What is general damages and when can I claim for it? Road Accident Fund

What is general damages and when can it be claimed?

What is general damages and when can it be claimed?

WHAT IS GENERAL DAMAGES AND WHEN CAN IT BE CLAIMED?

 

General damages include amongst others, pain, suffering, discomfort and loss of amenities of life.

When claiming general damages, a medical specialist will have to complete a Serious Injury Report during consultation.  The specialist will be guided by Legislation to establish whether you will qualify for General damages or not.

A claimant needs to be 30% Whole Person Impaired to qualify for general damages.  Examples of injuries that may meet the threshold are:

  • amputations;
  • permanent brain damage;
  • paraplegia

Should a claimant not be 30% Whole Person Impaired, the narrative test may be applied to determine if a claimant is still entitled to claim for general damages.  The narrative test is completed by a Medical Practioner and the report include the following:

  1. Injury diagnosis – confirming which injuries was sustained in the motor vehicle accident
  2. Outcome diagnosis – referring to the chronic condition that has arisen from the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident
  3. External circumstances of the person’s life – referring to the environmental and contextual circumstances
  4. Individual Circumstances of the claimant’s life and functional impairment
  5. Chronic pain, subjective suffering and/or loss of enjoyment of life
  6. Level/degree of changes – referring to the consequences of the injuries relating to seriousness and disability

In laymen’s terms, all the personal circumstances of the claimant is considered in order to determine whether you will qualify for General Damages.

The monetary value of general damages is not easy to determine and Courts usually look for guidance in previous cases but also apply their own discretion as each case have their own circumstances.

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