PERSONAL INJURY QUESTIONS
Many people have personal injury compensation questions. Here we will attempt to answer some of the more commonly asked ones.
WHAT IS NO WIN NO FEE?
We charge you at the end of your case and we are paid from the proceeds of your claim. If you recover nothing, you do not pay us anything. Depending upon the type of case you have, the insurance company may pay something in the range of 60% to 100% of your costs.
The costs we charge you are our professional fees plus disbursements. Disbursements include things like medical report fees and sometimes barristers fees that we pay on your behalf. We charge you these fees at the end of your claim but only if you are successful.
We do not charge for telephone, facsimile, postage or other “miscellaneous” expenses.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
What your legal fees are will depend upon what work we are required to do and that is also linked to how the insurance company responds to your claim. When we meet you, we will be able to assess your matter and give you an estimate of your likely costs.
Before we commence work on your claim, we will explain this important issue further and you will always receive full details in writing. Our Solicitor Director, Harry Day, has never had a dispute with a client over legal fees in over 30 years of practice. Our record is derived from our philosophy that law is a profession, not a business.
WHAT IF I AM UNSURE THAT I HAVE A CLAIM?
Talk to us! Our initial assessment of your compensation rights is always provided on a no obligation and without fee basis. That means that you will never be wasting anyone’s time in making an enquiry and we therefore encourage you to do so. Even if we believe that you do not have a claim, we will explain the reasons why we think this to be the case. You should not delay in making your enquiry as there are many different time limits that apply to a variety of compensation claims.
HOW MUCH COMPENSATION WILL I RECEIVE?
Regretfully, no one can answer the question how much compensation you will receive other than to give you a likely range. The assessment of the amount of compensation is not a mathematical exercise that has just one answer. Once we assess your claim, we will be able to give you an approximate assessment of the value of your claim. There are many variables that go into calculating damages and these variables are largely subjective and different judges assess the same facts differently.
The main types of variables that will be investigated are:
- the type and severity of the injuries that you suffered
- how much wage loss and superannuation loss you have suffered since your injuries occurred
- how much wage loss and superannuation loss your injuries are likely to cause in the future
- the cost of past and future medical, hospital and allied health expenses
- the cost of past and future care requirements that you may have
- other – there are other variables to consider, depending upon the type of claim.
HOW LONG WILL MY CLAIM TAKE?
The time it takes to finish your claim depends upon many factors. The main factors are the severity of your injuries and the time it takes for the insurance company to respond to the stages of your claim. People with minor injuries may have their claim finished in 3 to 9 months. The average claim will take about 12 to 18 months, mainly due to the fact that it generally takes 6 to 12 months for your injuries to stabilise so that medical assessment of the permanent effects of your injuries may take place.
In very severe injuries, for example, severe spinal injury, brain injury or quadriplegia, the time to finish the claim will be longer.
WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE A LAWYER?
You have the right to choose your own legal representation and the right to change lawyers at anytime. Changing of lawyers in personal injury claims is very common and can occur for any number of reasons. Usually, your new lawyer will contact your old lawyer to say they are now acting for you. The old lawyer may not contact you anymore. After that, arrangements are then agreed between the two lawyers for the orderly transfer of your file.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO – WHERE DO WE MEET?
We can meet you initially at your home, at your work, at our offices located convenient to you and we have even met clients in coffee shops. It is really your choice.
After the initial meeting, after we commence work on your claim, we may contact each other by phone; by email or through the post. Again, it is your choice.
We are available to meet you anytime during the life of your claim should you wish.
The main things that you must do for your claim are:
- attend medical appointments that we arrange for the purpose of your claim (usually 1 to 2)
- go to any medical appointments that the insurance company arrange for the purpose of your claim (usually 1 to 2)
- attend a compulsory settlement conference with us when you, we and the insurance company agree.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
No. You never have to go to Court. We will advise you if we think you should go to Court, but the choice is yours.
In Queensland, personal injury claims are required to go through a compulsory settlement conference process. The majority of claims, about 95% or more, settle at that conference.
WHAT IF I HAVE MORE PERSONAL INJURY QUESTIONS?
You can call us and the first consultation is always free. We are also available for home visits in Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and out to Toowoomba. We practice in QLD and Northern NSW.