Have you been injured in an accident in Victoria? Here’s some key things you need to know about personal injury law and laws that cover personal injuries in Victoria.
Personal injury law in Victoria
If you have been injured in a workplace or traffic accident, other areas of the law apply for you to seek compensation. If, however, you have been injured in any other way, personal injury law is the main legislation that would apply to your case.
The Wrongs Act
If personal injury or death has occurred and someone is at fault or has been negligent, Victorian personal injury law allows you to claim for damages. ‘Damages’ is the term used for compensation for economic or non-economic loss.
The Wrongs Act applies if you are seeking compensation for injuries acquired if you have slipped or fallen in a public place, or if you have come to harm due to medical treatment.
Damages for non-economic loss
The Wrongs Act allows people to claim for damages that are non-economic. For example, whilst limited, a person who has acquired medical expenses due to being involved in an accident can claim for the medical costs, and also for pain, suffering, and loss of amenities or enjoyment of life.
Damages can only be awarded for non-economic loss caused when the injury is a ‘significant’ injury.
What is a ‘significant’ injury?
Some injuries are automatically classified as ‘significant’, such as the loss of a foetus or breast. The psychological and psychiatric injury of the loss of a child before, during or immediately following birth is deemed as ‘significant’ without further assessment, as are asbestos-related conditions.
Many other kinds of injuries may be deemed ‘significant’ after they have been assessed as having caused a high degree of impairment.
An approved medical practitioner must assess the degree of significance of any injury. They will take into consideration whether the injury has stabilised (and is permanent) or whether it has not stabilised. The assessment must be made by a medical practitioner who has taken a particular training course.
In particular (limited) circumstances, a court can determine significant injury.
Have you been injured?
If you have been injured in a public place in Victoria, seek legal advice to see whether you have a case to claim for damages under personal injury law.