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Compensation Law

Compensation law is designed to assist the recovery of those who have suffered injury, damage and/or loss through various circumstances by reimbursing expenses, providing medical services and care, and/or awarding monetary sums. As your compensation lawyers our aim is to ensure that you receive your full entitlement to compensation as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Purpose of compensation law

For centuries, common law (made by courts) has recognised that you should receive compensation for loss suffered because of someone else, if they had a duty to be careful to avoid that suffering. This is not a windfall, but an attempt to put you back in the position you would have been in, had it not been for someone else’s wrongdoing.

In more recent times, various governments have stepped in to pass legislation and introduce schemes to regulate compensation law. Some of these initiatives aim to cap the amount that can be received in compensation, or to streamline a process so that the courts are not clogged with compensation cases that drag on for years. Broadly speaking, governments have been concerned to prevent common law compensation from stifling business and community activities. If, for instance, there was no regulation of compensation following a motor vehicle accident, this could increase insurance premiums to unsustainable levels.

Nevertheless, the basic premise remains that if you suffer a loss due to someone’s carelessness and they had a duty to be careful, the person responsible for that loss must do what is possible to make you whole again.

Areas of compensation

You can be injured or suffer loss in almost any area of life. Areas where we can help you seek compensation include when you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, in a public place, at work, or while receiving medical treatment.

In each case, someone had a duty to take care (a duty owed to you by other drivers, the owner/occupier of premises, your employer, or your medical provider). If they fail in their duty and you are injured, they are responsible for making things right. In some cases, even if no one else was to blame for your injury, you can still receive compensation.

Unfortunately, compensation law is not straightforward in any area. Depending upon where the injury occurred, whether or not you were at fault, and your degree of injury, you may be eligible under multiple schemes. Some of these schemes are mutually exclusive (so if you go down one path, you cannot go down another), and each has pros and cons that a lawyer can explain.

For instance, in the case of a motor vehicle accident, you can access compensation under insurance schemes such as Compulsory Third Party or Lifetime Care and Support. However, these amounts are capped, and the eligibility rules are stricter than the laws of negligence. You can also apply for common law damages for negligence, where you seek compensation through the courts, which can yield a much larger payout but will likely take significant time, stress, and expense.

If you have been injured in a public place, at work, in a motor vehicle accident or other situation, it is important to obtain legal advice quickly so you are aware of your rights and entitlements and the appropriate claim can be made. In every case, you need to be very careful that you do not sign away your rights to compensation under one scheme and accept a lesser amount. Generally, only you and your lawyer are focused on ensuring that you receive everything you should.

What is now becoming more common, is you claiming compensation for essentially any circumstances leading to an injury and this is by using your superannuation policy, if you have taken out total permanent disability and/or income protection policy. Not many people are aware of this type of a claim, but it can now often provide you with a higher level of financial protection than other historical paths of claiming compensation.

If you need assistance, contact [email protected] or call 02 9386 5888 for expert legal advice.

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