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A common question clients may ask their lawyer is, “how long will my claim take?” In optimal circumstances, the answer every lawyer would like to give would be “within 15 months.”However, this particular outcome is rarely the case when it comes to dealing with a personal injury claim. This is especially true if the injuries are serious or catastrophic.

Unfortunately the hype from popular TV shows such as ‘Suits’ gives many clients the impression that a settlement can occur within days of a civil wrong being committed. Further, clients may make reference to the ‘glory days’ decades ago when claims may have been resolved faster. Yet, personal injury law has gone through extensive reform over the years. It is important for clients to understand the complexities that arise from a personal injury claim and how seeking the advice from an accredited specialist in personal injury can mitigate these delays.

Understand the insurance staff: they are people just like us

An insurance adjuster may receive between 60 – 100 claims a month on their desk that they will have to eventually settle. Often, their performance will be gauged based on how effectively they can resolve these claims without having supervisors or lawyers intervene. As such, if a claims adjuster can justify the value of a claim then it is in their best interest to resolve it. They will need to settle 60-100 claims a month just to break even with their workload.

A significant cause of delay may involve the process of dealing with an adjuster. Often, a claimant may not understand the law or the process in dealing with their accident claim or injuries. To an adjuster’s eyes, this is a ‘red flag’ when it comes to settlement because it means that the claimant’s injuries may not have been properly assessed, the claimant might be lying about something, or there is more information needed about the circumstances before a settlement can be reached.

In particular, it is important to seek out a personal injury lawyer who has experience in both plaintiff and insurance defence. Their knowledge of ‘both sides of the story’ may allow them to better handle the arguments made by the insurance companies and their lawyers in order to speed up resolution of your claim.

Human Error

Claimants who try to handle a personal injury accident claim on their own may make errors in the processes and handling of their claim. Personal injury law is a complex area of law that can be confusing, frustrating and if taken lightly, costly to your health and ability to claim compensation. An adjuster may also make similar mistakes considering the significant volume of work that they are expected to handle and the possibility that they may not have as much legal training as a lawyer. Thus, delays may arise from human error on both sides.

It is important to seek representation when it comes to a personal injury matter such as a motor vehicle accident or workers compensation claim. Not only is the stress of the process an issue, but so is the frustration of dealing with an injury and its impact on your life and family. If pursuing a claim alone, this may lead to more errors in documentation and going through the legal process that can bring delays to your claim’s resolution. At worst, a mistake could be made that can seriously affect the amount of compensation you receive.

Knowing when to settle

Many clients demand a quick settlement. However, to do so according to their particular timelines may mean settling for less than what their claim is worth. A common misunderstanding that clients make about their injury claim is that they forget about the legal process and their rights to take the matter to court.

An insurance company operates as a business. A large factor of their profitability is resolving matters for less than what a claimant may believe they are worth. The issue of what is ‘fair’ can be a difficult standard to reach between an insurance company and a claimant. It is this very issue that can cause significant delays in a claim.

The courts exist to make a judgment on what is ‘fair’ according to the law. The option to pursue this is a time consuming option, but nonetheless exists as an alternative to dealing with an offer for settlement that either party is unwilling to take.

Very few claimants can correctly assess what their claim is worth. It is imperative that you speak with an accredited specialist in personal injury to handle these kinds of matters. NEVER accept a lump sum offer from an insurance company for your claim without speaking to a personal injury lawyer.

Medical Evidence

Compensation for injuries can add up to a substantial amount when properly assessed by a personal injury lawyer. Medical expenses, pain and suffering, future income loss, loss of consortium, etc. are only some areas where damages can be claimed.

Of course, an insurance company would be reluctant to pay this amount unless there was evidence to substantiate it. Medical evidence to prove the extent of an injury is time consuming and may require visits to the doctor, assessments to be made and also personal time off to follow the doctor’s instructions, take treatments, etc.

Delays may often be caused due to the gathering of medical evidence, especially if the injuries or illnesses are significant and critical. And injury or illness may require numerous reports, multiple treatments and analysis on its effect in relation to the claimant’s life such as their ability to work, their pain and suffering, how it is affecting them mentally and emotionally, etc.

While this process cannot be avoided, it can often be alleviated by the assistance of a personal injury law firm that can help schedule these appointments, gather all the medical evidence, and analyse them in conjunction with the law to determine an appropriate amount for settlement of your personal injury claim.

You Do Not Have to Be Alone

Often, delays in a personal injury claim simply arise because a claimant is reluctant or fearful of asking for help in their claim. It is important that you consider your well being, as well as your family’s future concerns with respect to your injury when making a decision about your legal rights. This may most likely point you in the direction of speaking with a personal injury lawyer to advise you on your rights to compensation and help you make an informed decision on what steps to take next.

East Coast Injury Lawyers can help you during this difficult time by offering a free consultation so that you can get the valuable advice you need at no risk. Do not delay in speaking with an accredited specialist in personal injury today about your accident and your legal rights to compensation.

Free Instant Case Review

    • No Win, No Fee
    • No upfront payments
    • Free initial consultation
    • Home visits
    • Hospital visits
    • Videoconference meetings (via Zoom or Microsoft Teams) where preferred
    • After hours visits
    • 30% cap on legal fees
    • No uplift fees charged
    • No litigation lenders or interest charges on outlays / disbursements
    • Complete confidentiality
    • Immediate assessment of your claim

    *Strict time limits apply when making a claim. Do not delay.

    Managing Director

    Sean Delpopolo

    Sean Delpopolo

    Sean is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.*

    Sean specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, brain and head injury claims, spinal injury claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    He has been running personal injury claims in Queensland for over 25 years. Sean founded our firm in 2004 and the firm has grown and gone from strength to strength on the background of outstanding service, incredible results and charging really fair fees.

    With an innate sense of fairness and justice, this motivates Sean and his team to do everything they can to ensure that the results they achieve for their clients are something that they can all be proud of. In Sean’s mind, the interests of the firm’s clients come first, before anything else, and this value has flowed on through to the entire team.

    As a father of two daughters, Sean understands that his clients’ personal injury claims can make a huge difference to their lives and the lives of those around them. This is why he has made it his life’s work to fight for the “little guy” to obtain the compensation they deserve.

    * To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

    Director

    Helen Ashton

    Helen Ashton

    Helen is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.*

    As an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, having been awarded the highest achiever award for the course in 2015, Helen has a high level of knowledge and technical expertise. Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2001, she also has extensive experience in running all types of personal injury claims.

    Helen specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, medical negligence claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    Helen has a friendly and approachable personality and strives to ensure that her clients are kept well informed and are provided with quality and practical legal advice.

    As a mother of three young children, Helen understands the impact events can have on a family unit and works proactively to achieve the right result for her clients in the shortest possible timeframe. Helen has the ability and the experience to assist clients with a wide variety of claims, including any personal injury claims with a high level of complexity and those that have had catastrophic consequences.

    * To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

    Special Counsel

    Nickelle Morris

    Nickelle Morris

    Nickelle is an expert in personal injury claims and has been recognised by the Queensland Law Society as an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.* She was awarded the highest achiever award for the accreditation course which she completed in 2022. Nickelle was also a finalist in the Special Counsel of the Year category in the Australian Law Awards in 2019.

    Nickelle has been practising exclusively in personal injury litigation for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in catastrophic claims and fatality claims across all practice areas.

    Nickelle specialises in catastrophic injury claims (including traumatic brain injuries, acquired brain injuries and other head injuries, amputations, severe burns and spinal cord injuries resulting in tetraplegia, paraplegia and the like), National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) claims, work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, public liability injury claims, medical negligence claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    Nickelle prides herself on being a technical, yet practical and compassionate lawyer. She takes her time to understand her client’s situation and to ensure that they have an understanding of their rights and entitlements. Nickelle is a tenacious and passionate advocate for her clients and is dedicated to being proactive in ensuring her client’s needs are met and achieving the best outcome for her clients.

    Outside of work, Nickelle is a mother of two children and is a member of a number of committees both within the legal industry and community.

    * To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

    Special Counsel

    Barry Mcgee

    Barry has always loved a spirited debate, and, with over 20 years specialising exclusively in personal injury litigation, his passion, skill and ability to assist his clients is well known throughout the Queensland profession.

    Barry specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    Barry’s legal career began in his native Scotland, where he qualified as a Solicitor in 1998. Upon qualifying, he worked for a boutique practice, and then a top-tier national firm, representing a number of different insurers across a variety of industries. With years of working for insurers under his belt, Barry is able to see matters through the eyes of his legal opponents. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say!

    He was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2007. In Australia, he commenced working for a large national firm, where he spent 15 years practicing in personal injury litigation. He was made a Partner of the firm in 2011 and spent 11 years as the firm’s dedicated in-house Special Counsel. As Special Counsel, Barry provided expert advocacy and strategical advice and assistance to the firm’s personal injury lawyers and clients of the firm alike.

    Barry has significant and extensive experience across a wide variety of personal injury claims. He is compassionate, personable and straightforward, with a keen sense of what is fair and just and a reputation for not settling for anything less than his client deserves.

    Outside of work he enjoys surfing, the outdoors, music and spending time with his wife and 3 young children.

    Special Counsel

    Charlotte Evans

    Charlotte has practised exclusively in personal injury compensation litigation for over 20 years.

    Charlotte specialises in sexual abuse claims, work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    She is committed to fighting for the rights of plaintiffs and helping her clients through the legal maze, to achieve outcomes that put people back in control of their lives. She has had experience in taking a number of personal injury cases to Trial and winning hard fought cases for her clients and she does not shy away from a challenge.

    Charlotte has a friendly and approachable personality and strives to cut through the legal jargon to make the personal injury claim process understandable for her clients whilst ensuring that her clients are also kept well informed throughout their claim.

    Out of the office Charlotte is a busy Mum, who now enjoys the privileges of living in beautiful Queensland and making the most of all it has to offer.

    Special Counsel

    Prue Prescott

    Prue has been running personal injury claims for nearly 20 years. This has involved acting for injured claimants in most areas of personal injury law including workers’ compensation injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatality claims, psychiatric injury claims, National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    Prue enjoys handling the more complex claims, such as traumatic brain injury, fatal injury and nervous shock claims, as well as claims involving complex legal principles. Prue seeks to use her Masters qualification in writing and literature to tell each and every client’s individual story, ensuring they are treated fairly by insurers and that they obtain the compensation they deserve.

    In 2019, Prue was nominated by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland Inc as an Inspirational Lawyer.

    Outside of work, Prue is a busy mum of boys but also tries to find the time to read, write and explore nature.

    Office Manager

    Julie Hollonds

    Julie is a highly dedicated and experienced office manager who has been an integral part of our team for the past 14 years. Bringing a wealth of knowledge with over 35 years of experience in administration, Julie keeps our office running smoothly and efficiently.

    Outside of work, Julie loves to walk, snorkel, spend time with friends and explore the beautiful Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

    Legal Assistant

    Aleisha Harrigan

    Having worked as a legal assistant for over five years, Aleisha has a wealth of experience in the field of personal injury. Since joining East Coast Lawyers, she has been an essential part of providing invaluable support to solicitors and our clients. Her abilities extend beyond legal matters with Aleisha providing training to our assistants and administrative team, and streamlining processes and procedures, ensuring that the workflows operate smoothly and effectively.

    Outside of work, Aleisha has a passion for reading and music. She can often be found immersed in a good book or a live concert. She values spending quality time with her family, friends and her beloved dog, Kevin.

    Legal Assistant

    Kym Arrowsmith

    Kym is a knowledgeable legal assistant with fifteen years of expertise in the field of personal injury law. She is passionate about supporting clients through the process and obtaining the best possible outcome for them. As a valued member of our team, Kym takes pride in her work and is committed to sharing her extensive experience and knowledge with our other team members.

    When Kym is not busy with work, she loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoys discovering new places, whether it be through the pages of a biography or on her push bike.

    Legal Assistant

    Alece Turner

    Alece is a law student who is extremely motivated and passionate about personal injury law. She is hardworking, and always strives to produce the best possible results for our clients.

    Her dedication and eagerness to learn more about the law makes Alece a great addition to our team.

    When not working or studying, she loves spending time with her son at the beach or at one of our amazing theme parks.

    Legal Assistant

    Georgia Ryan

    Georgia recently joined the team in February 2023 and has been working within the industry for the last three years. She is enthusiastic about helping new and existing clients, and with her bubbly personality and can-do approach makes her an excellent addition to our team.

    Raised in Tasmania, Georgia moved to Queensland in early 2017 and hasn’t regretted it since. She loves the warm weather and lifestyle. Outside of work, Georgia loves travelling, dining out and spending time with family and friends.

    Legal Assistant

    Claire Rezny

    Claire is one of our hard working and devoted Legal Assistants. With over 25 years’ administrative experience, her attention to detail, willingness to help others, and calm demeanour makes her a real asset to our team.

    Claire is well travelled and, during her time in the USA, Claire discovered a newfound love for reading, which led her to become a proofreader for several published novels. Claire also enjoys landscape and wildlife photography and spending time with her family and puppy.

    Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

    Ella Donnelly

    Meet Ella, our receptionist and administrative assistant, with a passion for law and criminology. She is currently working towards a career in the police force. Ella is always eager to help others and is dedicated to providing excellent customer service to our clients.

    Ella’s bubbly and outgoing personality shines, making her a perfect receptionist. Despite her busy timetable with working and studying, Ella finds time to pursue her love of acting. Being a performer at heart, Ella has had a chance to showcase her natural flair for the arts in theatre productions.

    RECEPTIONIST AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

    Shayla Riley

    Shayla is the newest member of our administration team and has an extensive background in customer service.

    Shayla’s bubbly personality and can-do attitude makes her the perfect person for her administration support role.

    She has a passion for the Law and has completed her Diploma of Justice Studies with aspirations to further her career by studying a Bachelor of Laws.

    When Shayla is not in the office you will find her at the beach with her two dogs, Bear and Ella or at home reading a good book.