Making a Personal Injury Claim can be a daunting process, especially if you have little or no idea as to what is involved in making that claim.
This 5 step guide will explain what is involved in a Personal Injury claim so that you know a bit more about what has to happen, and what is involved.
The first step, which for many is the hardest, is to make contact with a law firm that specialises in Personal Injury compensation claims. At this point you will have the opportunity to speak to a personal injury lawyer and tell your story. The important thing to know about this discussion is that it is entirely confidential, and no one else will know the contents of your discussion.
Depending on each individual law firm, once the lawyers determines that you have a claim that they can pursue on your behalf, you will be asked to enter into a cost agreement for the lawyers professional fees. The agreement will set out clearly the structure of those fees and your obligations under that agreement. . In many cases, but not necessarily all, Personal Injury cases are run on a no win no fee basis.
*Note: A cost agreement is not necessary for NSW Workers Compensation claims.
You will also need to provide the lawyer with further information about yourself and provide them with written authority to act on your behalf.
The lawyer will need a statement on how you were injured and they will normally assist you in drafting a statement. This will help the lawyers working on your matter identify the important events in your claim, and it will provide a corner stone for the lawyer in moving your matter forward.
In order to obtain evidence to support your claim, you will generally have to be assessed by a medical expert to make a determination about the extent of your injury, your treatment and disability, but most importantly the expert will be asked to provide their expert opinion on the link between the incident and the injury which they observe and assess during the appointment.
The medical expert will then provide their report and if the report is in your favour, it will provide the necessary evidence to establish your injury.
Once you have a favourable expert report, your lawyer will be able to advise you of the entitlements you can pursue. The lawyer will look at the loss you have sustained from the injury, such things as out of pocket expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, and depending on your matter, various other areas of loss.
You will then need to instruct your lawyer whether you want to pursue the entitlement they have identified.
The lawyer acting on your behalf will continue gathering evidence to establish the loss you have suffered, to substantiate exactly what costs you have incurred and the financial loss caused by the injury.
This can be time consuming but it is essential. Your Lawyer, will then be able to pursue the greatest amount of compensation possible.
If you have been unfortunate enough to have been involved in an accident requiring treatment or time off work, you can contact the team at Koffels to have a confidential discussion about your legal rights and entitlements.
with Sherilyn Dunkley Senior Associate