Which Personal Injuries Qualify for Accident Compensation Claims?

Best Injury Lawyers Insights  |  April 11, 2024

Have you ever heard of accident compensation claims but felt unsure about what they really mean? You’re not alone. These claims are a way for people who get hurt in accidents—through no fault of their own—to get money to help cover their expenses and losses. But not all injuries automatically mean you can get compensation. It’s key to know which injuries qualify.

Explore different types of accidents you can claim compensation for and get answers to some common questions about the process. Whether you slipped and fell at a shopping mall or got injured at work, understanding your rights is the first step towards getting the help you need.

What is a personal injury claim?

A situation where you’re hurt because of what someone else did or didn’t do, is at the heart of what we call a personal injury claim. It’s about seeking money for the harm done to your body or mind in an accident. Imagine you’re walking down the street, and suddenly, you slip on wet tiles with no warning sign around. You fall and hurt your back. Now, because of someone else’s oversight, you’re in pain and might even need to visit a doctor.

Personal Injury Vs Property Damage Claims

It’s important to know that personal injury claims are different from property damage claims. While personal injury is about the harm to you—like cuts, broken bones, or mental stress—property damage covers harm to your things. For example, if that same wet floor caused you to drop and break your phone, claiming money for the phone would be a property damage claim.

The Purpose of Accident Compensation

So, why do people seek compensation after getting hurt? It’s not just about the money. It’s about getting support for various losses and expenses that pile up because of the injury. Here are a few reasons why compensation is so important:

  • Medical Expenses: From the ambulance ride to hospital stays and doctor visits, getting better can cost a lot. Compensation helps cover these bills.
  • Lost Wages: If your injury keeps you from working, you’re going to miss out on your paycheck. Compensation can fill in these gaps to help you stay afloat financially.
  • Pain and Suffering: Injuries can bring a lot of physical pain and emotional distress. Though it’s hard to put a price on this, compensation aims to acknowledge and alleviate some of that suffering.

Personal injury claims are not just about the injury itself but about the broader impact on your life. Understanding these basics can empower you to seek help and support when you need it most, ensuring that an accident doesn’t have to derail your life more than it has to.

What types of accidents are eligible for compensation claims?

When we talk about personal injuries that qualify for compensation, it’s not just about the injury itself but where and how it happened. Different kinds of accidents can lead to a claim, each with its own rules. Let’s look at the main types of accidents that might entitle you to compensation:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Claims for road accidents can be made under no-fault schemes (where compensation is paid regardless of who was at fault) or at-fault claims (where the responsible party’s insurance pays).

  • Cars: Whether you’re the driver, a passenger, or hit by a car, you might be able to claim compensation. This includes both at-fault and no-fault schemes, depending on where the car accident happened and the insurances you have.
  • Motorcycles: Motorcycle accidents often lead to serious injuries, and you might be entitled to compensation, regardless of fault in some regions.
  • Bicycles: If you’re hit while riding your bike, whether by a car or due to unsafe road conditions, you could have a claim.
  • Pedestrians: Walking and get hit by a vehicle? There are compensation claims specifically for pedestrians injured in such situations.

Workplace Accidents

Workers’ compensation claims help cover medical costs and lost wages.

  • Injuries on the Job: If you’re hurt while working, it’s not just about workers’ compensation. You might have a claim, especially if your employer’s negligence played a part.
  • Employer Negligence: Specific cases where the employer did not provide a safe working environment could lead to a compensation claim (known as a common law claim) beyond standard workers’ comp.

Public Liability Cases

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls: These are common in public places like shopping centres or sidewalks. If the area was unsafe, you might have a claim.
  • Accidents on Private Property: If you’re injured on someone else’s property (that’s open to the public) due to negligence, compensation might be an option.

Medical Negligence

  • Professional Negligence: If a healthcare professional’s care falls below expected standards and causes injury, you could be entitled to claim compensation for the harm caused.
  • Hospital Errors: Mistakes in hospitals, from surgical errors to wrong medication, can lead to claims for medical negligence.

Product Liability

  • Defective Products: If a product is unsafe and causes injury because it’s defective, you might have a claim against the manufacturer or retailer.
  • Unsafe Products: Even if the product isn’t defective, if it lacks proper warnings or instructions and causes injury, there could be grounds for compensation.

Superannuation Claims

Not all injuries fall neatly into the above categories. Superannuation claims cover injuries and illnesses that lead to disability or inability to work, allowing you to access insurance payouts.

These can be particularly complex and cover a range of conditions and circumstances, not strictly limited to physical injuries but also including long-term illnesses or conditions that prevent you from working.

Wrongful Death

This category addresses claims made by the family members or dependents of a person who has died as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act.

Wrongful death claims seek compensation for the financial and emotional losses suffered due to the death. This can include funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.

Wrongful death claims can come from any of the other accident types mentioned above (e.g., motor vehicle accidents, workplace incidents, medical negligence) where the actions or negligence of another party directly lead to the fatal outcome.

The process for these claims involves proving that the death was caused by negligence and that the survivors have incurred significant damages as a result.

Understanding the type of accident you’ve been involved in is the first step towards determining whether you have a valid claim for compensation. Each category has its nuances, and navigating these can be complex. It’s why seeking expert advice can be crucial to ensuring you receive the support and compensation you’re entitled to.

What are the criteria for claiming compensation?

When you’re hurt in an accident and thinking about asking for compensation, there are a few key things you need to know. These are some of the conditions that help decide if you can get compensation and how much it might be.

Causation and Liability

First off, you have to show that the accident is what caused your injury. This means linking your injury directly to the accident and proving it wasn’t because of something else.

Next, you need to figure out if someone else was at fault for the accident. This could be another person, a company, or even a government body. If they didn’t take care to prevent the accident, they might be responsible for your injury.

Severity of Injury

How bad your injury is, and how much it changes your life, plays a big part in your compensation. If your injury is severe, you might need more medical care, might not be able to work as much or at all, and your day-to-day life could be really affected.
The idea is, the more your injury impacts your life, the more compensation you might be able to get. This is to help cover things like ongoing medical bills, lost income, and compensation for the pain and troubles the injury causes.

Time Limits

There’s a clock ticking from the moment you get injured. You only have a certain amount of time to start your claim for compensation. This time limit can vary depending on where you are and what type of claim you’re making.

It’s super important to start your claim as soon as you can. Waiting too long could mean you miss your chance to get compensation.

Understanding these rules—causation and liability, the severity of your injury, and the time limits for making a claim—can help you get a better idea of what to expect when you’re looking for compensation. It’s all about making sure you have the right information and start the process at the right time.

What minor injuries qualify for accident compensation?

Many people think you need to be really badly hurt to get compensation, but that’s not always true. Even minor injuries like sprains, small cuts, or bruises might qualify if they’ve impacted your life or pocketbook in some way. It all comes down to how the injury happened and how it’s affected you.

Can psychological injuries qualify for compensation?

Yes, they can. If an accident has left you with emotional or psychological stress, like anxiety or depression, you might be able to get compensated. This includes both cases where you have physical injuries and the emotional fallout from them, and cases where the psychological impact stands on its own.

How is compensation calculated for different types of injuries?

The amount of money you might get depends on a lot of factors. Think about your medical bills, both now and what you might need in the future. Then there’s money you might have lost because you couldn’t work, plus money for future earnings if you can’t earn as much as before. And don’t forget compensation for the pain and troubles the injury has caused. Each case is unique, so the calculation looks at how your injury specifically impacts your life.

What if the accident was partially my fault?

Even if you were partly to blame for what happened, you might still get some compensation. This is called contributory negligence. Basically, if the accident was 30% your fault and 70% someone else’s, any compensation you get might be reduced by 30% to reflect your part in it. The exact details can get complicated, so it’s important to talk this through with a lawyer.

How can I start my accident compensation claim?

Starting an accident compensation claim can feel like navigating a maze, but breaking it down into steps can help make the process more manageable. Here’s a brief overview to get you started:

1. Seek Medical Attention

Your health comes first. See a doctor for your injuries as soon as possible. This not only ensures you get the care you need but also provides medical records that serve as evidence for your claim.

2. Report the Accident

Depending on the type of accident, report it to the necessary authorities or parties. For workplace injuries, notify your employer. For car accidents, report to the police and your insurance company.

3. Gather Evidence

Collect as much information as you can about the accident and your injuries. This includes photos of the accident scene, your injuries, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation like accident reports or medical records.

4. Keep Track of Expenses

Document all expenses related to your injury, including medical bills, travel costs to medical appointments, and any lost wages. These details are crucial for calculating your compensation.

5. Consult a Lawyer

Speaking with a lawyer who specialises in accident compensation claims can provide valuable guidance. They can assess your case, explain your rights, and outline the best course of action.

6. File the Claim

Your lawyer will help you prepare and file the necessary claim documents. This might involve dealing with insurance companies, workers’ compensation claims officers, or filing a lawsuit in court.

7. Negotiate Your Settlement

Many compensation claims are settled before going to trial. Your lawyer will negotiate with the other party or their insurer on your behalf to reach a settlement that fairly compensates you for your injuries.

8. Trial (if necessary)

If a settlement can’t be reached, your case may go to trial. Your lawyer will represent you in court, presenting evidence and arguing your case to achieve a favourable outcome.

Starting a claim involves a lot of steps and details, but with the right support and preparation, you can navigate the process and seek the compensation you deserve.

Work With the Best to Navigate Your Accident Compensation Claim

From car accidents to slips and trips in public places or workplace injuries, the team here at Best Injury Lawyers has years of experience with the accident compensation process. Combine that experience with our ethos of compassion and perseverance for our clients, and you’ve got the Best at your side throughout your claim process.

Whether the accident just happened and you want to know if you have a claim, or you’re in the middle of a tricky negotiation process, we’re here to help and support you. Reach out to us today and we’ll review your claim at no cost and advise you on the best steps forward.