When Does A Personal Injury Become Personal?

PersonalInjury (1)

  • When Does a Personal Injury Become Personal?
  • How Not to Take Your Personal Injury Personally
  • A Personal Injury is Not a Personal Matter but a Legal One

Just What Exactly Is a Personal Injury?

Put simply, a personal injury arises when you’ve been affected by someone’s actions in a way that has caused physical or psychological harm.

Legally, there is no one “personal injury” body of law as it is an area made up of several distinct practices. In Australia, personal injuries fall under “tort law”, which in plain-speak is known as a “civil wrong.”

Tort law derives from common law, which is a type of law that is based on decisions made by judges in historical court cases. Most of tort law is based on precedents and, to a lesser extent, on legislation.

Personal Injury Laws Differ by State

As a result, different Australian states have their own interpretations of personal injury law based on past rulings made by judges in that particular state. These do not necessarily agree and, in certain instances, may be quite different.

So, for instance, if you’re based in New South Wales, you want to seek out injury lawyers that have a deep understanding of local legislation as applied to compensation law.

Personal injury is one area of law where local expertise will go a long way in helping you to present a stronger court case.

The Different Kinds of Personal Injury

Generally, the following types of harm are included under the banner of personal injury law:

  • Injuries that occur in all public places
  • Injuries sustained at work
  • Motor vehicle-related accidents
  • Injuries sustained as a result of being a crime victim
  • Medical negligence / malpractice injuries
  • Injuries caused by the use of a faulty product
  • Sexual abuse or harassment injuries
  • Injuries resulting from asbestos exposure.

If one thing is certain, it is that personal injuries can take place anywhere: at home, at work or in public. You can never totally anticipate situations where a personal injury can happen as there are just too many potentialities.

Why Time is of the Essence

While you may not be able to fully prepare for a personal injury, you definitely must take action straight away to right whatever wrong has been caused to you.

In fact, there are specific time limitations defined by law that apply to lodging a personal compensation claim. In legal terms, this is known as a “Statute of Limitations.”

Should you lodge your claim outside of a particular limitation period, it may end up being dismissed by the courts altogether. In addition to varying by state, the time limits differ based on the type of compensation claim you plan to lodge.

So, it pays to consult with a lawyer as soon as is practical after a personal injury has occurred.

How To Get Compensated

Suffering a personal injury does not guarantee that you are entitled to compensation. This is why it is important to immediately reach out to specialist compensation lawyers who can assess your situation and provide tailored legal advice.

The final outcome of any successful compensation claim is the award of damages to the injured party. The term “damages” is legalese for the money that you receive as a result of winning a case.

In general, the point of awarding damages is to compensate you for the injury and, as much as possible, to get you back to the position you were in before the injury happened.

How Much Can You Expect?

As with other aspects of compensation law, the answer to most questions will be very state-specific. This includes the amount of damages that you can potentially get awarded as the injured party.

In addition to varying by state, the way compensation gets calculated is also driven by the type of claim you’re lodging and the specific circumstances of your case.

There are defined caps for the amount you can expect to receive and special restrictions are applied where non-monetary damages are sought. These damages are referred to as “pecuniary” and include such thing as “loss of enjoyment of life” and general “pain and suffering”.

What You Can Get Awarded

Given the broad nature of compensation law, damages may be awarded for a wide variety of losses, both financial and non-financial.

The different types of compensation you can potentially expect are:

  • Monetary losses, including the loss of past and future earnings
  • Pain, which includes both psychological and physical pain, including suffering in a broader sense. This also includes a loss of life expectation
  • Various expenses, such as medical treatments or the cost of having someone look after you
  • Damage to your personal property, including having to modify your dwelling as a result of your injury.

The General Process of Claiming Compensation

When considering putting together a personal injury claim, it is best to follow a defined process. Doing so will put you in the best position for winning your case should it go to court.

This includes the following steps:

  • Firstly, contact the offending party and advise them that you plan to make a claim
  • Gather as much evidence as possible in support of your case
  • If required, start formal legal proceedings or arrange a mediation meeting
  • Should all other attempts to resolve the compensation claim fail, take the matter to trial.

But, before you do any of the above, it is best to get in touch with a specialist lawyer as compensation law is complex and it is easy to get any of the above steps wrong.

At Taylor & Scott, we are Sydney’s leading and most experienced personal injury lawyers. We have been been helping our clients win difficult personal injury claims since 1905.

One of our experienced lawyers will be happy to provide a no-obligation free initial assessment of your case, drawing on the firm’s century of legal experience.


At Taylor & Scott “ We Care For You.”

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