket costs that you have incurred (or that a third party has paid on your behalf) for medical treatment relating to your injury.

Future special damages

Future special damages is the likely future out-of-pocket costs that you will have for your injury-related medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Past and Future Gratuitous Care and Assistance

In circumstances where your loved ones have had to provide care and assistance to you following your injury, you may be entitled to claim compensation for both past and future “gratuitous care and assistance”

Legal costs

In certain cases, you are entitled to claim back a portion of the legal costs you incurred in the claim process. The amount that you recover will depend on the nature and extent of the legal expense, and the appropriateness of such expense. 

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