Victoria: Proposed amendments to the Wrongs Act

Introduced in the Victorian parliament on 15 September 2015 was a Bill entitled the Wrongs Amendment Bill 2015. In other jurisdictions equivalent legislation to the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) is generally described as civil liability legislation. Proposed reforms of interest appear to be:

  • Increasing the maximum non-economic loss award in section 28G to $577,050 and altering the future indexation approach.
  • Altering the approach to the cap on economic loss. The current section requires the court to disregard the amount (if any) by which gross weekly earnings would have exceeded an amount that is 3 times the amount of average weekly earnings at the date of the award. The proposed new section instead provides that the maximum amount of damages which may be awarded shall be 3 times average weekly earnings. This would appear to allow some compensation for higher income earners who suffer a partial loss of income.
  • Refining the approach to the award of damages for loss of capacity to provide gratuitous care to dependants.
  • Refining the application of thresholds using the AMA Guide to Permanent Impairment in respect of spinal injury and psychiatric injury.

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