A Guide to Personal Injury Claim Payments | The mail

A Guide to Personal Injury Claim Reimbursements

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) recorded that the country spent A$8.9 billion treating injuries in the 2019-20 calendar year.

These include over 527,000 hospitalization cases, resulting in an average cost per case of almost A$17,000. This represents a third of the annual median personal income of Australians.

In other words, getting hurt is a costly but unavoidable expense in life. The cost does not only include medical expenses, but also loss of income, property damage and funeral expenses (if it results in death).

It’s no surprise, then, that Aussies are quick to file personal injury claims. These claims are often filed with the assistance of Melbourne Resident Personal Injury Lawyers.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the personal injury claim reimbursement and filing process within Victoria.

Compensation programs in Victoria

The state government compensation system consists of three programs. The first and perhaps the oldest is the Wrongs Act 1958, the main law concerning compensation for personal injury caused by anything other than traffic and work accidents (more on these later). Eligible cases include slips and falls in public places and damage due to medical treatment.

The law entitles the victim to economic and non-economic compensation if there is evidence of negligence that caused their damage, subject to limitations. To recover from a non-economic loss, the victim must meet the threshold for their injury to constitute “significant harm”. Article 28LB defines the threshold as follows:

  • impairment of 5% or more for a spinal injury,
  • impairment of 10% or more for psychiatric injury or
  • impairment of more than 5% for other types of injuries.

In 1986, the government established another scheme exclusively for transport-related accidents, resulting in the Transport Accidents Act 1986. The Transport Accident Commission facilitates claims for road, rail and tram accidents.

Finally, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act of 2013 sanctioned a program solely for the management of claims resulting from work-related injuries. It amends previous related legislation, with claims management falling within the remit of WorkSafe Victoria.

A Guide to Personal Injury Claim Reimbursements

Determining the degree of impairment listed above is the job of a licensed medical professional. Section 28LB of the Wrongs Act defines who is qualified for this task in two respects:

  • A doctor registered under the National Health Professionals Regulation Act
  • Any professional registered under the National Health Practitioners Regulation Act who performs the following activities: Chinese medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathy, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology (students are not eligible)

These practitioners issue certificates of assessment indicating whether or not a victim’s claim meets the threshold. Suppose the victim has reservations about the assessment.

If so, they can refer him to a medical panel (organized under the Rehabilitation and Workmen’s Compensation Act 2013). The panel has the right to ask questions and demand documents.

Remuneration ceilings and minimums

There is no exact figure on the amount of compensation a victim may receive, given the many factors that the assessment of claims must take into account. However, the state government sets an upper limit for the possible payout. Here are the current compensation ranges:

  • Pain and suffering related to an accident at work: AUD$63,510 to AUD$644,640
  • Economic loss for accident at work: AUD$65,760 to AUD$1,480,660
  • Pain and suffering for transport accidents: AUD$57,690 to AUD$577,280
  • Economic loss for transportation accidents: AUD$1,298,980 (no minimum specified)
  • Pain and Suffering Liability: AUD $644,640 (no minimum specified)
  • Economic loss for third party liability: AUD$3,850.20 per week (no minimum specified)

It is not uncommon for courts to reduce claims beyond the cap and not award a single penny for claims below the minimum. A claim as large as A$2 million will even come under scrutiny in the courtroom and be lost without the proper records and legal assistance.

Despite these limitations, legal experts often advise their clients against quickly accepting any settlement offer directly from the other party. Even if it guarantees payment, especially when claims are less than the minimum, these arrangements generally do not reveal how the offering party came up with the amount.

The idea of ​​filing a personal injury claim is to get as many payouts as possible to pay for post-treatment, medical or other expenses. Therefore, discussing these issues with a lawyer is crucial to avoid being harmed on vital finances.

Nobody wants to break a limb or suffer from anxiety disorders as a result of an accident, but staying safe isn’t always a guarantee. This is why contingencies like the state government injury compensation program exist, granting finance when a person cannot earn a living.

But to get the highest possible payout from the incident, hiring legal professionals to take on the case can be a big help.

AIHW. “Injury in Australia.” Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, June 16, 2022.

Department of Justice and Community Safety. “Compensation for bodily injury.”

Polaris Lawyers. “What is the maximum compensation I can receive for my personal injury claim?” July 20, 2021.

Current Acts of the Victorian Era. “Wrongs Act 1958 – Section 28lb.”


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