When a person is injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, the sad reality is that in most cases they will be left with ongoing pain and disabilities which will restrict their ability to engage in the activities they enjoyed, or the work they did prior to the accident.
Whilst most of our personal injury clients would prefer to go back in time and avoid the circumstances that led them to being injured than to receive compensation, receiving a lump sum in recognition of their suffering and of what they have lost, can go a long way in terms providing then financial security and toward restoring them to the position they would otherwise have been in, had they not been injured.
In order to ensure our client’s are adequately compensated, it is of paramount importance that we obtain a ‘before and after picture’ – that is, we take a comprehensive history of their life, their experiences, aspirations and expectations prior to the accident and then look at how these have been affected by their injuries and their ongoing disabilities arising from the accident.
It is not uncommon for lawyers to make the mistake of focusing on a person’s injuries and their immediate or obvious losses. However, over the years of preparing cases and advocating on behalf of injured people, we have learned that it is not until you get to know the person your client was before the accident, that you can fully appreciate what they have lost.
If you or someone close to you is injured as a result of the negligence of someone else, it is important that you make sure your lawyer and the other party know exactly what your/their life was like before the accident; the things you did for yourself or your loved ones on a daily basis, the things you did for pleasure, the goals you had set yourself in terms of your career, future travel and so on.
It is only through taking the time to learn and understand this that a good lawyer will be able to assess not only what their client has already lost as a result of their injuries, but also, and perhaps more importantly, what they are likely to lose in the future. It is this exercise that will make a difference as to whether the final compensation amount you receive puts you back, as best as money can, to the position you were in before you were injured.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers are available to answer any enquiries you may have in relation to your rights after an accident, including motor vehicle accidents, medical negligence, injuries at work, public liability accidents, or injuries overseas. To speak to one of our helpful lawyers or to arrange a free no obligation assessment of your claim, please call us on 1800 25 1800 or contact us online.
Written by Ruth Hudson.
Ruth Hudson is a Practice Group Leader at Stacks Goudkamp. She has experience acting for clients in a variety of areas, including motor vehicle claims, public liability claims and professional negligence claims.