pain and suffering: how much payout can you get? (Read our $89,500 Example below)

When we calculate compensation in personal injury claims, the settlement amount is made up of several “heads of damage”. One of them is called Pain and Suffering. It is also known as General Damages.


In theory, how much you can get depends on the severity of your injuries. In practice, it’s a little more complicated.


Before we move on, keep in mind: the information below is relevant to Queensland personal injury claims.


who caused your injuries?

If you suffer injuries in a road accident or, let’s say in a slip and fall in a shopping centre, the amount you can recover is severely limited (capped) by Queensland legislation. (More on this below.)


However, if for example, your injuries happened at a construction site where multiple companies might have been responsible for your safety, then the amount is not capped by legislation. For instance, at a construction accident, both your employer and the principal builder may be responsible for your injuries.


What all this means is that – the same injury might be worth more money depending on whose negligence caused it.


how to prove pain and suffering

We would obtain a medical report from a specialist which sets out the nature and severity of your injuries. The specialist will also say what are the short term or long term consequences of the injuries on your wellbeing.


In addition, we also draft a statement on your behalf that sets out in detail the day-to-day difficulties which you have experienced. 


OK…Tell me How much I can get

Let’s say you have a serious spinal injury (with nerve root damage and pain). If in your matter the payout amount is capped by the Civil Liability Regulations, then it is between $30,000 and $89,500 (as at October 2020, assuming the injury occurred after 1 July 2020). Keep in mind in some instances the judge can increase it, but rarely more than by 25%.  (In one of our cases, we convinced the defendant that the maximum amount should be increased by 100%).


If the payout is not capped by legislation, the same injury could be worth $150,000 to $200,000.


How do you get the maximum (rather than compromising for the minimum)

In short, this is where you need an experienced personal injury lawyer. To illustrate with the previous example: if you don’t know what you’re doing, the defendant will convince you that your injuries are only “moderate”. Guess what’s the range for that – $8,000 to $28,000. 


Your lawyer’s job is to obtain the best possible evidence and advocate on your behalf to ensure you get the highest possible compensation.

you can claim more than just for pain and suffering: free book offer explaining your compensation rights

Many firms try to rush you to sign up with them without carefully considering your options. We encourage you to first learn about your personal injury claim. You should ask yourself:

  • How do you calculate your compensation amount?
  • How should you choose your lawyer? Do you just choose by firm name regardless of who is really in charge of your matter? Has your lawyer ever argued a case in court?
  • What is a no win – no fee agreement? How much will it cost? 

Our book is available to you free of charge. You don’t have to be a client to receive this book. Head to the order page and we will be happy to send you a copy straight away.

Oszkar Denes Seven Deadly Sins that can wreck your personal injury claim

25% cap on legal costs


In Queensland, most compensation firms will charge you 50% of your compensation amount – the maximum allowed at law. This is very expensive. Our fee is different. We will cap our fee at 25% if we don’t have to file a claim in court. If we have to file a claim in court, then the cap is 33%.  Remember also, these are the maximum fees we will charge. If our fee in your claim is less, then we charge the lesser amount.


Before you engage us, we will provide you a written Disclosure Notice and a Client Service Agreement. These documents set out in detail the service we provide, as well as our fees and outlays. Before you sign anything, you can take these documents home with you, and study them with your family. You can take as long as you need, there is never any pressure from us. If anything in these documents doesn’t make sense to you, we can discuss it with you and you are free to ask another lawyer to give you advice.  And remember, no win – no fee agreements come with a 5 day cooling off period for extra peace of mind.


Denes Lawyers is a legal firm based in Springfield Lakes. We service the local suburbs of Augustine Heights, Ripley, Ipswich, Greenbank and Ipswich.