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What Is A Common Law Claim for Damages?

What Is A Common Law Claim For Damages?

When we talk about a Common Law Claim for damages, we are talking about what is more commonly recognised as a law suit.

This is where you take legal action against a party for a negligent or wrongful act or omission which has caused you injury.

You aim to recover damages for loss and damage you have suffered because of those injuries.

An example of a common law claim for damages could be if you suffer an injury at work and you sue your employer for your work injury to recover damages.

Or where you sue the driver of a vehicle for causing you injury in a motor vehicle accident.

Can I Get Accident Injury Compensation?

What Are Damages In A Common Law Claim?

When we talk about “damages”, we are talking about compensation for pain & suffering. Other damages are also sought for:

  • loss of income

  • superannuation benefits

  • medical expenses and care costs (all past and future losses)

  • as well as interest on these past losses, sustained as a consequence of your injuries

You have to prove that the party who you are suing has acted wrongfully or negligently

To succeed in such a claim, you have to prove that the party who you are suing has acted wrongfully or negligently and this has in some way resulted in your injury occurring.

The test is one of “reasonable care” and “reasonable foresee-ability” of the injury occurring as a result of the negligent or wrongful act or omission.

A Common Law Claim Is Not Based On A "No-Fault" Scheme

Now unlike a workers’ compensation claim, a Common Law Claim is not based on a “no-fault” scheme.

In fact it is just the opposite.

You will only have a Common Law Claim for damages if your injury has been caused or contributed to in some way by the negligence or wrongful act or omission of another party (e.g. your employer or a co-worker, the driver of another vehicle, management at a shopping centre etc).

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