Not at fault? You may have a claim
Being injured means that you may not be able to work and do the things you love, not to mention the ongoing medical expenses relating to the injury. Personal Injury claims exist to compensate you for loss of income, medical expenses and emotional distress. If you get injured and you believe someone else is at fault, then you may have a Personal Injury compensation claim.
In order to establish that you have a claim you need to show:
- You have experienced significant loss or damage as a result of the injury
- The loss or damage can be put in dollar amount
- That another person’s actions or inactions were the cause of your injury
A Personal Injury lawyer deals with cases specifically to do with Personal Injury. They help their clients claim compensation, or defend their client against a claim for Personal Injury. Rose Lawyers have helped many clients in Melbourne in civil litigation, including Personal Injury claims.
Call us today on 03 9878 5222 to find out how we can help you.
What is Personal Injury?
Personal Injury refers to physical or mental harm to you as a result of someone else’s actions or inaction. In other words, someone else’s negligence was the cause of your injury.
Injuries can happen at work, in public and sometimes even in your own home. The broad nature of Personal Injury means that each claim will be treated differently, and may be covered by a variety of Victorian laws including the Wrongs Act 1958, Workplace Injury and Compensation Act 2013 and the Transport Accident Act 1986.
Such injuries could include broken bones, repetitive strain injuries, collisions, post-traumatic stress and anxiety. In order to successfully claim compensation for the injury, you need to prove you have suffered significant damages. This could be loss of work, income or being out-of-pocket for medical expenses.
Examples of Personal Injury
When it comes to Personal Injury, every case is unique in some way—whether it’s the type of injury, who is at fault and the extent of damages suffered. Below are some examples where a person may have a Personal Injury claim, due to the damages suffered as a result of someone else's negligence.
Please note that these examples are fictional
Sarah’s bad fall
"I was walking down the street when I tripped over, fell and broke my wrist. I had tripped because the roots of a tree had caused a section of the footpath to rise up and become uneven."
Greg’s bicycle collision
"I was riding my bike along a road and a car tried to turn into a driveway in front of me. I didn’t have time to stop or move and the car hit my front tyre and sent my flying. My left leg is now broken as a result of the accident. This is a problem because I’m a truck driver and operate big rig trucks. My doctor says I can’t work for at least 4 to 6 months."
Caroline’s office strain
"I work in an office and spend most of my time typing or on the phone. A little while ago, I started to get this really strong pain in my neck and shoulder. It’s gotten worse to the point that I can hardly move and I’m in constant pain. I can’t go to work because I can’t drive and even walking is too painful."
Juilo’s operation complication
"I recently had a minor operation on my eye. I was awake for the whole thing, but my eye and the surrounding areas were numb. The doctor put a sterile paper mask over the area for the operation. When the doctor was finishing up, the machine he was using caused the paper mask to catch on fire. I lost my eye lashes and eyebrows and now I am partially blind in one eye."
Danny’s exercise machine mishap
"I decided it was time to get into shape, so I purchased an expensive exercise machine. There were lots of instructions and I had someone from the store come and set it up for me. While using one section to strengthen my biceps, I was pulling a cord attached to a handle when I heard a ‘snap’. The cord flew at me and hit me in the ribs, leaving a massive gash that required fourteen stitches."
Tracy’s bungee accident
"I was at a shopping centre with my daughter, waiting in line for our turn at bungee jumping. We got to the top and were next in line. The person in front dived off the platform when one of the cords snapped and came rocketing back up towards us. The carabineer clip on the end of the cord hit my daughter in the face and had to be surgically removed. She now has lost vision in one eye and is partially deaf in one ear. We aren’t sure if there’s any brain damage yet."
Joey’s criminal encounter
"I work at a take away food shop. Last month, I was working the late shift alone when a man came in with a crowbar. He demanded money from the register as well as any 'hidden stuff'. As I was getting the cash out of the till I told him there wasn’t anything else. He told me that he knew we had the large notes hidden under the sauces holder because he used to work there. He then assaulted me and broke my jaw. Since then I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and am too afraid to leave the house in case something like this happens again."
Leon’s workplace hazard
"I work in an office where I am the only male employee. Right from the beginning, my boss has been very “touchy-feely”. It made me a bit uncomfortable, but I put up with it. Now the other women in the office are acting the same way, and recently they have all started touching my genitals and backside. I’m so stressed I don’t want to go to work. I spend all day on edge, trying to keep away from these people."
Bec’s renovation nightmare
"I hired an electrician to put some down-lights in the living room. Once he did those, I decided I wanted some mounted wall lighting in the same room. The electrician started working, but then had to get something from the shops. He had left a live wire hanging from one of the wall mounts and my four year old son grabbed it. He now has extensive burns to his body and will be in hospital for some time."
Diane’s workplace discrimination
"I have been a receptionist for many years, but about seven months ago I had a stroke. The stroke made one side of my face appear droopy. Yesterday, my boss told me that clients have been complaining about my appearance, saying I look “scary”. He said he would find work for me to do out the back, but if there isn’t enough I might have to cut down my hours or, in the worst case, he may have to fire me. I felt so victimised and burst into tears."
Do I have a claim?
The scope and variety of the above examples demonstrate the range of possible claims that could be considered for Personal Injury. The success of a claim depends on the injury you have sustained and the circumstances of the case. The key point is that you need to prove that you have sustained significant damages as a result of someone else.
In the above examples, if instead of breaking her wrist, Sarah only got a fright from her fall, there would be no sustainable injury and no claim. Similarly, if Julio did not sustain permanent damage to his eye as a result of the operation mishap, there may be no claim beyond the hospital’s expenses, which may be refunded.
In these cases, even though someone may have wronged Sarah and Juilo, no injury is preventing them from doing something, and there are no out-of-pocket expenses. Therefore they have no claim to compensation as a result of Personal Injury.
What about ‘pain and suffering’?
You may be thinking that your injury is the resulting pain and suffering from having to deal with the problem or accident. Though there is no physical injury in such a case, you may still have a Personal Injury claim if you believe this suffering has been significantly damaging.
However, ‘pain and suffering’ alone is hard to prove, and even harder to quantify. The fact is that levels of pain and suffering can be different for different people, and the damage experienced is difficult to quantify in exact dollar terms.
What should I be doing?
If you believe that you have sustained injury as a result of someone else and require compensation, then you need to:
- Act quickly and seek advice early
- Don’t quickly apologise or admit fault
- Document everything
- Keep all receipts
In order to get the best chances for compensation you will need keep information surrounding the circumstances of your injury, including any costs, conversations or photographs.
We can help. Call us today
A key part of a successful personal injury claim is to seek advice as early as possible. Legal advice will help you understand your options, identify risks, and help guide your decision making to achieve the best possible outcome.
To be successful in a Personal Injury claim, you need to establish that you have experienced loss or damage as a result of an injury, and that the injury was the fault of someone else. You must also be able to put a dollar amount on your loss or damage.
At Rose Lawyers, we offer a free 15 minute phone consultation to prospective clients. We can discuss your legal options with you and get you on the right path towards compensation.
Call Rose Lawyers today on 03 9878 5222 to schedule your phone consultation.