Personal Injury and Your Rights

Injuries can happen to anyone at any time, and thousands of people are hospitalised and hurt every year without knowing their rights and if they can make a legal claim. Whether it’s a slip and fall accident which may seem straight forward, a work-related accident, or a severe car accident, there are ways to seek compensation.

Each year in Australia, thousands of people are taken to hospital with personal injury cases. While minor injuries typically recover quickly, for some people, their injuries can cause lasting health problems that can go on through their entire life. Most people are unaware that they can and should seek compensation, especially from injuries which can go on to affect the quality of their life in the future. 

According to The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the leading causes of injury and injury deaths in Australia include unintentional falls, transport crashes and intentional self-harm and suicide. Other common personal injuries include mechanical forces, assault, poisoning, thermal causes, drownings and injuries by animals.

Understanding the statistics and data is important in creating effective measures in seeking appropriate legislation and education to prevent and reduce the risk of injury.

Here are some important statistics:

In 2017-2018 over 532,500 cases of injury resulted in admission to hospital in Australia (AIHW).

  • The rate of hospitalised injury was 2,148 per 100,000 population.
  • The main causes of hospitalised injury were falls (42%), followed by injury due to inanimate mechanical forces (14%) and transport crashes (12%).
  • The most common areas of the body injured were the head and neck (22%) and the hip and lower limb (20%). The most common types of hospitalised injury were fractures (38%) and open wounds (15%).
  • Males accounted for more than half (55%) of all hospitalised injury cases. The rate of injury for males overall was 2,368 cases per 100,000 males, compared with 1,931 per 100,000 females. This difference remained when differences in age structure were accounted for (2,336 per 100,000 for males and 1,781 for females).
  • For both males and females, rates of hospitalised injury were highest in people aged 65 and over. Males had higher rates of hospitalised injury than females in all age groups from 0–64, but from the age of 65, females had a higher rate, with females aged 85 and over having much higher rates than males.
  • The age-standardised rate of hospitalised injury for Indigenous Australians was almost double (3,903 per 100,000) than for non-Indigenous Australians (1,991).
  • The age-standardised rate of injury in Very remote regions (4,313 per 100,000 population) was more than double the rate in Major cities (1,901).
  • The age-standardised rate of hospitalised injury increased with decreasing socioeconomic position—from 1,892 per 100,000 in the highest socioeconomic areas, to 2,118 in the lowest socioeconomic areas.

Top 5 common types of injuries in your community

While these statistics highlight hospital injuries for Australia, the most common injuries in Newcastle and most smaller communities that can seek personal injury compensation are:

Motor accident Injury

If a person experienced an injury as a result of a car accident and was not at fault, they may be able to seek compensation for damages. It’s essential to have all the medical documentation detailed about the injuries sustained, insurance details and any police reports of the event.

The sooner you can seek legal advice after your injury, the better for time frames.

Medical negligence

Medical negligence cases deal with cases where doctors may have either taken an incorrect course of action, broken a rule, or have administered inappropriate treatments to a patient.

Product liability

If a person is injured while using a defective product, they can seek compensation. Some products have manufacturer warnings and are deemed ‘unavoidably dangerous’, and these can’t seek compensation while others can. This is where a qualified lawyer will be able to give you the advice to see if you have a case.

Slip and fall accidents

If a person is injured due to a slip and fall accident on public or private property, they can seek compensation in some instances. These accidents usually depend on the safety of the environment and whether there is adequate signage or warnings for a person to reduce any risk of harm. A person’s case will be strengthened if the property was unreasonably dangerous or unexpectedly dangerous.

Work-related

If a person is injured at work, they can seek compensation. The claim can vary from lump sum entitlements to claims for ongoing weekly payments and medical expenses claimed by the insurer. In cases of severe injuries, the payouts can be significant.

What is the most common outcome in personal injury claims?

In the majority of cases, and as high as 70 per cent of cases, a payout is received, and an out of court settlement is achieved rather than going to trial. Very few cases go to trial for personal injury cases, especially when insurance companies are involved. Trials can be expensive and time-consuming and, in most cases, a personal injury lawyer with good experience will be able to negotiate a good personal injury settlement on your behalf.

How much compensation is awarded in personal injury cases?

Whether it’s a trial verdict or an out of court settlement, it’s impossible to predict exact payouts due to personal injury being so varied in different accidents. In most small to medium community cases in Australia, payouts can range from $3000 to $25,000 with severe and long-term injuries and deaths, leading to higher settlements and awards.

For more information on a personal injury, your rights, and what you might come to expect with a personal injury payout, contact one of our experienced lawyers in Newcastle.

Talk to one of our lawyers today, and let us fight for you.