Legislation enacted between 2002 and 2005 by each Australian State and Territory reformed and partially codified the common law of personal injuries. This column examines the nature and history of damages for pain and suffering and analyses the approach taken by different Australian jurisdictions to compensation for non-economic loss. Non-economic loss is generally composed of pain and suffering, loss of amenities of life, and loss of enjoyment of life (some jurisdictions, eg New South Wales, also include disfigurement, and loss of expectation of life). Several jurisdictions have imposed thresholds that a claimant must meet as a prerequisite to suing for damages at common law.
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