What Elements are Necessary for a Personal Injury Claim?
By Mary Kate Manning
When a normal trip to the supermarket or bank results in a serious injury, it can be hard to know what to do. Thankfully Australian law recognizes that if your injury is somebody else’s fault, you should be compensated.
Although you might feel red faced or embarrassed when you slip in public, often it’s not your fault or a simple accident – its due to external, dangerous circumstances. This is known as the negligence of somebody else, under Australian law. So what do you need to prove for a personal injury claim?
An Accident Happened
Though your first reaction may be to walk away, you should always make a report to a staff member or manager if you have been injured whilst on their property. Make sure that they write it down and follow their official process. If you did not do this at the time, you may be able to request tapes or other existing documentation of the accident. However a clear report at the time is most useful.
You Were Significantly Injured
You need to prove that your injury was more than a little embarrassment and a small amount of physical pain such as a cut finger or slight bruise. However, do not underestimate what may be considering significant injury – if you have suffered because of the incident, and then speak to a lawyer to determine your potential compensation.
You should document any costs or proof of your injury. A medical examination is a good idea as soon as possible after the incident – both for legal and health reasons. Keep any receipts for medicine or other costs you have related to the incident, including time off work by you and those who may have to care for you and travelling costs to specialists.
Negligence of Somebody Else
You need to prove that your injury was the direct result of somebody’s negligence. This may mean that an employee wiped the floors and did not put out clear signage, or that a spill was left as a hazard. Photographs or witness statements are helpful in proving this.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to help determine whether you have a case, assist you in building evidence, and assessing how much money you will be able to receive.
The slideshow version was posted at Slideshare.