If you've been involved in a car accident there is as much a mental toll as a physical one. TGB partner Tim White and senior associate Nakkie Le Roux examine the path to a successful psychological injury claim in Western Australia.
Can I make a psychological injury claim after a Motor Vehicle Accident in Western Australia? In short, yes you can.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Western Australia (WA) that wasn’t your fault—i.e. it was caused by the negligent driving of another driver—and you have suffered a psychological (mental) injury as a result, you can make a claim for compensation.
You can make a claim for injury insurance even if you have not suffered a physical injury and you have only suffered a psychological injury.
Our specialist motor vehicle accident lawyers in Perth are equipped to help you out with this.
Have you suffered a psychological injury after a motor vehicle accident? You are not alone
Following a motor vehicle accident, particularly where there has been significant damage; psychological injuries are not uncommon. A lot of people incorrectly believe that they cannot claim for psychological injuries —that is simply not the case.
Psychological injuries can cause considerable implications and restrictions on day-to-day life which are referred to as damages and can be paid for under Western Australia’s motor vehicle accident scheme.
It is your individual circumstances that determine the impact that mental injuries have on your daily life, work responsibilities, and need for on-going medical treatment. It is important to seek specialist advice if you believe you have suffered or are suffering from a psychological injury following a motor vehicle accident in WA.
Liability for a Psychological Injury Arising from a Motor Vehicle Accident in WA.
You may make a claim for compensation even if you were not driving a motor vehicle for example if you were a passenger, pedestrian, cyclist or other road user, you are still entitled to make a claim.
In certain circumstances the amount that you can claim may be reduced if for example your negligence contributed to the accident.
You have the right to appoint a lawyer to assist you with your claim. Our specialist Perth personal injury lawyers are on-hand to assist you at any stage of your claim.
Compensation for Psychological Injury
The Insurance Commission of WA pays for certain specific expenses and losses that need to be carefully considered when figuring out what compensation you may be entitled to. The following are potential issues you may be compensated for:—
1. Pain and suffering
You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering depending on the extent of your psychological injuries and the overall impact it has had on your day-to-day life. In determining a monetary sum for non-economic loss such as pain and suffering, it is primarily the changes to your daily life, social activities, friends and family interactions, recreational enjoyment, sports, and other interests that are considered. Compensation for non-economic loss has to exceed the set minimum threshold, if anything is to be paid for this aspect.
2. Past loss of earnings
The effect of a psychological injury on your earning capacity can be just as significant if not worse than that caused by physical injuries. If, as a consequence of your psychological injury you have been partly or wholly unable to work, you are also able to claim for the loss of earnings that you have suffered as a result.
Supporting documentation and evidence needs to be obtained to support a claim for loss of earnings. For most people, this involves obtaining tax returns, pay slips, letters from employers, medical certificates, and other employment-related records.
Our specialised Perth personal injury lawyers can advise you and help you identify and source all the documentation and evidence that may be required.
3. Future loss of earnings
Psychological injuries can cause future loss of earnings long-term due to the difficulty it causes with a person’s ability to return to work. Close consideration must be given to the medical evidence and prognosis when determining any claim for future loss of earnings.
If you are permanently incapacitated for work as a result of your psychological injury it is likely you can claim for future loss of earnings. Often this payment area makes up the bulk of your compensation claim if you are unable to work.
4. Domestic assistance
If you require domestic assistance while you recover from your psychological injury caused by a motor vehicle accident in Western Australia, you may be entitled to be compensated for domestic assistance such as housekeeping and gardening. Compensation for domestic assistance has to exceed a minimum threshold before any payments can be made.
Ultimately, it is your individual circumstances and the facts of your claim that will determine how much compensation you may be entitled to claim.
Medical Evidence from Insurers
It is often the case that the Insurance Commission of WA will obtain its own medical evidence following a claim resulting from a motor vehicle accident in Western Australia. You may be required to attend a health practitioner from time to time for an assessment arranged by the Insurance Commission of WA.
The health practitioner should be provided with your relevant medical history and all the necessary details about the impact that your psychological injury hashad on you. If this is not provided then the expert report may not truly reflect or support any difficulties that you may be facing as a result of your psychological injury.
You are certainly entitled to obtain your own medical evidence as well. Indeed, reports from your treating doctors and other doctors that we may send you to are a vitally important component of your claim.
Ready to Take the Next Steps?
If any of this applies to you and you have suffered psychological injury following a motor vehicle accident, get in touch with TGB today.
Our Perth personal injury lawyers are experienced in motor vehicle accident claims and can handle your claim from start-to-finish with care and compassion, leaving you to focus on what’s most important—recovery.
Give us a call today on (08) 9211 5800 and book your free, no-obligation claim assessment, or fill in your details here and we’ll quickly be in touch.