How are damages calculated?

Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering damages are awarded for pain, suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life.  No scale applies to the assessment of these damages. The personal circumstances of the claimant form the basis for the assessment. Accordingly, every case is different.

Pecuniary Loss Damages

Pecuniary loss damages are awarded for income loss and reduced earning capacity.

Income loss is only able to be claimed from the 18-month anniversary of the accident.  A claimant is entitled to recover the nett (after-tax) income that would have been earned during the relevant period.

Lost earning capacity damages compensate for losses into the future.  The difference between pre-and post-accident earning capacity determines the value.

The calculation of future losses involves an actuarial formula.  The formula allows for future losses to be claimed as a lump sum in the present.  The lump sum must be discounted for the normal risks of life (“vicissitudes”).  The usual discount is 15%.  Vicissitudes are usual risks of living and changes of circumstances faced by everyone.  For example, other accidents or injuries, illnesses, job losses, etc.

Again, you should obtain expert legal advice in relation to both pain and suffering and pecuniary loss damages.