When Injured in an Accident, Are You Eligible for "Hidden" Damages?

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Whenever somebody suffers injury through no fault of their own it can be difficult to fully understand the extent of the damage, which can often be hidden from view. If you've been involved in a vehicle accident in such circumstances, then you may have been badly affected and not know where to turn. Australian law does provide you with certain avenues in order to put things right, but you need to be aware of your options. What do you need to consider?

First, the Easy Bit

To begin with, you will need to calculate very carefully the actual losses that you will sustain as a result of this incident. In other words, it won't be that difficult for you to figure out how many days you may miss at work, based on your rate of salary. You'll also be able to tally up any hospital bills, or any other direct costs linked to your injuries.

What About Other Suffering?

However, it becomes a lot more difficult to calculate what type of compensation you should receive as a result of pain and suffering, both physical and mental and any issues that you're likely to face going forward.

In legal terminology, these are called "non-pecuniary" losses and also known as general damages. They are intangible because they are very difficult to calculate, but certain rules are set down to help you figure something out.

What's Covered?

Regulations divide non-pecuniary losses into five different categories. Firstly, you should think about compensation for the suffering and pain that you endure as a consequence of the accident (not including the direct cost of any treatment). Then, you can claim for the fact that you cannot enjoy participating in life so much any more due to restrictions caused by your injuries. If it can be shown that you are likely to live a shortened life as a result of injuries, then you can put this forward for compensation, and, finally, if you find that you are now suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental illness, you can claim for that.

How Are Figures Determined?

It can be difficult to determine exactly what you are eligible for, especially as the law sets particular thresholds (or limits) against any financial payout. These limits may also change each year and there is quite a spread between the minimum payout and maximum amount of compensation. You need to remember that your claim must be greater than the minimum threshold, or it will not be considered in a court.

How to Navigate the Maze

In order for you to achieve the maximum amount of compensation for your non-pecuniary losses, you should get in touch with a personal injury lawyer, for support.