The Queensland Government has recently passed new legislation, the Civil Liability and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2010 which amends the law relating to claims for personal injury in Queensland.
For those persons who suffer injuries after 1 July 2010, a new increased schedule of monetary amounts for general damages will apply under then Civil Liability Regulation 2003. The new schedule will be subject to annual indexation to ensure that injured Queenslanders will receive a measure of compensation that is in keeping with changes to Queensland’s standard of living over time.
This legislation represents a long over due change as the monetary amounts provided for in the current schedule have not been indexed since their introduction in 2003.
The legislation also provides for those who suffer injuries after 1 July 2010 to claim for the loss of their capacity to provide gratuitous domestic services to other members of their household.
Gratuitous services are services provided free of charge to another person to assist that person in coping with their injuries or incapacity. Claims will be open to injured persons where: –
(a) The injured person’s general damages exceed $35,340.00; and
(b)The recipient of the gratuitous services was incapable of performing the services personally because of their age or physical or mental incapacity; and
(c) But for the person’s injury, the injured person would have provided the services for at least 6 hours per week for 6 months.
At present the courts are unable to make awards for the loss of gratuitous services provided to another.
The legislation also abolishes the statutory limitation period for personal injuries resulting from dust related conditions such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. While the dangers posed by exposure to asbestos particles and other similar materials may be more well known today, many sufferers of dust related conditions were exposed to danger many years ago when, few if any, adequate measures were taken to protect workers and members of the general public from this danger. The removal of the statutory limitation period for dust-related conditions means that a person suffering from these conditions will no longer be required to apply to the courts for leave to extend limitations periods.