Personal Injury Compensation Claim Tips
A Gold Coast woman’s compensation payout of $600,000 was recently dismissed by a court after a video of her dancing and joking around surfaced in court. The woman, 23-year-old Meah Baldock-Davis had claimed that the injuries she sustained on July 4th, 2019, were as a result of being hit by a car whilst on her way to work in Pacific Fair and had left her unable to work.
Ms Baldock-Davis initiated proceedings against the driver and his insurer AAI Limited in the Queensland Supreme Court seeking economic loss of “no less than $600,000” as a result of the injuries sustained. She subsequently received a compensation payout of $40,635 however, after videos emerged in court of her dancing and poking fun at her injuries whilst away on a trip in October of 2022, the court ruled that the video undermined her claim and ordered her to pay back the compensation.
Ms Baldock-Davis’ lawyer argued that the video was taken out of context and did not accurately reflect her client’s injuries, which was not accepted by the court. The incident highlights the importance of firstly being honest and truthful in bringing a personal injury claim in addition to maintaining an appropriate public profile with regard to what personal content is being shared online.
How can I maximise my compensation payout?
If you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, the amount of compensation you receive will depend on a number of factors, mainly, the severity of your injuries and whether your actions in any way attributed to your injury. Here are some tips on how you can potentially maximise any compensation payout:
- Seek medical attention: The first and most important step in any personal injury claim is to seek appropriate medical attention. Your health and well-being should always be your top priority, and seeking prompt medical treatment will also help to document the extent of your injuries.
- Attributing negligence: Understanding the principles of negligence and attributing fault to the relevant party is also a key factor in being able to maximise your potential compensation settlement. If you can prove another party is fully negligent for their actions, it will go a long way in ensuring you are maximising your compensation outcome.
- Compile evidence: In order to make a successful personal injury claim, you will need to be able to show evidence that the other party was responsible for your injuries. This can include witness statements, photographs, and medical records. Other important evidence that you will want to keep record of will be any treatments or rehabilitations you have completed as this may be able to be reimbursed through your compensation amount if successful.
- Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer: A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and maximize your compensation payout. They can also advise you on the strength of your case and the best course of action.
What are my prospects of success in a Personal Injury claim?
The chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit will depend on a number of factors, including the strength of your case, the severity of your injuries and the evidence you have to support your claim. Generally, if you can demonstrate that the other party was negligent and that this negligence caused your injuries, your prospects of success would be high.
Importantly, personal injury lawsuits can be complex and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee of success. Which is why it is important to consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer who can assess the strength of your case and advise you on the best course of action.
How may another party defend my Personal Injury claim?
When defending against personal injury claims, another party may use a number of strategies to try and reduce their liability. Some common defence strategies to be aware of, include:
- Denying liability: The other party may claim that they were not responsible for your injuries, or that your injuries were not caused by their actions.
- Contributory negligence: The other party may argue that you were partly responsible for your own injuries, and that this should reduce the amount of compensation you receive. For example, you failed to take care of your own safety measures.
- Assumption of risk: The other party may claim that you knew the risks involved in the activity that caused your injuries, and that you therefore assumed the risk of injury. For example, participating in a high risk activity such as horse riding.
- Pre-existing conditions: The other party may argue that your injuries were not caused by their actions, but rather by a pre-existing condition or injury.
In the current digital age, it is very easy for a person’s content to be viewed via platforms such as Tik Tok, Facebook etc. Accordingly, insurance companies and lawyers defending claims will utilise these platforms to ascertain if a person’s personal injury claim is exaggerated, bona fide or legitimate.
In circumstances where an injured person establishes their claim for compensation which they are not entitled to then this can lead to a dramatic reduction in compensation, as was the case for Ms Baldock-Davis.
It’s important to remember that personal injury law varies by jurisdiction, and the specifics of a case can greatly affect the outcome. Claims can be complex and time-consuming which is why ensuring you have the right representation is key.
Salerno Law has a team of dedicated and experienced lawyers in this area of legal practice who have an unparalleled commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients. This dedication and experience mean we are able to provide tailored advice and successful results for our clients who have suffered injury.
Our reputation for excellence and results makes us a trusted and reliable choice for anyone seeking legal representation in a personal injury case.
Author: Ibraheim Jahshan