If you’ve been injured and are unable to work, you’re probably trying to figure out how to pay your bills while also getting the medical attention you need to recover. The good news is that you may be eligible to seek insurance compensation for your injury. While filing a claim can be an arduous process, there are solutions and steps you can take that can alleviate the stress. Working with a compensation law professional can help you expedite the process and maximise your payout.
This guide will explore the different types of compensation claims, who qualifies for compensation, details of compensation payout amounts, how to file a successful compensation claim, and more.
Compensation payout basics
A compensation payout is the amount of money you are owed by the insurer for your accident. It should cover your medical expenses, rehabilitation and income loss in the past and sometimes in the future, if you end up not being able to return to work over a significant period. A payout can come in the form of a lump sum payment or weekly benefits — sometimes both depending on the circumstances of your case.
Your total compensation amount will depend on the details of your case such as the amount of work you’ve missed and your injury severity. Factors such as pain and suffering and permanent disability will result in higher payouts, but are associated with more serious injury claims.
Different kinds of compensation claim
There are different situations where you could have been injured that could qualify you for compensation. Each situation and the claims process is distinct, but knowing your rights to compensation can help you prepare and get started as quickly as possible.
- Medical negligence: If you arrived at a medical institution, and the professionals did not treat your injury well enough, resulting in further injury.
- Public liability: If you were injured in a public place like slipping on the floor at a hair salon.
- Motor vehicle accident: This will depend on the level of fault and the state you live in, but you can often file a CTP claim for compensation if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident.
- Workers compensation claim: If you’re injured on the job, whether from physical injury or psychological trauma.
- Institutional liability: Typically this has to do with child abuse in an institution, but could also relate to abuse in elder care facilities or psychiatric hospitals as well.
- Superannuation and personal disability: This might kick in after you’ve been in an accident and claim TPD insurance coverage from your super because you have a whole-person impairment of 10% or more.
- Dust disease and mesothelioma: Asbesthus is outlawed across the country, but some old buildings and roofs may still contain this toxin. If you’re showing signs of mesothelioma, we can help you earn compensation.
After being involved in an accident, you should always seek medical attention. A medical professional will examine your injury and recommend a time when you should be ready to return to your everyday activities. Save all of your documentation and speak with your employer right away to get workers’ compensation and income coverage while out of the job. Then, talk with your lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners for guidance on earning compensation for your injuries.
It’s helpful to start the compensation process early so you can earn coverage as soon as possible. Some workplaces, for example, don’t offer a lot of time to recover and your insurance will need to step in to support you. Along the way, there can be a lot of steps to get over before receiving compensation — that’s where we can help you.
Average payout amounts for each type of claim
Compensation payout amounts differ in the claims process, but follow a similar sliding scale based on injury severity. You may not receive any payout for 12 to 18 months as the insurer processes your claim.
Every state handles claims differently and the average payout amount varies. Let’s take a look at New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD) and Victoria (VIC) here:
Medical negligence payouts
In 2019, the Northern Daily Leader reported that medical negligence claims were costing taxpayers $69 million over two years in NSW. The average payout at this time was $650,000 but was considered high within the state. However, according to the Australian Government Actuary, most medical negligence settlements land lower than $100,000, where worst cases come in at close to $500,000 or more.
In Queensland, medical negligence is overseen by Queensland’s Personal Injury Proceedings Act 2002 and Civil Liability Act 2003. The largest payout resulted in $10 million.
While the information on exact averages for medical negligence in Victoria is scarce, they can reach up to the hundreds of thousands.
Motor vehicle accident injury claim payout
Public liability payout
Public liability claims across each state deal with injury compensation caps. Your case will be compared to the most catastrophic case that has ever happened and scaled from there in terms of compensation.
In NSW, under the Civil Liability Act 2002 No 22, the capped compensation payment is $551,100 under the most extreme case. In QLD, this number is capped at $414,000 under the Civil Liability Regulation 2014. In Victoria, the caps are separated between non-economic losses, including pain and suffering ($660,973), and economic loss ($3,884.10 per week) under the Wrongs and Other Acts (Public Liability Insurance Reform Act 2002.
Workplace injury payout
Worksafe Australia covers all worker compensation payouts across the country, from building and construction accidents to work injury damages. They separate the compensation averages based on the occupation where accommodation and food services receive the lowest average payout (around $6,000) whereas mining has the highest ($28,000) according to the 2021 edition of Safe Work Australia Workers Compensation Arrangements. However, in NSW where payouts are typically higher, the average payout was around $44,431 according to SIRA Open Data 2022.
Total permanent disability (TPD) payout
For TPD, also known as total permanent impairment, the range typically falls between $60,000 and $300,000, with most payouts over $200,000. Your superannuation insurer can give you the best range for your injury, and the max payout will be noted in your policy.
How long does it take to receive an offer of compensation?
After filing your claim, it typically takes two weeks or up to 28 days to process and between six weeks to 12 months to receive your payout. The gap largely depends on your situation, and whether the case goes to court. If the claim goes to trial, you may not receive your settlement until 24 months after you’ve filed the initial claim.
The law professionals at Gerard Malouf & Partners are experienced in compensation claims and will do their best to expedite the process for you. If you’ve suffered multiple injuries or are dealing with pain and suffering as a result of your accident, we can negotiate with insurers to hasten the claims process.
How to file a successful compensation claim
The Australian Compensation and Consumer Commission outlines steps and procedures you can follow to file a successful claim. Every organisation, from hospitals to restaurants, have a duty of care to their patrons. When these requirements are breached, you are eligible for compensation. Following these steps can help you earn the compensation you need to return to the life you had before your accident. A law professional can help maximise the payout and expedite the process.
Let’s take a look at the general steps you can follow to get on the right track:
1. Report your injury to the appropriate authority and your insurer
As soon as an accident occurs, you need to alert someone who can help you. If you’re injured in a car accident, you’ll call the police and get a Traffic Incident Number (TIN) that you can use with your insurer to track your claim. When injured at work, you’ll notify your employer.
2. Seek medical attention
Not only should you ask a doctor to look over your injuries after an accident, but you’ll need a recommendation for your capacity to work. Their diagnosis can help support your claim for compensation.
It’s important to follow the doctor’s orders while you get your claim filed. This shows that not only are you taking the diagnosis seriously, but that you will use the compensation money toward recovering — the intention of the payout.
3. File a claim
Once you have the information about your level of injury, you should lodge a claim with your insurer or your employer. If you’re filing with your employer, there may be specified procedures you must follow, but your lawyer can help meet most of these expectations for you. In the case of a car accident, you’ll file with the defendant’s insurer.
4. Speak with a legal representative
Seeking the legal advice and guidance of a lawyer can help you throughout the claims process. With this person, you’ll have a better understanding of your rights and entitlements, how to proceed in making the claim in your state or territory and an estimate of how long the process will take. They could also give you an estimate of how much compensation payout you could earn as a result of a successful claim.
There is a higher likelihood that your claim could be rejected without the help of a law professional. There is a lot of paperwork involved, time limits you must reach and research requirements for your claim to be accepted. Someone who is suffering from an injury may not have the capacity to complete these on time.
5. Wait for a settlement
General damages are paid out to cover:
- Domestic care and assistance.
- Loss of income, in the past and future.
- Pain and suffering.
- Medical treatment expenses, in the past and future.
How is the settlement amount calculated?
When you add up all of the expenses in association with your injury claim, you can determine an estimated settlement amount. However, non-economic loss including pain and suffering and damages to your quality of life is also considered by the court.
Pain and suffering is relative to the loss of quality of life. If a famous musician was injured in a car accident and lost their ability to play their instrument, for example, they would likely receive more compensation for their injury than someone who lives a fairly sedentary life.
Gerard Malouf & Partners are your compensation lawyers
Gerard Malouf & Partners is the leading Australian no-win, no-fee law firm for compensation law. We specialise in maximising compensation results for your legal claim and are with you every step of the way through the process. We offer a no-obligation consultation where we can go over your injury and assess the probability of success in your claim.
To get started, submit an enquiry form online.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your legal fees and disbursements and any other applicable costs are deducted from your payout.
It does not cost anything to file a claim. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation before filing a claim to help determine if a legal claim is necessary or possible in your situation.
Your income wages are calculated, and your medical expenses inclyding cost of travel and home help are part of your damages payout. Your injuries and degree of permanent impariment are assessed by an approved doctor and compensation is calculated on a sliding scale from zero dollars to $665,260 for 100% body impairment.
You should ask for exactly how much payout you need. Based on your doctor’s recommendations, you’ll need your wages covered for the length of your time away, and your medical expenses should be included in your settlement request.
If the other party is at fault, then you can file a claim against them through your insurer. If they do not have their own insurance, then the individual will receive a letter of demand that outlines the damages costs. If the liable party does not have the full amount available, they will likely request a payment plan.
In the case the at-fault party doesn’t believe the payout request is fair, they may try to take the case to court or negotiate the payment down. Here, we will step in as your legal representatives to ensure you get the payout you need.