If you’ve suffered an injury because someone else was in the wrong, it’s important to be able to claim injury compensation. Compensation is a vital safety net that helps to ease the unfairness of the situation.
When can I claim compensation for injury?
In South Australia, if you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you can claim compensation. This is known as damages.
“Negligence” is a failure to take reasonable care to avoid injuring another person, or damaging their property.
There are many circumstances in which you can claim damages for personal injury. They include:
- Motor vehicle accidents.
- Accidents in public and private places.
- Injuries sustained while performing work duties.
- Injuries resulting from a criminal offence committed by another person.
- Injuries arising from product defects.
- Injuries caused by animals.
- Injuries caused by negligent medical actions.
- Injuries caused as a result of professional services.
It is important to note, however, that there is a three year limitation period for personal injury claims in South Australia. This means that you have three years from the date of the injury in which to commence legal proceedings in court. Most cases settle without going to court but it is important to be aware that this time limit applies in the event that a settlement isn’t reached.
If it has already been more than three years since you were injured it might still be possible to proceed with a claim but you should immediately speak to a lawyer to find out where you stand.
Elements of a personal injury claim
If you make a legal claim for personal injury, you will be required to prove that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. This means that you have to also prove that they were negligent by establishing that:
- The negligent person (the defendant) owed you a duty of care. That is, that they had an obligation to ensure your safety or well-being.
- The defendant breached this duty.
- You suffered injury or damage.
- The injury or damage suffered was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty of care.
To be successful in establishing your claim, you will need to satisfy all four criteria. A court will decide this and it will award damages to you only if you are successful.