Compensation Lawyer News & Articles

What can be claimed in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

  • Article
  • 31 May 2023

Broadly speaking these days only two things can be claimed in a motor vehicle accident in New South Wales, pain and suffering and lost earnings.

For people who are not eligible to claim lost earnings, whether because they are retired or students or perform domestic duties, it is absolutely critical to maximise their claim for pain and suffering because that is all they are able to claim for.  Unfortunately, however, to be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering, you need to be assessed as having greater than 10% whole-person impairment. 

If you are assessed at 10% or less then you are not eligible for pain and suffering and if you are not able to claim lost earnings then you recover nothing whatsoever for the injuries you suffered in the accident. 

This makes it absolutely critical to get over the threshold so that at least pain and suffering compensation can be received.  Take a recent case as an example.  I will change the name for obvious reasons.

Sue was involved in a motor vehicle accident on 6 December 2021.  Because she was in her 70’s there was no claim for lost earnings which left her only with a possible claim for pain and suffering.  Sue suffered very serious spinal injuries in the accident.  You might think she would be over the threshold and eligible for pain and suffering.  Well, you would be wrong.  In the first instance, Sue was assessed by the insurer as having 10% whole-person impairment but, because she needed to be greater than 10% to be eligible, the insurer was not prepared to pay any amount for pain and suffering.

Sue saw several solicitors who said that, unfortunately, there was nothing they could do. 

She was just about to give up when a friend suggested she speak to us.  It was a good thing she did because immediately I could see a way whereby we could get Sue over 10%.  I sent her off to see a radiologist who looked at her scans and assessed the loss of her vertebral height at 66%.  This meant that she was automatically entitled to be assessed at 15% whole-person impairment.  Because this was over the 10% threshold Sue became eligible for the very first time for compensation for pain and suffering. 

When the report was sent to the insurance company they didn’t even challenge it.  They conceded that Sue was over the threshold and we were then able to settle Sue’s case by negotiation. 

Sue’s case demonstrates how important it is not to take no for an answer.  Before you give up talk to us and we’ll see if there isn’t something that can’t be done to get you over the threshold so that at least you can recover something for all the pain and suffering you have been through as a result of the accident. 

Why not give us a call now at 1800 631 888 and see what a difference we can make?

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