Medical Negligence Award Caps.
Most Australian jurisdictions have allowable awards (‘caps’) which limit the amount of compensation payable for medical negligence claims.
These ‘medical negligence caps’ vary between jurisdictions, however most place highly restrictive limits on claims for loss of wage, pain and suffering and gratuitous care.
Medical Negligence Award Caps (NSW)
Under the Civil Liability Act 2002 there’s a cap of damages for non-economic loss such as pain and suffering ($350,000 and indexed to average weekly earnings), economic loss such loss of past and future income (3 x average weekly earnings and discounted 5% for lump sums), and award of legal costs (the greater of 20% or $10,000 for damages <$100,000). Damages for gratuitous attendant care services are either not available or restricted.
Commentary – Medical Negligence Compensation Caps
As seen in the Medical Negligence Blog, these limitations on medical negligence compensation are seen as extremely unfair and unwarranted. Many commentators have highlighted that these changes are making small medical negligence claims unviable and ensuring many victims of negligence are not adequately compensated. Recent Articles on award caps, include:
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