What is Personal Injury?
If you are injured in a private or public place and or as a result of another person’s actions you could be entitled to compensation.
There are different types of personal injuries you can claim. These include injuries caused by slips and falls, medical negligence, intentional harm and motor vehicle accidents.
The key is first showing a duty of care exists. In many circumstances, the law says the duty exists because of the type of relationship eg landlord – tenant, doctor – patient, shopping centre owner – shopper. In other circumstances, not as well known, you can still prove a duty exists based on the specific facts of the injury.
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When you suffer an injury it can be an extremely stressful time for you and your family, both physically and financially.
It can be difficult to find out the full extent of your rights and the best way forward. At Adelaide Legal, we provide you with sound legal advice and the positive assistance required to achieve the best possible result for you. It’s not always easy to discuss personal issues, worries and concerns with a stranger, but our friendly lawyers know this and do all they can to become part of your support network.
Types of Personal Injury services
We understand that when you suffer an injury it can be an extremely stressful and painful time for you and your loved ones. We manage your claim and fight for the best compensation for you so that recovery can be your priority.
Slip & Fall Claims
While we are out in public spaces that are privately owned an accident could happen to any one of us. Spaces open to the public that are privately owned include residential and rental properties, shopping centres, schools, gyms, stadium and private schools. Owners and occupiers such as landlords and shopkeepers usually maintain adequate insurance in the case of accidental injury on their premises. But just because you are injured, you aren’t automatically entitled to compensation. You need to establish that the duty of care was breached in some way. This may be by showing proper systems of cleaning weren’t adhered to or known defects addressed in a timely fashion.
Make sure you realise your rights to compensation and contact the team at Adelaide Legal.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
In South Australia the laws relating to motor vehicle injuries changed significantly. Statute now dictates the types of loss claimable when injured by a motor vehicle and also the levels of cover. The law in this area is technical and some assistance can go a long way.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, whether as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian, then we will advise you on your rights to seek compensation.
When you are in the care of health professionals, it is well known they owe you a duty of care. If you are injured in some way, you may be asking questions. Do you believe something more or different should have been done in all the circumstances of your case? Is it likely the duty owed to you was breached in some way? What standard of care ought you have received?
If we have concerns, talk to us. We’re here to help.
Negligence is accidental damage and injury. Sometimes there’s more to it than that. The law also permits us to seek compensation for intentional harm. While is not as common as accidental, it often results in serious injury.
Contact us to find out how to make a claim for intentional injury.
No win – No fee
I have suffered an injury and I would like to seek compensation but how can I afford it?
No win – No fee
If we assess you’ve been wronged and have a right to compensation from an insurer, we’ll back you with a no win, no fee agreement. This means we don’t get paid until you do. If your claim is successful then our fees will be deducted from your settlement.
Why choose Adelaide Legal?
It can be difficult to find out what you’re entitled to and the best way forward.
We provide you with clear legal advice and the positive assistance required to achieve the best possible result for you.
We understand that it’s not always easy to discuss personal issues, worries and concerns with a stranger, but our friendly lawyers know this and do all they can to become part of your support network.
We take our work very seriously, because you matter to us. Our goal is simple: to deliver the best outcome to you.
“Upmost professionalism from a great team. I would recommend to anyone seeking advice for an MVA insurance claim.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injuries
Q: What is Personal Injury?
A: Personal injury is simply injury that is to one’s person or body and or mind if you like.
Q: What is the difference between bodily injury and personal injury?
A: Personal injury is the legal term adopted to describe bodily injury that attracts compensation. Bodily injury includes psychiatric injury.
Q: Is emotional distress a personal injury?
A: While bodily injury includes psychological injuries, mere emotional distress does not rise to the bar to attract compensation. The psychological injury must be one commonly diagnosed by doctors rather than mere distress. Examples of psychological injury include clinically diagnosed depression, post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorder.
Q: What qualifies as personal injury
A: All injuries to one’s personal or body and or mind qualify for compensation if they are the result of another person’s negligence or breach of duty of care put differently. In some situations depending on how the injury occurred, eg motor vehicle accident or on private premises, the injury or injuries must also meet a minimum threshold of severity to qualify.
Q: What are the types of personal injury?
A: The different types of personal injury refer to the way the injury occurs or how it is caused.
The usual ways are by slipping or falling (called a ‘slip and fall’ colloquially or ‘common law negligence’ legally), by medical negligence from a doctor or other health care professional, by intentionally harming another person, in a motor vehicle accidents or through a work injury.
With some types of injury there are statutes or laws that govern how compensation is determined, without or without showing fault. These types of injury include work injuries and motor vehicle.
In the other situations, a duty of care must be established to exist (and have been breached) before compensation follows. In many circumstances, the law says the duty exists just because of the type of relationship involved eg landlord – tenant, doctor – patient, shopping centre owner – shopper. In other less common relationships or circumstances, you will need to establish of duty exists based on the specific facts of the injury.
Q: Why do some injuries not qualify for compensation?
A: There are many reasons why some injuries do not qualify for compensation but the two most common ones are as follows.
–There was no actual beach of the duty even though a duty was owe to you. An example is where you are a shopper, even although you are owed a duty, a mere spillage on the floor without more does not necessarily mean the duty was breached.
–There was a duty, and there was a breach, but the breach didn’t cause the injury. Something else or extraneous did.
Q: How can I prove my pain and suffering?
A: To prove pain and suffering you must first prove a breach of duty exists, that duty was in some way breached and the breached actually caused your injuries and not some pother thing.
Once you have established these criteria, you must establish your pain and suffering through various types of medical evidence including reports, notes and scans.
A medical report must be requested from your treating doctor and or an independent specialist. In making your request, you must consider all the questions the doctor will need to answer for you to prove the pain and steering you seek to claim.
There is skill involved in requesting a medical report that adequately addresses your losses. Consider obtaining legal advice to assist you in this exercise.
Q: What is the difference between slip and fall and public liability?
A: The difference refers to where the injury occurs. If it occurs on government or local council lands, it is known as public liability. Where it occurs on privately owned premises including shopping centre, gymnasiums, halls, arenas, etc it is know as common law liability or a slip and fall injury.
Q: How much is my personal injury claim worth?
A:It is not unusual for people to wonder why some people seem to get far more in compensation for what seems to be similar injuries.
The worth or value of a claim depends on the injury scale that applies to it, which in turn depends on how the injury occurred. Where a statute or law governs how compensation is awarded, it can be very different to how past decided cases thought the courts have calculated the value of the injury. In other words, there may be differing injury scales for the same type of injury, depending on where or how it occurred.
Also, injury claims are made up of many “heads of loss”. Pain and suffering damages is just one “head of loss”. So for example, where the same injury results in a different time period off work in different people and there are different salaries foregone involved, then the total compensation package will be different.
Q: Can I make a personal injury claim myself ?
A: You can make a personal injury claim yourself; the devil is in the detail of knowing all the heads of loss you can claim to maximise your settlement payout and how these are calculated. You may also need to outline why the person or business you say was at fault was in breach of their duty to you.
When you engage a personal injury lawyer, they will make an initial assessment of breach of duty or negligence if you like, and calculate your heads of loss which will also include an item for legal costs incurred to bring the claim. Always consider obtaining legal advice before accepting an offer of settlement.
Q: What falls under a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is made up of many different heads of loss and damage.
These heads generally falls under 2 categories non-economic and economic losses.
Non economic losses are referred to as pain and suffering discussed further in this blog.
Economic losses include past and present loss of wages or earning capacity into the future and loss of superannuation on lost wages.
Medical costs are referred to as special damages.
You may also be able to claim for assistance with activities of daily living.
You will need to obtain the total of these various heads of loss to work out how much your personal injury claim is worth.
Q: Is pain and suffering a personal injury?
A: Pain and suffering is part of the losses that can flow from a bodily injury.
The term includes many types of damage and loss such as the convalescing and recovery after the injury, psychological or psychiatric injuries such as depression and any permanent disabilities that may be caused from the injury.
It also includes what lawyers coin “loss of enjoyment” where the injuries lead to the inability to continue to take enjoyment from hobbies such as gardening or simply partake in play time with children or grandchildren.
Q: What makes the best personal injury lawyer in Adelaide and nationally?
A: Having the right skill sets and experience is crucial. We have over 23 years’ of experience. But what sets lawyers apart in our view and makes them distinguished and the best injury lawyers, is understanding when to push or hold firm and when to retreat from a fight. This involves an appreciation and understanding of the art of negotiation and the possession of superior interpersonal skills in addition to legal skills. This sets a personal injury lawyer apart in their ability to achieve a great result for the client without taking the client on avoidable costly journeys through the courts.
Q: What is a good settlement offer?
A: A good or fair settlement offer is one that returns the highest amount of money to you after taking out all the costs you must pay including medical and where you have engaged a lawyer to maximise your settlement, legal costs.
A good personal injury lawyer will tell you when they believe you have reached the point in the negotiation or case of maximum return to you. This is what sets us apart at Adelaide Legal. We identify and advise you of the point of maximum return to you, so that you are kept informed at each point and able to make sensible and optimal decision for yourself.
Q: How often do personal injury cases go to court?
A: The simple answer is not often at all. Indeed, where court proceedings are needed because the parties cannot reach an agreed settlement as they have very different views of the merits of the personal injury claim, then one side is ultimately going to be vindicated in court. This winner take all outcome after a court trial is clearly devastating for the party that does not prevail.
Being amongst the best injury lawyers in Adelaide, we always attempt to understand why and where different opinions exist so that we can bridge the gap by negotiation and avoid often risky and expensive court proceedings. This is part of our approach in maximising the payout or settlement return to you.
Q: What is the average payout for a personal jury claim in Australia?
A: The average payout in court proceedings for an injury claim can only be answered by reference to the average for the type of injury involved in the case, because different injuries are worth or valued differently.
What can be said is that unless the claim in its total is worth more than approximately $100,000 it is difficult to maximise your payout return through initiating court proceedings given the expenses involved.
Unless the claim is worth $250,000 in its total it is difficult to maximise your payout return once court proceedings have run their course including a trial and judgment.
Q: How do you win a personal injury case?
A: You can win a personal injury case by proving all the criteria required for an award of compensation. The criteria you need to establish are:
- A breach of duty exists
- The standard that must be meet under that duty
- The standard was not meet ie a breach has occurred
- You have suffered loss and damage
- That loss and damage meets the threshold for compensation
- The breach of duty caused the loss and damage and not another extraneous factor
Q: How long do you have after you are injured to bring a personal injury claim?
A: You have 6 years from when the incident occurred to finalise a claim for compensation or at least start court proceedings to keep the claim alive beyond that time period.
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