He had always known what lay beneath the surface of his skin.
There was, of course, Dexter. Husband. Father. Hard worker. Dedicated. Blood splatter analyst by trade.
But there was room for one more. Cold blooded killer.
The marvelous, masculine Dexter.
The meticulous, murderous Dexter.
Cunning and painstakingly thorough, no one would ever get past his murderous alter-ego.
He was a killer. He would exact vengeance on the people who deserved it. He would punish those who had escaped the law.
He let no being slip between the lines of what is right, and what is let go.
Killing only killers, his alter-ego follows a code of ethics:
His alter-ego has a system more scrupulous than the judiciary system that let them walk free.
The ritualistic manner of each kill had a plan. A plan so bulletproof he could never get caught.
He thinks of every risk. He foresees what could go wrong. And prepares for it.
He is where he says he will be, when he says he will be there. He is punctual.
Calculates the risk.
Plans. Plans. Plans.
And his planning stops anyone escaping the law.
Because no one should be allowed to walk free when they’ve done wrong.
And everyone should use a Dexter when they’ve been done wrong by.
No not the cold blood killing Dexter.
The Dexter who uses a plan so scrupulous everyone pays for what they’ve done.
A Dexter who holds them accountable for the pain they’ve cause.
A lawyer who uses the most methodical plan. Runs a leak-proof ship.
A lawyer who has complete control over the outcome.
If you want complete control over the outcome, keep reading below.
Straight as an arrow. Vice president of the bank. Husband. Inmate number 37927.
Inmate number 37927 at Shawshank State Penitentiary.
We all know his story.
He was a successful young man, living in the early 1900’s. He married his wife in the late 1930’s. By 1947 he wasn’t her only man.
His wife started taking golf lessons with Glen Quentin. A respectable man. So he thought.
It didn’t take long for an affair to spark. Andy knew. He knew every bit of what was going on. He was smart. He was certain.
He had no choice but to confront the pair.
He arrived at Glen’s house late one night. Stumbling, slurring, drunk.
He stood on the dark street. His car was holding him upright. He could see a bedroom, second level, on the right, at the front. The light was on. His vision was blurred, but what was happening was clear.
Revolver in hand, Andy had every intention to end it then and there.
Standing outside, he opened the car door. Threw himself back into the driver’s seat. Turned the keys in the ignition. Listened to the grumbling engine. Rubbed his eyes. Pushed the pedal to the ground.
And left the revolver.
When someone else broke into Glen’s house and murdered the pair, Andy became the first suspect. He had, after all, left his revolver at the scene.
50 years. 18,250 days. 18,250 painstakingly slow days. 438,000 hours in an electric fenced, old cement confine.
All for something he didn’t commit.
The 19 years of his life were to be nothing short of a whirlwind.
Targeted by the prison gang, Andy was subject to beatings. Rapes. Random attacks.
He struggled to make many friends, but made one so great. The rest didn’t matter.
And while Andy and Red chatted one hot, sunny day, they overheard a guard discussing tax matters.
As the former vice president of a bank, Andy knew a thing or two about tax.
He piped up. And immediately he was enlisted to help the warden and guards with their finances.
Serving as the prison’s accountant, Andy was exempt from manual labour. Harassment too.
Andy lost all of his control. They robbed him of the small amount of rights he had been left with.
They sent him to the infirmary.
See, the taxes Andy had been doing included laundering money for the warden. And the warden didn’t want that to stop.
He had set up the best business of the 1950’s. A public service program where prisoners were to work outside the confine. Great for the prison appearance.
They were cheaper. Everyone would hire them. And the warden made a killing.
They were inmates. The minimum wage didn’t apply to them.
The warden got to pick their rate. Their pay. And his income.
The warden killed anyone who knew the truth about Andy’s wife’s murder.
And in 1966, Andy escaped.
19 years of tunnelling with a rock hammer. And it all paid off.
He waited for a stormy night. One where the thunder could mask any noise. One where the rain could wash away any evidence.
He finished up his final day of accounting. He left with the warden’s shoes and one of his suits.
He had been hiding his rock hammer in a bible. He switched that for the warden’s ledger too.
The plan was scrupulous. A rope from Heywood. A plastic bag filled with the ledger. The records. A bar of soap. The stolen suit. And the shoes.
19 years it had been the gatekeeper to his secret. The key to his escape.
He crawled through his tunnel. He arrived at a sewerage main. And in unison with the thunder, blew the pipe open.
The next 500 yards were spent wading through sewerage.
500 yards and then he was there. A river. Freedom.
He ripped off his inmate clothing. He cleaned himself with the soap. And he changed into the stolen suit and shoes.
He waltzed into a dozen banks the next day. Posing as Randall Stephens (his fake entity to launder money), and he withdrew $370,000 of the Warden’s money.
And he didn’t stop there.
Andy mailed the evidence of their financial crimes to the local newspaper.
The story was published and the captain was arrested immediately.
He settled down on a deserted beach. He started a hobby. Boat building.
And when Red was released a few months later, he joined Andy.
I find I'm so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the type of excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at the start of a long journey.
It was a long road to freedom for the two. And neither were certain it would be given to them. But they were certain they would make it happen.
Even when everything went wrong.
He had lived a successful life. A happy life. And it was all ripped away from him.
He was labelled a murderer. Envious. He was spat on and despised. People saw him as a grub.
But he never stopped pursuing what he was owed.
And he never let the captain and warden get away with what they had done to him.
They had robbed him of his liberty. They had robbed him of his control.
Everyone has the choice to be an Andy. To get what they deserve and hold the other person accountable.
Hold the warden and the captain accountable for what they did to him.
So when Jackson was hit by another driver, he sat. Thinking.
He had the choice to let the insurer brush him under the carpet like the judiciary system did to Andy. Or he had the choice to rise like Andy and take what he deserved.
Because after all, Jackson had done nothing wrong. Just like Andy, too, had done nothing wrong.
His friend, his mate, his guide through this part of life.
He found himself the right lawyer. Someone who’s been through this before. Someone who’s fought a thousand fights and still stands. Someone who knows their way to freedom.
And once he found his Red, he found his control. Control of the situation he had never asked for. Never deserved.
If you want to take your control back, keep reading below.
When somebody thinks we’ve done something we haven’t.
Or when they think we’re somebody we’re not.
Much like Prince Adam. The Beast.
A fine, young prince. Transformed into an ugly beast for his simple minded judgments. Punished for only seeing the outward appearance on the outside and not within.
He became what he once hated, and he was definitely less than desirable. Everyone would run from him. Be terrified. Turn their noses up.
They judged him for what he appeared to be. Not what he actually was.
They thought he was something he was not.
Beauty gave him a chance. Even though she said he was ugly. She thought he was terrifying. She was intimidated and unsure.
She stayed in a castle with him. And while he looked as terrible as the rest of the beasts. While he looked uglier than most, actually. While he looked just as terrifying as the rest. She was certain of one thing: he was a good one.
He treated her with care. Showered her with breakfast, a bed, and roses. Put her on a pedestal.
No matter what people thought he was, she knew he was a good beast.
What was on the surface didn’t matter.
She realised his intentions were pure. He was not fooling her. He was not tricking her.
Deciding she wanted to marry him. She wrapped her arms around him in a hug and closed her eyes.
But when she opened her eyes, the Beast had disappeared.
What stood before her was a fine young man. Well dressed, with dark brunette hair and eyes even darker than that. They twinkled.
Upon asking where the Beast was, he uncovered it was him.
It didn’t matter what he was seen as. He remained the same, pure-hearted gentleman Beauty had gotten to know.
It was what was on the inside that mattered. Not the outside.
When his appearance was uncovered, the women of the town were disappointed.
All this time they had assumed he was as terrible as the other beasts. As greedy as the other beasts. As predatory as the other beasts.
And Beauty, who ignored what everyone else said, was the real winner. She got more than she had ever imagined in her happily ever after.
Of course, Beast was too. Someone had finally seen past the curse and trusted his goodwill. His pure intentions.
Pure intentions like that of a car salesmen.
NO, not the one trying to sell a beat up ’94 Falcon with rust on the engine as ‘the best car money could buy.’
The one selling the 1.25L demo-model Barina Spark to the 16 year old buying her first car. Low fuel cost. Low parts cost. Low repair costs for any first car bumps and scratches.
Or the one calling all other dealerships to find someone the best model possible, not just what they have left to sell.
The one selling the best ANCAP safety rated car to an expecting couple.
BUT not all are there to rob people of their money.
Some are Prince Adams, cursed by stereotypes and perceived as beasts. Some are still pure-hearted.
And some, most, really are just beasts.
But it’s those who make informed judgments, who do their research and pick the Prince Adam of car salesmen that win. The Beauty’s of the world.
It’s those who make informed judgments, who do their research and pick the Prince Adam of car salesmen that win. The Beauty’s of the world.
The Beauty’s that had no idea what an ANCAP safety rating even was. Or what an RACQ vehicle inspection is. Or that 14L/100km is an oil guzzler.
The Beauty’s that fight the negative publicity, the stigma, and fight past the curse to find the right salesmen.
The Beauty’s that end up with a Hyundai Santa Fe when they entered for a Mitsubishi Outlander. All for the same price.
The Beauty’s that have total control over their car and money, not even needing to finance.
If you want total control over your money, continue reading.
Like really sick of it. It broke after two years. What crock!
She wanted to upgrade to the next model. But they insisted that her phone was too ‘damaged’.
It had only been dropped in a toilet three times. Run over. Thrown down the stairs. Spent a night or two in eskies.
She was angry she couldn’t return the phone in its condition. She would have to pay upfront for her new plan. But when they mentioned stress-free protection for any damages, her ears perked up.
“If you pay just $15 a month over 24 months, you could throw your phone off a cliff for all we care! Just pay $99 and we’ll give you a new one! No hassles! No questions asked!”
She signed up immediately. Who wouldn’t!
She waltzed out feeling confident. Stress-free. She was insured.
She knew she would have control over her finances even when she lost control of her phone!
The following two years were an adventurous two years for the phone. It included a couple of swims in the Pacific, another trip to the toilet, and a smashed screen or two.
But it was not a worry! Naomi had control of her finances. Naomi had insurance.
She made a claim each time and paid the small fee to have it repaired. And it was much cheaper than buying a brand new phone!
Naomi was smart and accessed the money she had paid to the insurer.
He went on a ski trip with friends. Aspen, Colorado. The big smoke. Perisher had nothing on it.
Unfortunately Braxton hadn’t even been to Perisher before. In fact, he hadn’t been to any snowy mountains. He had never been skiing.
But Braxton was determined to match his mates’ skill and speed. When they all decided to take on a jump, Braxton didn’t second guess it. He was doing it.
And he did it.
The jump bit at least. The landing he didn’t. Well, not correctly.
He landed on his hip. His arm stretched out to protect him. His humorous was instantly shattered.
His spine fractured. His head, home to an unshakable ache.
The skiddoo came along and clean him up. He was rushed to the hospital. And in America, that’s expensive.
And was thankful he did.
He was spending overnights in hospital and the bills were piling up quickly. He had to leave his friends and he ended up having surgery over there.
Since he was under 21, his insurer flew his mum all the way from Sydney to Denver.
His mum’s accommodation was all taken care of.
And it didn’t stop there. With his fractured spine he required a reclining seat to fly home on.
His insurer flew him AND his mum home in business class.
And this was after he missed his original flight home. They covered all the costs.
But he didn’t.
Braxton just had the free insurance that came with his credit card. A credit card that he paid premiums on to have that cover.
So when he broke his arm and fractured his spine, there was no doubt about it. He was either going to be $250,000 out of pocket. OR he could access the money he had been promised if in need for an emergency.
Of course he picked the latter.
He might not have had control of his skis. He might not have had control of the crash. But he had control of his next step.
When her house went under in floods.
She lost everything, but she gained it all back. She accessed the money she had been paying premiums on for years.
Because that’s what insurance is there for.
To ensure you can cover unexpected costs, loss, or damage when they occur. To ensure you can control the uncontrollable.
Particularly the supercell that swept over Brisbane in late 2014. It threw down golf-ball-sized hail, destroying houses and cars in its path.
Thousands of Queenslander’s made an insurance claim.
64,000 Queenslander’s to be precise.
The estimated insurance loss was $1 billion from payouts. Nearly every car claimed against was written off by insurers.
And people were celebrating.
Most of them had an agreed value on their cars, not market value arrangement. Meaning most were making money off their insurance payouts.
When our phones unexpectedly break, we are certain we can pay for repairs.
And when our arms unexpectedly break on a ski trip, we are certain we can pay for care.
And when our houses unexpectedly go under, we are certain we can pay for reconstruction.
And when our cars unexpectedly get damaged, we are certain we can pay for a new one.
Certainty that if something unexpected happens to us on the road, we can pay for damages.
Certainty that we can control the outcome, even if we lost control in the crash.
If you want to regain your control, keep reading below.
The death of a loved one is never easy. From paperwork to planning, between sadness and sorrow, we can all agree that making a compensation claim is the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.
Financial burden is one of the most prevalent struggles when mourning a loss, particularly when family members are partially or wholly financially dependent on the lost life.
In this instance, family members may be entitled to a ‘dependency claim’ if the life was lost due to another’s negligence.
A dependency claim can be brought if a family member was financially dependent on the deceased by way of either direct income or services the deceased person provided. The relevant Act defines family as:
Recoverable damages in these claims are limited to the loss of financial benefits that each independent had reasonable expectation of receiving from the deceased.Damages cannot be awarded for the sorrow, grief, or emotional distress of the dependent.
Funeral expenses can also be covered in dependency claims.
Claims for loss of dependency carry time limitations. In addition to this, other, relevant schemes must also be adhered to depending on the aspects of the case. These may include the Motor Accident Insurance Act (1994) and the Work Cover Queensland Act (1996).
As such, these types of claims can be complicated, confusing and time consuming.
We can all agree that insurance claims can be complicated. We’re here to make that easy.
Did you know that any person injured in a motor-vehicle accident due to the fault of another vehicle can make a CTP claim?*
You may still be entitled to claim! In this instance the amount of compensation you are entitled to may be reduced.
An injured person cannot claim compensation under the legislation if:
Sometimes when things seem bad, they only get worse. You’ve had an accident and want to make a claim, but the motor vehicle at fault is unregistered, uninsured, or unidentified.
Not to worry, you could still have a valid claim. In this instance an entity known as the ‘Nominal Defendant’ can be enlisted to ensure the already disadvantaged are not disadvantaged further.
The Nominal Defendant is a Queensland body created under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld) that acts as a compulsory third party (CTP) insurer where a negligent driver’s motor vehicle is unidentified and/or does not have CTP insurance.
It is important to note, however, that different limitation periods and restrictions are placed on such claims.
You, or a loved one, should seek legal advice from a compensation lawyer if involved in a motor vehicle incident. Strict and varying time limitations can often be missed by the everyday citizen, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to can vary greatly depending on the legal representation you obtain.
Let me guess... you don't want a lawyer?
That’s your choice, and that’s okay! But it is risky.
Insurance companies have years of experience. They have tens, if not hundreds of professionals employed. They are quite literally experts at rejecting claims!
This means you are one of hundreds, maybe thousands, trying to tackle a team of professionals on your own. Even in a successful claim, you are likely to receive less than the full compensation potential.
Once you accept an offer from the CTP insurer, there is no second bite. You are stuck with that payout.
It is always recommended you seek legal advise from compensation experts following a motor vehicle accident. They will ensure you accept nothing less than the maximum payout you are entitled to.
They are experts in understanding every aspect of maximum compensation, including:
Protect yourself and your loved ones today – know when to seek legal advice.
*in Queensland under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (QLD)
We see it time and time again, people with legitimate compensation cases but they are past their limitation period and therefore unable to make a claim.
It pays, literally, to know when your time limit starts and stops.
Some claimants may be aware that there are time limits to lodging a claim.
But, if we are frank, it can be difficult to know which applies to your case.
The legislation can be confusing and different rules apply to each unique circumstance.
Below we have summarised a comprehensive list of different personal injury scenarios.
Every state has a law, known as the statute of limitation, that restricts the time a person who has suffered injury has to sue.
We are going to throw in some legal jargon to help explain this, but bear with us, it will be quick!
According to the Limitations of Action Act 1974, Section 11, a claim for negligence or breach of duty “shall not be brought after the expiration of 3 years from the date on which the cause of action arose”.
Within personal injury claims the 'cause of action’ is the date of your accident or the date you suffered your injuries.
So, the general rule for adults is you have 3 years from the date of the incident to begin court proceedings.
This rule applies for claims for motor vehicle accidents, public and private accidents such as slip and falls, product liability accidents and work cover accidents.
What most articles on time limits don’t tell you is that you have to complete a number of important tasks BEFORE you begin court proceedings.
If you fail to complete these tasks in time you could be left unable to claim.
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Different types of claims must abide by different pieces of legislation, but every claim must go through some sort of pre-court proceedings.
So, you need to have completed a number of tasks by the three-year mark for your claim to be valid.
These tasks include:
If you haven’t done all of the above by the third anniversary of the accident, you may be prevented from making a claim.
It’s a long list and if we are honest, it can take a little while to complete.
That’s why you will often hear these lawyers pleading for people to start their claim as early as possible.
There are exceptions to the rule which will cover later.
Rules that govern claims for children are different from those for adults.
The three-year limits still applies but the clock starts from their 18th birthday.
That means for accidents that occur when the person is under the age of 18, they have until their 21st birthday to begin their court proceedings.
The government has also set in place a law that allows those with serious injuries to bring a claim at any time following their accident.
That is, those whose injuries prevent them from being able to give adequate legal instructions (such as those with acquired brain injuries), have no limitation period.
Yes, in special circumstances extensions to may be granted. An application will need to be made to the Courts to grant you an extension.
When deciding whether the injured person can receive an extension, the courts will consider the following:
However, it is solely at the court’s discretion as to whether your extension will be granted.
It may also make it difficult to find a lawyer who with take on your case past its time limits. People should not rely upon obtaining an extension, as they are not always easily granted.
These limits are much shorter. So it’s really important you are across these dates.
A claim can commence outside this time frame but you must provide a reasonable excuse for the delay to the insurer.
Examples of some frequently used reasons for delay include:
And unfortunately, it’s at the full discretion of the insurer to accept your excuse or not.
We all know insurers are great at finding an easy way to avoid paying up.
Don’t give them an opportunity to shirk their responsibilities
Getting some legal advice may help you determine what a ‘reasonable excuse’ is.
Below is a list of the different notification periods based on each type of accident.
If you have the details of the at-fault driver and their insurer, then a Notice of Accident Claim Form must be lodged either:
... whichever comes first.
These follow the same rules as motor vehicle accidents. You have either:
... to notify the at-fault party or their insurer.
In cases where the at-fault driver couldn’t be identified or does not have CTP insurance, you need to bring a claim against a body called the Nominal Defendant.
Where the insurer is the Nominal Defendant, notification of a claim must be made within 3 months of the accident.
This time limit is very short, so don’t delay in starting the process.
If you are injured at work you must lodge a claim within 6 months of the date of injury with WorkCover.
A claim lodged after 6 months will only be accepted where it can be shown that there was a mistake, you were absent from the State or have another reasonable cause.
Starting the process of notifying the insurer can protect your legal rights to make a claim.
Consider starting a claim for compensation while you decide whether it’s an avenue that you wish to take.
Medical Expenses are a crucial part of all claims for compensation.
Why? Well apart from the obvious fact they pay for the cost of any medical treatment...
... compensation for medical expenses allows you to recover to your fullest extent as it removes the stress of working how how you are going to afford it.
It also gives you access to the tools needed to get back on with life, if you are unlikely to make a full recovery.
We are continuing our four-part series on discovering the areas that your can claim under.
Understanding these areas, will allow you to estimate how much your claim is worth.
In this article, we unpack what medical expenses you can claim for, some example claims and the evidence you will need when approaching the insurers.
Without stating the obvious too much, medical expenses relate to the costs of rehabilitation following an injury.
The expenses include both past fees that were already paid for, as well as future medical costs.
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As is the case in every other area of compensation, the amount that can be recovered will vary depending on the individual’s treatment plan and care needs.
Some real-life case examples have been provided.
Sarah, a 20-year-old student, was grocery shopping on a Sunday evening. As she was walking towards the fridges carrying various objects she slipped and fell on a puddle of water. Sarah hit her head on a display shelf as she fell causing significant brain injury, among other injuries. Sadly, she lost the capacity to walk, has difficulty speaking and has substantial memory deficiencies now.
Sarah now requires assistance with feeding, toileting and bathing. All movement around her house, getting in and out of bed, and any daily errands will need help from another person. She needs round the clock care.
Sarah requires significant and ongoing treatment including physiotherapy, nursing assistance and others. She also needs the help of various technologies including a wheelchair, specialised computer and electronic environmental controls. To facilitate her independence, she also required to have significant home modifications to make room for her wheelchair and enhance her abilities to access the bathroom and kitchen.
Because her life was irrevocably changed at such a young age and she required significant ongoing treatment and assistive technology, Sarah was awarded $409,000 toward her medical expenses.
Adam crossed a busy street at a pedestrian crossing to collect his morning coffee. As he stepped out onto the street, a car came speeding around the corner. Adam flew into the air as the vehicle slammed into him.
He landed heavily on the road, breaking his left ankle in the process. The significant impact also caused nerve damage to his right arm. After much rehabilitation, Adam's nerve damage causes him constant pain. He required significant dosages of painkillers, and his doctor expects that this will be needed well into the future.
Adam was awarded as part of his compensation a total of $32,496 for the cost of his past and future medical expenses (including medical appointments, medications and rehabilitation treatment).
Some typical medical expenses that are included in a compensation claim include:
Medical expenses can, therefore, be very extensive, especially if the injured party has to continue treatment for recurring medical problems.
For this reason, it's essential to be very thorough when documenting injuries in your claim file so that it is possible to calculate damages to account for future problems.
It is also important to attend all medical appointments or therapy sessions.
Proving these expenses may require the help of an expert medical professional. Usually, thorough documentation is needed to calculate the total costs of medical treatment. These may include the presentation of various items of evidence in court, such as:
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As the old bible saying goes – Ask, and you shall receive.
There are many cases we have seen where critical medical expenses have been left out of a person’s compensation because of inadequate documentation, or they just forgot to include it.
It is crucial to gain expert advice from an occupational therapist and doctors on likely requirements you will need in the future.
Small expenses such as assistive technology and home modifications are often overlooked but can be so important to an injured person’s quality of life.
Keeping a record of the medical expenses (treatment costs, medications, assistive technology) you had due to your injuries is very important, as it can mean the difference between having a claim for care and assistance, or not having a claim at all.
Keep a spreadsheet that details the following:
Don't miss out on other aspects of your claims...
...read the other blogs in the series below.
It is a significant part of a compensation claim.
Particularly for those who cannot claim wage losses.
For stay at home parents, retirees or the unemployed, pain and suffering often comprises the most considerable part of a compensation claim.
We are back again with the final part of our four-part series on quantum or how much is your claim worth.
In this article, we learn about the final factor (or head of damage in legal-speak), known as pain and suffering.
For the injured person, the suffering post-incident can feel like it has the most significant impact on their life.
The hardest part is quantifying that intangible pain left after an injury. While difficult, it shouldn’t be overlooked.
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Pain and suffering damages (aka general damages) refer to an award given by the court to the plaintiff for physical and emotional pain due to injury, illness, or loss.
Typically, claims for pain and suffering are for such things as:
Unfortunately, just because you may have experienced pain and suffering does not mean you will necessarily be entitled to compensation for it.
In and of itself, the pain and suffering of an individual can be subjective and very difficult to prove.
Medical experts are typical witnesses in these cases and often pivotal to a cases success.
However, the court takes into consideration other factors in its analysis, including:
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Without getting to complex, the ISV scale is used to calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in Queensland.
The scale regulates the award given for the areas of compensation based on the individual's level of injury.
Each injury has a corresponding ISV range. For example, a minor injury such as whiplash might have an ISV range of 5 – 10. Whereas, a severe injury such as quadriplegia may be at the top of the scale at 100.
Medical experts can help determine where a person might sit on this range.
Once the ISV range is known, then that range corresponds to a monetary amount on the scale.
For general personal injury claims (i.e. motor vehicle, pedestrian, slip & fall, product defects), your ISV range can be determined from the civil liabilities act Schedule 4.
However, if the incident occurred at work, your ISV range can be determined from the Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation at Schedule 9.
These can be very subjective and confusing, so we recommend seeking expert advice before lodging any claim.
When filing a claim that involves pain and suffering damages, you may wish to follow these guidelines:
Be sure to read up on the other areas of compensation available to you to maximise your overall settlement amount. Click the links below to read them all.
Most people have heard of personal injury claims but very few would understand what quantum is.
…and they really should – behind liability, it's the second most significant determinant of a successful claim.
You’d be forgiven for thinking quantum has something to do with physics. But it nowhere near as difficult to wrap your head around.
Simply put, quantum means an amount. So, it refers to the amount of compensation a person will receive for a personal injury.
As we discover through this four-part series, there are a number of areas under which you can determine what your quantum is and in turn discover how much your claim is worth.
The first topic we will be covering is a person's future economic loss. This area often makes up the most significant percentage of your quantum.
[RELATED: Calculate your Future Economic Loss using our worksheet here)
Future Economic Loss relates to an injured person’s ability (or inability) to work after an accident.
For example, this area of compensation might cover a person’s:
..up until they retire.
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The amount awarded for future economic loss varies considerably.
It depends on five major factors including:
A car slammed in the rear of Olly's car at a stop sign. Olly's neck snaps forward, but he is otherwise unhurt. Olly develops a headache and stiff neck and is placed in a cervical collar. He was told to stay in bed until he can move comfortably. As a result, he misses out on a week of work. He found he had continuing pain for many months but was able to work through it.
At age 29, he has most of his working career as a lawyer ahead of him. While he never lost the ability work (beyond his week off), Olly felt he lost work opportunities because of his continual pain reduced the likelihood he would be picked for new job or promotions. As it's difficult to quantify missed job opportunities, Olly's lost future earning capacity couldn't be calculated mathematically.
As a result, the judge awarded a small estimated figure to compensate his loss. Olly was awarded $70,000 in lost future economic loss due to his young age.
Jane was driving home from work late one evening when another vehicle, speeding through a red light, collided into her. Jane suffered severe whiplash and a broken wrist and pelvis as a result of the accident. Jane required surgery to stabilise her wrist and pelvis fractures which required her to take three months off work.
Jane was 35 and worked a registered nurse. She was in line for promotions to managerial positions. Because of the injuries suffered in the accident, she has difficulties standing and working for long periods of time. This means she is unable to put in the hours required for her promotion. She has also found that she struggles to complete her clinical duties and cannot accept overtime hours.
As Jane’s weekly income is reduced (because she cannot accept overtime), she is $300 worse off every week. Adding to that, had Jane been successful in her promotions she would have added $500 to her weekly wage. Combining this and multiplying it by the number of weeks until her retirement, Jane's economic loss totalled $657,600.
Someone's future loss is usually calculated by looking at four things.
How future economic loss is calculated sounds complex, but if you follow our worksheet it breaks down the steps into easy to understand (and action) summaries.
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When a person’s earning capacity is difficult to determine (such as in children’s cases, or where a person hasn’t taken time off work) a court will award a global sum.
This a blanket award of money determined by the trial judge. Such a case was evidenced in Example 1 above.
The discount rate relates to the rate of return that may be expected on money awarded in a lump sum settlement and is expressed as a percentage per annum.
A discount rate of 5% implies an expectation that the money, when invested, will achieve a return of 5% per annum.
Discount rates are used when assessing someone's future economic loss.
They are essential in determining how much needs to be paid now to compensate for amounts that would have been received in the future.
[RELATED: Calculate your Future Economic Loss using our worksheet here)
Critical pieces of evidence required to prove your future economic loss include:
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Like the saying – don’t put all your eggs in one basket - don’t forget to read the rest of the articles in this series on the other areas of compensation available to you.