Brisbane Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury
Sean is an accredited specialist in personal injury law and an experienced solicitor in all areas of personal injury. Our firm services all of Queensland for all personal injury claims with 3 convenient office locations, as well as a commitment to visit clients at their home or medical facility if they are unable to attend our offices.
Do you need a Personal Injury lawyer in Brisbane, Queensland?
Our location in Brisbane is conveniently located in the CBD with close proximity to Fortitude Valley, Anzac Square and the City Botanical Gardens.
For your convenience, one of our personal injury lawyers in Brisbane can arrange to visit you at your residence, hospital or other health care facility. Please let us know if your injuries or schedule prevent you from attending our office location.
How Is a Personal Injury Claim Successful?
In order to successfully win a personal injury claim in court, you need to establish 3 general elements:
- That you have suffered an accident and injury that has resulted in damage and loss;
- That the person responsible had a duty of care in the circumstances to prevent a foreseeable risk of harm from happening; and
- That the person responsible breached that duty of care.
Proving these elements may not always be as simple as they sound. The law and public resources is not always set out in black and white. Case law and legislation are difficult to interpret and apply in specific circumstances such as your accident.
Failing to appreciate the complexity of the law may result in an adverse effect on your claim including a minimizing of your compensation or at worse, the loss of your legal rights completely.
Insurance companies and their lawyers will also employ every tactic they can to minimize the amount they have to pay in compensation. Their loyalty is predominantly focused on their own shareholders.
This is why you need a good personal injury lawyer to protect your legal rights. It is important to seek representation that will keep your best interests in mind and fight to keep them on the negotiating table and in court if necessary.
What Can I Be Compensated For?
Our team is prepared to represent you in your claim to compensate your losses. Some of the compensation that you may be able to receive includes:
- Future and present medical expenses including medication, treatment and therapy
- Lost wages and salary
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Housekeeping and personal care expenses
- Gratuitous care provided by others for free
- Out of pocket expenses
- Loss of consortium (spousal deprivation of normal marital relations)
- Retraining and education to return to employment or seek alternative employment
Calculating compensation is a very difficult endeavour and it is important that this matter be brought to a personal injury lawyer in order for you to get the benefit of pursuing compensation in as many areas as you are legally entitled to.
This is important to ensure that your future and family is adequately protected from the uncertainties that follow after an accident and injury.
Our team of solicitors are led by Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury
Our Accredited Specialists in personal injury have experience with accidents resulting in injuries such as:
- Whiplash injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and head injury
- Dislocations or fractures
- Wrongful death from an accident
- Secondary Psychiatric Shock
- Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
- Back and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Injuries preventing you from working
- Serious trauma
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Serious burns, lacerations or chemical exposure
- Disease and illnesses contracted from an accident
Our team of injury lawyers and legal professionals focus on all areas where a victim may be injured such as:
- A motor vehicle accident in Brisbane and other MVAs on the road including car, motorcycle, truck and pedestrian accidents. We also focus on boating accidents.
- WorkCover or workers compensation claims
- Public liability accidents including injuries from a defective product, slip and trip accidents, or any injury resulting from an accident on a public premises.
- Total and permanent disability (TPD)
No Win No Fee Lawyers
To make sure that you are afforded with access to justice and increase the chances of success in a personal injury claim, East Coast Injury Lawyers sets out the following obligations to you as our client in our ‘No Win, No Fee’ Guarantee.
A ‘no win, no fee’ agreement is a payment method between a solicitor and a client that protects the client from incurring most costs if the claim is unsuccessful and no compensation is received. In other words, you are not obligated to pay any legal fees or outlays from our firm if your claim does not result in you winning and receiving compensation.
Some law firms may charge outlays even if you lose but East Coast Lawyers does not engage in this practice. You will never be blindsided with hidden fees and we will make sure you are fully aware of the terms in your retainer and cost agreement.
Personal Injury Lawyers Brisbane – Contact Us Today
Queensland advertising restrictions apply and we cannot provide more information about our successes unless you are making a genuine enquiry. We are committed to informing you of your rights and if you contact us at email@example.com or by phone at 3010 9788, we will contact you as soon as possible.
Contact us right away and tell us about your accident. We will explain your legal rights with a free consultation.
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Our Brisbane injury law services extend to the following suburbs:
Bowen Hills – Brisbane – East Brisbane – Fortitude Valley – Herston – Highgate Hill – Kangaroo Point – Kelvin Grove – New Farm – Newstead – Paddington – Petrie Terrace – Red Hill – South Brisbane – Spring Hill – Teneriffe – West End – Woolloongabba
Albion – Alderley – Ascot – Aspley – Bald Hills – Banyo – Boondall – Bracken Ridge – Bridgeman Downs – Brighton – Carseldine – Chermside – Chermside West – Clayfield – Deagon – Eagle Farm – Everton Park – Fitzgibbon – Gaythorne – Geebung – Gordon Park – Grange – Hamilton – Hendra – Kedron – Keperra – Lutwyche – McDowall – Mitchelton – Myrtletown – Newmarket – Northgate – Nudgee – Nudgee Beach – Nundah – Pinkenba – Sandgate – Shorncliffe – Stafford – Stafford Heights – Taigum – Virginia – Wavell Heights – Wilston – Windsor – Wooloowin – Zillmere
Acacia Ridge – Algester – Annerley – Archerfield – Burbank – Calamvale – Carole Park – Coopers Plains – Darra – Doolandella – Drewvale – Durack – Dutton Park – Eight Mile Plains – Ellen Grove – Fairfield – Forest Lake – Greenslopes – Heathwood – Holland Park – Holland Park West – Inala – Karawatha – Kuraby – Larapinta – Macgregor – Mackenzie – Mansfield – Moorooka – Mount Gravatt – Mount Gravatt East – Nathan – Pallara – Parkinson – Richlands – Robertson – Rochedale – Rocklea – Runcorn – Salisbury – Seventeen Mile Rocks – Sinnamon Park – Stretton – Sumner – Sunnybank – Sunnybank Hills – Tarragindi – Tennyson – Upper Mount Gravatt – Wacol – Willawong – Wishart – Yeerongpilly – Yeronga
Balmoral – Belmont – Bulimba – Camp Hill – Cannon Hill – Carina – Carina Heights – Carindale – Chandler – Coorparoo – Gumdale – Hawthorne – Hemmant – Lota – Lytton – Manly – Manly West – Moreton Island – Morningside – Murarrie – Norman Park – Port of Brisbane – Ransome – Seven Hills – Tingalpa – Wakerley – Wynnum – Wynnum West
Anstead – Ashgrove – Auchenflower – Bardon – Bellbowrie – Brookfield – Chapel Hill – Chelmer – Chuwar – Corinda – Enoggera – Enoggera Reservoir – Ferny Grove – Fig Tree Pocket – Graceville – Indooroopilly – Jamboree Heights – Jindalee – Karana Downs – Kenmore – Kenmore Hills – Kholo – Lake Manchester – Middle Park – Milton – Moggill – Mount Coot-tha – Mount Crosby – Mount Ommaney – Oxley – Pinjarra Hills – Pullenvale – Riverhills – Sherwood – Sinnamon Park – St Lucia – Taringa – The Gap – Toowong – Upper Brookfield – Upper Kedron – Westlake
Augustine Heights – Barellan Point – Basin Pocket – Bellbird Park – Blacksoil – Blackstone – Booval – Brassall – Brookwater – Bundamba – Camira – Churchill – Chuwar – Coalfalls – Collingwood Park – Dinmore – East Ipswich – Eastern Heights – Ebbw Vale – Flinders View – Gailes – Goodna – Ipswich – Karalee – Karrabin – Leichhardt – Moores Pocket – Muirlea – New Chum – Newtown – North Booval – North Ipswich – North Tivoli – One Mile – Raceview – Redbank – Redbank Plains – Riverview – Sadliers Crossing – Silkstone – Springfield – Springfield Central – Springfield Lakes – Tivoli – West Ipswich – Woodend – Wulkuraka – Yamanto
Bahrs Scrub – Bannockburn – Beenleigh – Belivah – Berrinba – Bethania – Boronia Heights – Browns Plains – Buccan – Carbrook – Cedar Creek – Cedar Grove – Cedar Vale – Chambers Flat – Cornubia – Crestmead – Daisy Hill – Eagleby – Edens Landing – Forestdale – Greenbank – Heritage Park – Hillcrest – Holmview – Jimboomba – Kagaru – Kingston – Logan Central – Logan Reserve – Logan Village – Loganholme – Loganlea – Lyons – Marsden – Meadowbrook – Mount Warren Park – Mundoolun – Munruben – New Beith – North Maclean – Park Ridge South – Park Ridge – Priestdale – Regents Park – Rochedale South – Shailer Park – Slacks Creek – South Maclean – Springwood – Stockleigh – Tamborine – Tanah Merah – Underwood – Undullah – Veresdale Scrub – Veresdale – Waterford West – Waterford – Windaroo – Wolffdene – Woodhill – Woodridge – Yarrabilba
Alexandra Hills – Amity Point – Birkdale – Capalaba – Cleveland – Coochiemudlo Island – Dunwich – Karragarra Island – Lamb Island – Macleay Island – Mount Cotton – North Stradbroke Island – Ormiston – Point Lookout – Redland Bay – Russell Island – Sheldon – Thorneside – Thornlands – Victoria Point – Wellington Point
All You need to know about Personal Injury Compensation Claims
Can a personal injury lawyer attend at my home address for an initial consultation about the claim?
We are happy to attend at the home address of clients for an initial, no obligation consultation in relation to their claim.
Is the first attendance in relation to my personal injury claim no obligation and free?
Yes the first attendance is a free no-obligation consultation.
What are Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law?
A Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in personal injury law means that a solicitor has undertaken an extensive period of study and examination in the area of personal injury law and has passed this course and examination.
Given the difficulty in passing the accreditation course, there are only a limited number of Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law in Queensland.
What is a no win, no fee personal injury lawyer?
A no win, no fee lawyer allows injured people to access compensation for the injuries they have sustained without having to pay legal fees or outlays until their claims have successfully resolved and they have received a damages pay out. This means we can run your claim with no upfront costs paid by you. We will only charge you on successful conclusion of your claim. If you do not receive a settlement award, we will not charge a fee or recoup our outlays.
What types of injuries does East Coast Injury Lawyers deal with?
We take on injured claimants who have sustained all types of injuries including neck, back, head, fractured arms, wrists, ankles, hands, whiplash injuries, carpal tunnel, psychological injuries, adjustment disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and many more injuries.
We also act for people who have suffered catastrophic injuries including brain injuries, head injuries, tetraplegia, quadriplegia and paraplegia.
What types of personal injury claims does the firm take on?
How much does a personal injury lawyer charge?
We act on a no win no fee basis, provided we are confident that your claim has reasonable prospects of success. That means that you do not have to pay anything at all in relation to your claim until you achieve a successful outcome. We are then paid for our time out of your settlement monies or court awarded monies.
Our firm also covers any expenses (sometimes called “outlays” or “disbursements”) associated with the claim, such as the costs of conducting relevant searches (like motor vehicle registration searches, police report searches, business name searches and company searches of potential defendants or employers), obtaining copies of any medical records and obtaining expert medical evidence. We are then reimbursed for those expenses once you receive your settlement monies.
In terms of how much you will be charged, this varies from firm to firm and will also depend on how much work is required in order to resolve your claim.
Most personal injury law firms will charge on a time cost basis, calculated on an hourly rate broken down into six (6) minute intervals. Some of the larger firms can charge as much as $200 more per hour than what the smaller firms charge, due to the need for those larger firms to cover their significant overheads, large advertising budget and, in some cases, being answerable to shareholders on the stock market. There can therefore be a significant difference between what you are charged from firm to firm.
Being charged less by a smaller, boutique firm is not the only advantage. You also receive that personal service and contact from the smaller firms that you would not necessarily receive from the larger firms.
In terms of overall costs, in smaller claims (eg a settlement of, say, $30,000), the personal injury lawyer’s fees may be as low as $5,000 to $10,000 (even if the solicitor has undertaken more work than what that represents) and in larger claims (eg $400,000 or more) your fees may be in excess of $100,000, depending on the stage at which your matter resolves.
Obviously, if you proceed to trial then your costs may be very significant, whereas if you resolve your claim at the earliest possible opportunity, without selling yourself short, then you can save a significant amount in costs.
What do personal injury lawyers cover?
There are a number of different types of claims that personal injury lawyers handle, including the following:
- Car accident injury claims – these claims can even arise from single vehicle accidents if you are a passenger or if someone else’s negligence caused the accident;
- Motorbike accident injury claims – these claims can even arise from a single motorcycle accident if you are a passenger or if someone else’s negligence caused the accident;
- Work accident injury claims – even if your employer has taken you one as a subcontractor and you work under an ABN, you may still have an entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits and any claim that flows from that;
- Boating accident injury claims;
- Public liability injury claims – eg claims that arise from accidents happening at the beach, in a park, on a footpath, on Council owned land, etc;
- Occupiers liability claims – ie claims that arise from injuries sustained on someone else’s property, whether that be at their home or place of business, in the property you are renting, at a shopping centre or at a theme park, for instance;
- Medical negligence claims – where your treating practitioner’s conduct has failed to meet a reasonable standard of care;
- Total and permanent disability claims – where because of injury, illness or disability, you are unlikely to return to any work for which you are reasonably qualified by way of education, training or experience. In some cases, you may be entitled to these benefits if you cannot return to your usual occupation (rather than any work for which you are recently qualified);
- Income protection claims – which might arise under your superannuation policy or under some other insurance policy that you have taken out. In some cases, you can receive these benefits (as a top up) whilst also receiving WorkCover benefits;
- Dependency claims – in circumstances where an income provider in the family has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, that person’s dependents can make a claim for the money that the deceased would have provided to them until they were no longer dependent upon them. A claim can also be made for the loss of the deceased’s services in and around the home;
- Nervous shock claims – these claims can be brought by witnesses to an accident or anyone with a close connection (e.g. family members) to the injured or deceased person, in circumstances where the witnesses or family members suffer a diagnosable psychiatric injury as a result of witnessing, or hearing about, the accident and the injuries sustained;
- Loss of consortium claim – this is a claim that exists in Queensland which can be brought by a spouse (including a defacto partner) for the loss of love and affection of their husband/wife/partner due to the impact that their injuries have had upon them. Most times, these claims will only be able to be brought when the injured person has suffered significant injuries, as there is a threshold which has to be met before a spouse can be entitled to claim loss of consortium compensation;
- Loss of servitium claim – this is a claim that exists in Queensland which can also be brought by a spouse (including a defacto partner) for the loss of services of their husband/wife/partner around the home (or, in some cases, at work, if self-employed) due to the impact that their injuries have had upon them. These claims will only be able to be brought when the injured person has suffered significant injuries (or has died), as there is a threshold which has to be met before a spouse can be entitled to claim loss of servitium compensation.
What is considered to be a personal injury?
Personal injuries come in many forms and compensation can be payable in many cases. A personal injury can arise from a number of different things, including the following:
- Physical or psychological injuries sustained directly as a result of an accident including road accidents, work accidents, accidents at home , accidents on private property and accidents on public property;
- Injuries sustained over a period of time from duties at work – these can include injuries to the back, shoulders, wrists and the like and can be caused by repetitive movements, prolonged heavy work, prolonged overhead work or using vibrating machinery like high pressure hoses, jack hammers, whippersnippers, blowers and the like;
- Injuries suffered secondary to, or as a result of, the original injuries – these might include a psychological injury, like an Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety and Depression, which develops as a result of the impact the original physical injury is having upon you. Other physical injuries can develop secondary to an original injury, like a shoulder injury developing in the left shoulder as a result of having to compensate for the lack of use of your right shoulder / arm / hand due to an injury;
- An aggravation of a pre-existing injury is considered to be an injury;
- An aggravation of pre-existing degeneration is considered to be an injury;
- Assaults at work, home, school or in a public place; and
- Diseases can be considered to be a personal injury, for compensation purposes, if they have been caused by someone else’s negligence – the types of diseases for which compensation can be payable might include mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos or silicosis caused by exposure to silica dust (suffered by many stonemasons).
The different types of personal injuries can include the following:
- Spinal injury including tetraplegia / quadriplegia, paraplegia, hemiplegia and monoplegia;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Head injury;
- Post concussion syndrome injury;
- Facial injuries;
- Injuries to eyes, ears, nose, throat, etc;
- Loss of sight, hearing, taste or smell;
- Injuries to teeth and gums;
- Whiplash injury;
- Orthopaedic injuries to cervical spine (neck injury);
- Shoulder injuries;
- Elbow injuries;
- Injuries to wrists, hands and fingers;
- Thoracic outlet syndrome injury;
- Brachial plexus injury;
- Orthopaedic injuries to thoracic spine (mid-upper back injury);
- Orthopaedic injuries to lumbar spine (lower back injury);
- Chest injuries;
- Internal injuries including injuries to organs (lungs, kidneys, ureter, liver, gall bladder, spleen, pancreas, etc);
- Injuries to male or female reproductive system (including impotence and sterility)
- Injuries to digestive system;
- Bowel and bladder injuries;
- Pelvis and hip injuries;
- Knee injuries;
- Ankle injuries;
- Foot injuries;
- Toe injuries;
- Degloving injuries;
- Amputation injuries to fingers, hands, arms, legs, foot or toes, etc
- Lacerated or torn tendons, ligaments and nerves;
- Soft tissue musculoligamentous injuries;
- Bruising, lacerations, cuts and abrasions;
- Burn injuries;
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) including carpal tunnel injuries;
- Cubital tunnel injuries of the elbow (which can be caused by constant/regular pressure on the elbow or the elbow impacting on a hard surface);
- Frozen shoulder injuries;
- Scarring; and
- Psychological injuries / mental disorders.
How do you calculate pain and suffering?
The amount payable for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities is complicated. In Queensland it is governed / restricted by legislation. In motor vehicle accident injury claims and public liability injury claims, for instance, pain and suffering is calculated by having reference to the Civil Liability Act 2003 and Civil Liability Regulation 2014.
The amount payable is calculated on a scale by reference to an allocated Injury Scale Value (“ISV”). The ISV is calculated for a single injury by:
- Determining which category or item you fall into in Schedule 4 of the Civil Liability Regulation 2014. For instance, for someone who has been involved in a car accident and sustained a soft tissue musculoligamentous whiplash injury to their cervical spine, with no radiological evidence (x-rays, CT or MRI evidence) of any injury, they would most likely fall within item 88 of Schedule 4 of the Civil Liability Regulation 2014, which carries an ISV range of 5 to 10;
- Once you have determined the appropriate item, you then have to work out which ISV within that range of ISVs for that item is appropriate. This is done by reading the examples and commentary in the relevant item and also the examples and commentary in the preceding and subsequent items within Schedule 4 of the Civil Liability Regulation 2014. Further consideration then needs to be given to things like the injured person’s age, life expectancy, pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life, the effects of a pre-existing condition on the injured person and the difficulties in life that the injured person was likely to have experienced in any event whether the injury happened or not; and
- Once the appropriate ISV within the range of ISVs has been determined for that injury, then the amount payable for pain and suffering can be calculated in accordance with section 62 of the Civil Liability Act 2003 and Schedule 7 of the Civil Liability Regulation 2014.
In cases where an injured person has suffered multiple injuries (more than one injury), the amount payable for pain and suffering is calculated by:
- Determining which of the multiple injuries is the “dominant injury”, which is defined to mean the injury with the highest range of ISVs (not the injury which is considered to be the most serious);
- You would therefore ascertain which category or item each of your injuries falls into in Schedule 4 of the Civil Liability Regulation 2014;and then
- Whichever injury then has the highest potential ISV becomes the “dominant injury” and it is that item’s range of ISVs that is then used to calculate the appropriate ISV for your multiple injuries;
- Once again, consideration is given to the examples and commentary in the relevant item and the items preceding and following that item but also the examples and commentary within the appropriate items for all other injuries;
- If it is considered that the maximum ISV within the range of ISVs of the dominant injury is inadequate to compensate you for your multiple injuries, then an uplift can be applied, which according to the Regulation should rarely be more than 25%, although uplifts of up to 100% have been awarded in appropriate cases. For example, if the maximum ISV within the range of ISVs of the dominant injury is, say, 10, then a 25% uplift (or more) can applied, to bring the relevant ISV to 12.5, which rounds up to an ISV of 13;
- Once the appropriate ISV for the multiple injuries has been determined, then the amount payable for pain and suffering can again be calculated in accordance with section 62 of the Civil Liability Act 2003 and Schedule 7 of the Civil Liability Regulation 2014.
The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 and the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 contain similar provisions to regulate how pain and suffering is calculated in Queensland when pursuing a common law claim for damages in relation to a work accident.
How much should I ask for a Personal Injury Settlement?
Calculating how much compensation you should be entitled to as a result of a personal injury is extremely difficult. Even very experienced personal injury lawyers and judges can differ in their views on how much compensation a court should award someone for their injury. So what chance does a layperson (or even a lawyer who is not an expert in personal injury claims) have?
What’s more, every single case is different because every person’s personal circumstances are different. For instance, a 60 year old carpenter who suffers a debilitating back injury at work is going to receive much less compensation than a 30 year old carpenter who sustains the same injury. Numerous other things are then taken into consideration, like how much income that person had earned in the three (3) years prior to the accident, compared to after the accident. Someone who was earning $2,000 net per week, before suffering a debilitating injury, is going to receive much more compensation than someone who was earning $800 net per week prior to their injury. There are, of course, lots of exceptions to the rules that apply in these cases (for example, someone’s career path may have been on the rise when they were injured, such that their future earnings would have been substantially more than their past earnings, if not for the accident) and an expert personal injury wyer would know how to fully explore all of those issues.
The types of things that you can recover compensation for include the following:
- Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment and loss of amenities of life;
- Past medical expenses, including treatment, medication, personal aids and devices (like crutches, walking sticks, wheelchairs and the like) incurred up to the date of settlement;
- Future medical expenses, including treatment, medication, personal aids and devices that are likely to be incurred or required in the future;
- Other expenses incurred up to the date of settlement, including costs incurred in having to pay a personal nurse or carer (for those seriously injured), a gardener to mow the lawn or tend to the gardens, a cleaner to come in regularly, expenses incurred in having to engage commercial contractors, tradesmen or handymen or costs incurred in having to get your car professionally cleaned, etc;
- Future expenses that may be incurred with respect to engaging a personal nurse or carer and/or any other domestic assistance providers;
- Expenses involved with having to alter your home and/or car as a result of your injuries;
- Past lost income;
- Past lost superannuation;
- Future lost earning capacity;
- Future lost superannuation;
- Past gratuitous care and assistance provided to you (by friends or family members);
- Future gratuitous care and assistance likely to be provided to you;
- Interest on some of (but not all) past losses suffered;
- Management fees (for management of any large settlement sums for anyone who is incapable of managing their own funds, including children and those that have suffered serious brain injuries); and
- Some of your legal costs (in certain cases).
There are limitations or thresholds, however, that apply with respect to some of those heads of damage. For instance, for compensation for gratuitous care and assistance to be paid in a motor vehicle accident injury claim or public liability injury claim you have to have received at least six (6) hours assistance per week for a minimum of six (6) months before you are entitled to receive anything for gratuitous care and assistance provided by your family and friends. In WorkCover claims, however, you are not entitled to claim anything at all for gratuitous care and assistance provided.
Future losses also have to be discounted to take into consideration the fact that you are receiving a lump sum now, which you can invest, rather than receiving much smaller amounts of money over a long period of time (in some cases, many years). For example, economic loss of $1,000 net per week over a period of, say, 10 years would be discounted to a maximum sum of $413,000 (instead of $520,000 calculated by multiplying $1,000 net per week x 52 weeks x 10 years) to reflect today’s value of receiving $1,000 net per week over a 10 year period. Further discounting is then taken into consideration for contingencies and the vicissitudes of life, which is intended to factor in other things that might occur to the injured person over that 10 year period, including other injuries, illnesses or death.
It is important to seek legal advice before offering to accept any amount of compensation for your injuries, to ensure that you do not undersell yourself, as you only get one bite of the cherry. Once a personal injury claim is settled, the insurance company will require you to sign a Release and Discharge which states, amongst other things, that you will never come back and ask for any more money.
What questions should I ask a personal injury lawyer?
There are no stupid questions; only stupid answers. Hopefully, you will have engaged an expert personal injury lawyer so that you do not receive any stupid answers.
Some of the important questions that you should ask, or should be thinking about, include the following:
- What evidence can I gather to help prove that the Defendant was responsible for my personal injury?
This might involve taking photographs of the accident scene or the equipment that you were using at the time or getting witness statements to confirm what you say occurred.
- What evidence can I obtain to help prove the nature and extent of the injuries that I have suffered?
This might take the form of obtaining a CT scan or MRI scan and/or making sure that you mention all symptoms and injuries that you are suffering to your doctor, physiotherapist and all other treating practitioners.
It might also include making sure that any workers’ compensation medical certificates or other medical certificates that you obtain from your doctor does list all injuries on each medical certificate, including any secondary psychological injury or other secondary injuries that you might have suffered or subsequently develop.
- What can I do to help convince the insurer (whether that be a CTP insurer, WorkCover Queensland or another insurer) that I am genuinely in pain and now have significant restrictions?
Your personal injury lawyer should impress upon you the fact that your credibility in these types of claims is very important and you therefore need to be consistent with what you are reporting to the insurer / WorkCover and your doctors, physiotherapist and/or other treating practitioners. If there are inconsistencies in what you are reporting or, if you have failed to report certain things, then the insurer will have difficulty believing what you are saying.
Insurers also consider what other evidence there is to support the fact that you do have ongoing pain and restriction. They will look at whether you have had to attend upon a doctor, physiotherapist, psychologist, specialist and/or other treating practitioners on a regular basis, whether you have had to take analgesic painkilling medication and/or antidepressant medication on a regular basis, whether you have had to pay for a cleaner, ironing lady, gardener or someone to wash your car as a result of your injuries when you previously did these things yourself, whether you have had friends or family assist you with those types of things, whether you have had to take time off work or leave early on a regular basis, whether you have had to change jobs or undertake lighter work as a result of your injuries, whether that is supported by your employer and also statements from friends and family about how your injuries have impacted upon you.