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What is the average settlement for pain and suffering?

Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic loss that an accident victim can claim. Damages for non-economic loss can form a very important part of your claim – particularly for retired or unemployed victims who are unable to claim lost earnings.

Victorian legislation imposes various ‘ceilings’ and ‘thresholds’ for compensation payouts for injuries. The ceilings limit the maximum amount of compensation you can receive, whereas the thresholds set the minimum amount that your claim must be worth to claim compensation.

As of July 2020, the caps and threshold for pain and suffering damages are:

  • Worker’s compensation claims – minimum $62,710 and maximum $636,470.
  • Transport accident claims – minimum $56,960 and maximum $569,970.

These amounts are revised annually and will be adjusted on 1 July 2021.

It is also important to know that different ceilings and thresholds may apply to injuries sustained in a public place or due to medical malpractice. In some specific cases, such as asbestos-related injuries, thresholds and ceilings do not apply.

Compensation for injuries

If you are injured at work or as a result of a motor vehicle accident you are entitled to claim under the WorkCover and TAC schemes respectively; regardless of who is at fault.

You can receive an amount of compensation for an Impairment Benefit Claim within your no-fault benefits which reflects your assessed impairment rating and the relevant compensation associated with that impairment rating in the legislation.

If you have sustained a ‘serious injury’ as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may also be able to bring a common law claim for damages.

The amount of compensation or damages that may be offered in a settlement will largely depend on the seriousness of your injury. The more serious your injury, the greater your economic and non-economic damages are likely to be.

Economic damages cover losses that have a direct financial impact on your life and are objectively quantifiable. These kinds of damages go towards compensating for past and future financial losses and out of pocket expenses. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses and loss of earnings if you are unable to work because of your injuries.

Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, are more subjective in nature and are therefore more difficult to quantify. Other types of non-economic loss include disability, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life. Unlike economic damages, they are not capable of precise mathematical calculation.

Listed below are three frequently injured parts of the body and factors that might influence an award of damages:

How much compensation do you get for a finger injury?

It depends.

Fingers come into contact with a very wide variety of different substances and objects every day and as such are susceptible to a variety of different injuries.

Fingers have a high level of functionality and therefore rate highly in an Impairment Benefit Claim. They also are integral to the day to day actions and interactions so will be seriously considered in a common law claim also.

Breaks, burns, crushes and amputations are all common finger injuries. The amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend on the type and extent of your injury and how it might affect your work.

How much compensation do you get for an elbow injury?

It depends.

The elbow is one of the most commonly used joints in the human body. Eating, getting dressed, opening doors and driving are all everyday activities that require the use of the joint. Because we use our elbow joint so much, injuries to this area seriously disrupt our ability to perform simple tasks.

One common elbow injury is ‘tennis elbow,’ an overuse injury commonly found in people who perform work involving repeated movements to the wrist and forearm.

A broken elbow can follow from a single traumatic injury like a slip and fall, being injured at work, or because of a road accident. Broken elbows may require surgery, increasing your medical expenses and the amount of compensation you are entitled to claim.

How much is the average settlement for a back injury?

It depends.

Most back injuries occur in the lower back and can vary in seriousness. Strains, sprains and herniated discs are all common lower back injuries that can impact our ability to work, enjoy our lives, and can cause large amoints of pain and suffering.

Other back injuries, such as a fractured vertebra, can require surgery and months or even years of rehabilitation. This can have a very serious effect on a victim’s life and will influence how much compensation they are entitled to.

What to do if this information applies to you

At Gordon Legal, we understand that each person’s injury is different and can present its own unique challenges

For personalised and individual advice, we offer consultations to discuss your matter.

Please call Gordon Legal on 1800 21 22 23 or our Geelong office on 1800 21 22 23 to speak with a member of our team.

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