Compensation can provide vital financial support for people who have suffered serious injuries in a road traffic accident. But are there limitations on how much money someone can receive?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, including:
- Who was to blame for the accident?
- How severe were your injuries?
- Is there permanent damage?
- Are you entitled to damages for non-economic losses?
- Let’s break down some scenarios and explore what compensation amounts could be available.
Who was to blame?
If you are entirely at fault for an accident, you will usually only receive an early payment of $5,000 to help you cover medical treatments incurred in the first six months after the incident.
Much bigger payout are possible if you were in no way to blame for your injuries. In these circumstances, claimants can often seek damages for both financial and non-economic losses relating to the accident.
Many crashes fall somewhere in between, meaning injured road users were partly at fault. You can still usually claim for economic and non-economic losses, but contributory negligence may reduce your settlement.
How severe were your injuries?
Car accident compensation lawyers seek to help you cover a range of financial losses that you may suffer due to your injuries, including:
- Hospital bills.
- Care and rehabilitation.
- Lost income and superannuation.
- The more severe your injuries, the greater your payout is likely to be. In theory, there is no cap on how much you could receive for financial losses, provided you have supporting evidence.
Is there permanent damage?
Compensation doesn’t just cover past losses; you may be entitled to damages for financial hardships you’ll encounter in the future. Car accidents can cause permanent injuries that may prevent you from returning to work or require lifelong care and treatment.
You may also receive money to purchase home modifications, wheelchairs and other support aids if you are left physically disabled following an accident.
Are you entitled to non-economic losses?
Also known as general damages, non-economic losses cover some of the psychological aspects of surviving a car accident.
For example, non-economic losses cover pain and suffering, a drop in your quality of life and the impact of disfigurement. The amount of compensation awarded for general damages depends on your degree of impairment.
Calculating your car accident compensation amount
As we can see, there is technically no limit to the amount of car accident compensation you could receive in the ACT.
In June, a severely disabled man pursued nearly $8.9 million after a car struck him in 2009. He was ultimately unsuccessful, but the case highlighted how much damages plaintiffs may be entitled to after serious accidents.