With the introduction of “legal expense insurance” and the “no win no fee” scheme it has become possible for ordinary members of the public in Australia to make a personal injury claim without financial risk to themselves and to receive compensation in full with no deductions. Injuries caused by medical negligence that have happened within the last three years will qualify for a damages award. If you are not sure about your legal rights, you should call a solicitor who will normally give you free initial advice without any further obligation. Most specialist medical negligence compensation claim solicitors have their main offices in the population centres of Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney.
A personal injury claim can be started in many circumstances which involve negligence and subsequent loss including medical malpractice. The basic rule in these cases is that if the injury or loss that you suffered was the result of the negligence of another person who owed you a duty of care then you can make a claim.
Making a personal injury claim could mean more than just getting money. In more serious cases the solicitor for the claimant should make sure that the claimants medical needs are immediately met on a private basis by the negligent third party’s insurers. This also applies to some less serious injuries particularly for physiotherapy. All specialist medical negligence solicitors enjoy access to a network of expert medical consultants who are mostly resident in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney which allows them to arrange appointments at short notice to ensure fast and efficient treatment of injuries. Not only is the patient pleased about being treated with haste, but the third-party insurers may also encourage this mode of action as the patient gets maximum benefits and faster resolution of injuries if they are diagnosed and treated quickly and the early resolution of injury benefits the insurer at the time that damages for personal injury are assessed.
In the past a solicitor was often nothing more than a disembodied voice at the end of the phone however with recent trends, medical negligence lawyers are now more involved with clients which gives them confidence in the ability of the solicitor to really look after their clients’ interests. Most solicitors operate exclusively using the no win no fee scheme. Many pay compensations in full with no deductions. Most claims are totally risk free and, win or lose there is often no charge. You should not be asked to fund or finance your claim as it proceeds other than in exceptional circumstances.
The purpose of a personal injury and medical negligence compensation claim is to put the victim back into the position that they would have been in had the harmful incident not occurred. This represents an attempt by the victim to recover the quality of life enjoyed before the harm occurred by way of monetary damages. Money however is inevitably going to be an inadequate method of compensating for pain and suffering, stress, emotional discomfort, psychological illness or death. Just the inconvenience and pressure of pursuing a claim can aggravate problems and slow down recovery time thereby being self-defeating to some extent.
One of the basic elements of a medical negligence compensation claim is to look at any actual financial losses that may have occurred. Those exactly quantifiable items which do not rely on an assessment are called “special damages” and include the following: –
– Items of specific loss which are usually proved with written estimates, invoices or bills.
– Loss of earnings is a crucial and often very valuable element of damages if the victim’s injuries will prevent return to work temporarily or permanently.
– Medical expenses which are not covered by the NHS.
– Cost of services which includes the cost of hiring a professional caregiver but also applies if the friends and family of the victim were in attendance.
– Expenses stemming from the cost that emerged from living with the disability or injury including special equipment or handicapped facilities of any description.
Another basic element of a medical negligence compensation claim is called “general damages” which represents compensation for items that are difficult to calculate and are thus estimated or assessed on a case by case basis. These include: –
– Pain and suffering of the injury itself including psychological difficulties.
– Loss of amenity which represents loss of the enjoyment of everyday pleasures including pastimes and hobbies.
– Handicap on the labour market that may lower the victim’s ability to earn.
– Inability to return to any pre-accident occupation.
– Loss of pension
– Loss of use of motor vehicle.
There are also several other categories in a personal injury compensation claim that tend to be sub categories of the two above and may have elements of both special damages and general damages. This will include some parts of certain future losses that are based on figures available now but projected into the future. In addition, there is an interest element to consider which is awarded by the court at different rates and for different periods dependent on the actual item of damages being considered.
The most controversial aspect of most personal injury compensation claim settlements revolves around the award of damages for pain and suffering the assessment of which is a fine art. The basis for an award in this category relates to consideration of previously decided cases that are adjusted and updated to fit the circumstances of the injury being considered. Judges have access to all court of appeal records and temper this information with their own experience of many years in a court of law together with consideration of written guidance that is available. The judges mainly sit in Courts situated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney.