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Compensation in Australia - a fair go

The laws in Australia about compensation originally reflected the Aussie idea of a "fair go".

The courts in this country have traditionally said that if I act in a negligent manner which causes you to suffer loss then I should cover you for that loss, whatever it may be. If the repair bill for your car is $10,000 then I should pay you $10,000. If you lose three months from work than I should reimburse you for the after-tax earnings you would have received during that time.

So, what is meant by acting in a negligent manner? Again the courts have taken a pretty straightforward approach. I am expected to act in the way that a reasonable person would act. If I'm 10 years old then I'm supposed to act like a reasonable 10-year-old. If I'm a surgeon carrying out an operation, then I'm supposed to act like a reasonable surgeon.


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