What is the maximum I can receive in car accident compensation?

Published 17 Apr 2018

Author: Nassir Bechara

Car accident compensation is designed to cover both the economic and non-economic costs (otherwise known as general damages) that road users suffer if they are involved in a crash.

The financial impact of sustaining car accident injuries can be significant, particularly if you are the primary money earner in your family. People also suffer emotional strain following a crash, which is difficult to measure purely in dollars.

But what are the maximum awardable damages for a crash?

Understanding ACT car accident compensation

There is no limit for how much you can receive in damages for your car accident injuries.

Compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance in the ACT is usually more expensive than in other Australians states and territories because there are no caps on either economic losses or general damages.

The expenses these categories cover include:

Economic losses

  • Past and future lost income and earning capacity;
  • Medical bills and treatments; and
  • Care expenses.

General damages

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life;
  • Loss of life expectancy.

The amount of compensation you receive will therefore be based on various factors, including your age, earning capacity and the seriousness of your injuries.

Canberra crash results in $18.3 million payout

A recent case that went before ACT Supreme Court highlights the extent of damages that judges can award for major accidents.

Last year, a Canberra teenager received $18.3 million after timber planks penetrated a car window and caused her catastrophic brain injuries. The recipient, who was aged eight at the time of the 2007 accident, was in the back seat of her father’s car when the vehicle was rear-ended by a van carrying more than 50 lengths of pine timber.

She now requires lifelong care due to significant neurocognitive impairment and intellectual disabilities, according to the Canberra Times. The driver of the van was found guilty of carrying an unsafe load.

“My daughter’s injuries are really serious, she is my youngest child, and I had hoped she would become a doctor,” the woman’s mother said.

“I want to ensure she will be looked after for the rest of her life, as my husband and I are in our 50s and our other daughters are aged 27 and 21.”

Making a claim for compensation

If you are injured in a car accident in the ACT, you are entitled to make a claim if you are not at fault or only partly to blame for the incident.

CTP insurers may try to challenge your claim, so please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for personal injury advice as soon as possible after your crash.