Generally speaking, there are a few heads of damages you can claim pursuant to Civil Liability Act 2003 and Civil Liability Regulation 2014:-
- General damages;
- Past special damages plus interest;
- Future special damages;
- Gratuitous services;
- Past Economic loss plus interest and loss of superannuation; and
- Future Economic loss plus loss of superannuation.
This article will briefly talk about what does each head of damages mean and the methodology the court uses to calculate the compensation amount.
‘General damages’ refers to compensation for loss of quality of life such as pain and suffering. Under the Civil Liability Act 2003, general damages are calculated by working out an Injury Scale Value (ISV). Under the ISV system, all injuries listed are assigned a point value between 0 and 100 depending on the severity of injury, and each point value corresponds to a base compensation amount.
Past special damages
This refers to the cost of any medical treatments and rehabilitative services you received since the date of accident.
Future special damages
This refers to the future medical expenses you are likely to incur to continue any treatment necessary for the injury. In this regard, the court will take into account your age, medical history, specialist opinions and other relevant matters to work out the possible amount of your future medical and rehabilitative expenses.
Past and Future Gratuitous services
Compensation for gratuitous services received by you after the accident can only be awarded if you satisfy the following requirements:-
- The services are necessary; and
- You only require such services after you get injured in the accident; and
- The services you have received or are going to receive have to be at least 6 hours per week and for at least 6 months.
Past Economic loss
This refers to the income you have lost because of the accident-related injury. In assessing your past economic loss, the court will consider how much you could have earned if the accident did not occur. You can also claim interest and superannuation based on your lost income for a specific period after the accident.
Future Economic loss
This head of damages is designed to compensate your loss of future earning capacity. For example, if in specialist opinions, you would not be suitable to continue working in any physical capacity due to the permanent injury caused by the accident, you are entitled to claim under this head of damages because your future work opportunities will be greatly affected due to your inability to perform manual labour.
We will explore the steps for claiming CTP compensation in our next article.