If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and are eligible for compensation, the amount will be determined by the type of harm you have suffered, which we call “heads of damage”. The most common heads of damage are:
Non-Economic Loss – Pain and Suffering
This compensates you for the pain and suffering caused by the accident and your injuries. It recognises the inconvenience and discomfort of being injured and requiring treatment and also takes into account your inability to enjoy aspects of life you had previously enjoyed, e.g. hobbies or sports.
Past and Future Economic Loss (including Superannuation Benefits)
Past economic loss is calculated by a careful consideration of the income you have lost because of your injuries. Ordinarily, a loss will arise if you have needed time off work or if you have been unable to return to work since the accident because of your injuries.
Future economic loss is more difficult to quantify as it involves a degree of “crystal ball gazing” to predict your position if the accident had not occurred. For example, if your injuries prevent you from working full-time hours but you had been working full-time hours prior to the accident, your future economic loss can be assessed based on the difference between the full-time and part-time earnings. A loss of superannuation benefits is also compensable.
Past Gratuitous Services and Future Care
Past gratuitous services compensates you for help you’ve needed with your daily living while you’ve been injured. The law only allows you to be compensated for assistance provided by your parent, spouse, domestic partner or child and generally, the amount does not exceed a weekly amount equivalent to four times the State average weekly earnings.
You may also be awarded compensation for your future care requirements. These can be care tasks performed by your family member or by a paid service, such as a cleaner. This will be determined by looking at your current and future care needs and is dependent upon the severity of your injury and your incapacities.
Special damages are awarded for outstanding medical and like expenses, for example physiotherapy consultations or the cost of travel to a medical appointment.
Future Medical Expenses
This is designed to compensate you for your future medical treatment expenses if you have an ongoing injury or impairment and need further treatment.
The process of assessing your entitlement to compensation is complicated and is different in every case.
The solicitors at Duncan Basheer Hannon are highly skilled and experienced in the assessment of compensation and can offer you a comprehensive formulation of your claim to ensure your entitlements are met. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and are wondering whether you would be entitled to any compensation, please call us – we offer a free first interview.