East Coast Injury Lawyers receives many enquiries from our clients concerning their legal rights to compensation after an accident in areas such as Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns and Beenleigh.
However, many of these enquiries are similar in nature, albeit with slightly different answers depending on the unique circumstances of the client, the nature of the accident, and the severity of the injury.
Today, we will address some of the more important questions in this article that many of our clients want to know specifically about pursuing a common law claim:
If I pursue a common law claim against my negligent employer, how will that change my lifestyle? In other words, will I need to worry about how much I can earn and how this may affect a future settlement?
This is a very common question, and a very good one at that. The truth is that you do not need to change anything about the way you live or the money you earn. It is important that clients try their best to live their lives as normally as possible.
If you have been injured at work due to an employer’s negligence, and you are able to mitigate your situation by continuing to work, there are still potential legal arguments that may arise in your circumstances to account for a consistent income, or even an increased income.
For example, if you are a salesperson with ambitions to be promoted to a more prestigious competitive position, you may be able to argue that your particular niche could be a fickle industry. While you may have your current position as a salesperson, it will not last forever and you will then be restricted in what you can do in the future:
- Maybe you wanted to start your own consulting business but because of the accident, you’re required to be in court for an extended period of time.
- If your sales job does not reap the benefits you wanted, your injuries may prevent you from pursuing a number of other jobs because you are physically restricted to light sedentary work.
There are also other potential heads of damages that you can claim from a workplace injury in common law besides employment income such as general damages (pain & suffering), out of pocket expenses, future medical costs, etc.
The point is, do not make assumptions about the legal implications of your claim. An accredited specialist in personal injury can apply the law to your circumstances in a way that someone else without any legal training or knowledge could never do.
Is a WorkCover settlement based on my last 3 tax returns?
This is the main aspect that WorkCover will look at to determine what income you may be losing. They will compare what you were earning before, to what you are currently earning.
As previously mentioned, there may be a legal argument concerning a claimant’s future plans and a claim could be made based on achieving those goals.
However, evidence is required to substantiate this kind of claim and it is important that you seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer in this matter. Failing to provide adequate evidence may result in WorkCover taking a cautious (and even skeptical) approach to those claims.
Do I need to pay back WorkCover after I settle?
A good personal injury lawyer will take the WorkCover refund into account with your settlement. They will incorporate the amount paid to WorkCover Qld within the settlement proposal and deduct that amount at the end so that your compensation is not adversely affected.
What is the general time frame for a common law claim settlement?
Once a Notice of Assessment is issued by WorkCover, your personal injury lawyer can serve a Notice of Claim for Damages to your employer shortly thereafter.
Typically, it is then about 9 months from the date of serving the Notice of Claim that a compulsory settlement conference will be scheduled.
Will a personal injury lawyer hold me liable for legal fees if I choose to not proceed with a common law claim?
No. A reputable lawyer will never charge you for any legal work in a matter that you are unwilling to undertake.
What is the maximum amount of legal costs I can expect to pay if I proceed with a common law claim?
Your actual legal costs will depend on the nature of your accident and the extent of your injuries. Generally speaking, the more complicated and serious the matter is, the higher the legal fees may be because there is always the possibility of a trial. This is especially true in matters where the amount of compensation being sought is significantly higher than the insurance company is willing to pay.
However, personal injury lawyers must adhere to a legal professional standard according to law when it comes to charging clients. This standard is known as the 50/50 rule.
In general, the rule is that a personal injury lawyer should not charge a client more than half the amount to which the client is entitled under a court judgment or settlement after deducting any refunds and disbursements the client is required to pay.
This is why it is important to find a good Brisbane personal injury lawyer. An accredited specialist in personal injury can provide effective and efficient legal services that will minimize legal costs and prevent unnecessary time delays.
East Coast Injury Lawyers will answer all of your WorkCover questions
Do not delay in speaking with an accredited specialist in personal injury from East Coast Injury Lawyers. We will provide you with a FREE no obligation initial consultation to inform you of your legal rights so you can decide whether or not you should pursue a claim. Simply contact us at 1300 720 544 or fill out our case review form.