More than Medical – Compensation Claim Comparisons

Published by Marshall & Gibson Lawyers on the 26 December 2011

If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, suffered an injury at work, or have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible to claim for more than just your medical expenses. Many people who are injured are unaware that they’re entitled to be compensated for loss relating to other factors such as loss of wages, pain and suffering, and even some medical travel costs. While compensation lawyers in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia are qualified to provide the best advice for your individual circumstances, this article is a good starting point for knowing about some other types of compensation payments.

General Damages

General damages, such as those for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, may be available to you if you’ve suffered injury. Non-economic loss based compensation for impairment, pain, and suffering may be available for those injured in a motor accident if the level of their Whole Person Impairment is determined to be 10 per cent or more.

Medical Treatment Expenses

Personal injury or workers compensation lawyers in Sydney and around Australia can assist you with preparing a claim for past and future medical expenses. Some claimants are unaware of the types of expenses they may claim. These can cover the following:

  • General medical treatment expenses;
  • Rehabilitation, including for future and ongoing rehabilitation expenses; and
  • Travel expenses for trips made to and from your doctor’s premises or the hospital.

In cases where worker’s compensation is being claimed for injury at work, your employer may be liable to pay for a range of treatments. These can include physiotherapy, x-rays, pharmaceutical prescriptions, and any other hospital and medical consulting costs.

Medical, treatment, and rehabilitation expenses are those considered ‘reasonable’ and ‘necessary’. What is reasonable and necessary can be evidenced by doctor’s recommendations for treatment. These can cover future medical expenses which are deemed likely to be incurred as a result of the negligence.

Earnings Loss

If you’re injured at work, you’re able to claim weekly compensation payments for any time spent away from work as a result of the injury. For example, if you’re required to rest for two days every week due to the injury, you’ll be paid for the earnings loss for the two days off work.

If the injury means you’re unable to work at all, you’ll be paid weekly payments fixed at your award rate for the first 26 weeks. After the initial 26 weeks, workers will be paid the maximum statutory rate, which your lawyer can advise you about. Casual workers are usually paid an average of their earnings in the 12 months before the accident.

Make-up pay is available to those who earn less after returning to work due to their injury. Your lawyer can advise you on how much make-up pay you’re entitled to have and how it’s capped.

Compensation for earnings loss is also available for motor accident and personal injury claims. Like worker’s compensation, you’ll be able to claim for both past and future economic loss.

Superannuation Entitlements

If you’ve spent time off work due to your injury, you may also be able to claim for loss of superannuation entitlements.

Domestic Assistance

Where domestic assistance is required as a result of your injuries, you may be entitled compensation for the cost of this assistance. As a general rule of thumb, the care should be provided for no less than six months and for no less than six hours each week over that period. Your lawyer can provide you with more information on claiming for domestic assistance.