If an action for A court order for money to be paid to someone to compensate them for a loss suffered as a result of a civil wrong or breach of contract. For example, a person who caused a serious permanent injury to another person can be ordered by the court to pay damages that compensate the injured person for their loss of income from being unable to work. See also aggravated damages; compensatory damages; general damages; liquidated damages; nominal damages; special damages. proceeds to a final decision in which the An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. awards damages (that is, the action is not settled out of court by the parties), the (1) A standard set of working conditions, including pay rates, for a particular industry. (2) A court decision that a party receive compensation, such as an award of damages to compensate them for physical injuries. generally carries an amount of damages for interest as well. The interest is generally not awarded on damages for the future, that is, future loss of earning The ability to understand and be held responsible by the law for your actions. It also refers to a person’s ability to understand and agree to something, such as to undergo medical treatment. Full legal capacity is reached at 18 years of age, when a child becomes an adult. and future medical or nursing expenses.
However, in actions by dependants arising out of a wrongful death, the damages are assessed as at the date of death, and the court may award interest on the whole of the damages awarded. The interest, known as ‘penalty interest’, varies from time to time; the current rate is regularly published in the Government Gazette.
A A person who begins a civil action against another person. who succeeds in an action for damages is generally entitled to The amount charged by a lawyer for legal work. Lawyers can only charge the amount agreed with the client in a costs agreement or the amount stated by a court in its rules. The party who loses a case usually has to pay all their own costs plus most of the costs reasonably incurred by the other side. See also indemnity costs.. Such costs are generally assessed by the Costs Court of the Supreme Court if the parties are not able to agree. Costs are usually awarded on what is known as the ‘party–A person or organisation directly involved in a court case. Parties include the plaintiff or applicant, the defendant, and any third party added to the action, but not independent witnesses. scale’. The scale does not necessarily cover all the costs that the plaintiff’s legal representatives may have properly incurred in running the action for damages (see ‘Legal costs’ in Chapter 2.1: Legal representation). These costs are known as ‘solicitor–client’ costs. The plaintiff usually pays solicitor–client costs out of the award of damages after the amount of Legal costs of one party paid by the other party, as ordered by the court. Most often paid by the losing party to the successful party. See also costs; indemnity costs. has been taken into account. If the plaintiff and the legal representatives are unable to agree on the appropriate amount of solicitor–client costs they can be fixed by the Costs Court of the Supreme Court (see ‘Complaining about your lawyer’s bill’, in Chapter 2.1: Legal representation).