Everyone hopes to make it through the day safely and arrive home in one piece. However, when you are injured because someone else was careless, the injuries can have a huge impact on your life. It can lead to pain, the need for costly and ongoing treatment and it can interfere with your ability to work and your future options.
A Queensland public liability compensation claim assists people who are injured in accidents in public or private places (other than car accidents). This can include injuries in private residences, commercial premises, shopping centres, public areas such as footpaths, schools and more. A claim can provide a lump sum damages payout to compensate you for the impact the injury has had on your life.
In Queensland, we have a great regime to compensate people who are injured due to the negligence of someone else.
You are eligible to bring a Queensland public liability claim if:
You might also be eligible for additional workers compensation benefits if your accident occurred while working, between work and home, or on a lunch or smoking break.
Being injured is distressing enough. Trying to find money to pay for lawyers to protect your rights can also seem impossible for most. But don’t feel like you have to take action alone. Insurers typically pay much less to people who don’t have lawyers. This is because gathering enough evidence to prove your case is complex and insurers are not likely to tell you what you should be claiming for. In short, if you go it alone, you could actually end up worse off.
We acknowledge that many injured people cannot afford to pay for a lawyer or for experts to provide medico-legal reports. So, to improve access to justice, we offer No Win No Fee cost arrangements. This means that if we do not get you a compensation pay out for your personal injury claim, then you don’t need to pay our professional fees. Therefore, you can obtain legal advice and commence a claim without the worry of trying to pay for it while you are recovering from your accident, injury or illness.
We offer a no obligation initial consultation to find out if you have a valid claim for compensation.
Also, unlike some other law firms who act for injured people, we do not charge an extra “uplift” on our fees. When speaking to law firms, you should check if they intend to charge an uplift on their fees. We don’t.
What we charge is clear at the start of your claim. So you don’t have to worry if the fees are going to jump by up to 25% due to an “uplift”.
Telling stories is at the heart of what we do. We tell YOUR story. A good lawyer knows the law well, but a great lawyer will be able to convey the story behind the facts. Our training, systems and processes are specifically designed to develop your story and communicate it to the other side. We don’t just tell the other side the facts about what happened in a clinical fashion. We get them to know you – how the accident impacted you – your work – your family – your hopes, dreams and aspirations. We help the insurer get a better understanding of why they ought to assist you with a compensation payment. We want the insurer to be engaged with your story and use techniques to encourage that engagement.
Record as much detail as possible at the scene of the accident, if possible. For example, record the date and time of the accident, the name and contact details of the people involved or any witnesses, and take photographs of the area or the injury.
If you are injured, you should seek treatment. Carefully describe your injury to the doctor so there is a medical record of the event and the need for treatment.
Keep all your receipts for treatment, medication, travel to treatment providers. Keep a record of time taken off work or jobs knocked back because of the injury. It is also helpful to keep a diary recording the impact the injury is having on your life and your work. This can all be used to prove your loss when it comes time to negotiate a settlement.
Complete, sign and serve the Notice of Claim Form on the person who was responsible for your injury (we can help you complete this form, identify the correct respondent and serve the document).
Gather all other relevant documentation and evidence to prove your loss and the impact of the injury on you.
Once your injury has stabilised and you have recovered as much as you can, we arrange for an independent medical examination with a specialist who will provide expert opinion evidence about the impact the injury has had on your life (now and into the future). The insurer also has the right to have you assessed by their expert witnesses.
Once all the evidence has been gathered, negotiations commence with the insurer to settle your damages claim for a lump sum amount. This includes amounts for pain and suffering, treatment expenses (including future expenses), loss of income, future loss of earning capacity, future treatment and care costs.
If the matter does not settle, a court process begins.
Attend a mediation to attempt to resolve your claim. If it does not settle at mediation, it can progress towards a trial. Very few matters get to a trial. But if it does, a court will assess a claim based on the evidence, expert reports and legal submissions.
In Queensland, the general deadline to file proceedings in court for a damages claim is 3 years from the date of the accident. There are also some exceptions to this rule (or ways to get it extended). However, it is important to carefully diarise the 3 year deadline and get prompt advice on how to protect your rights BEFORE that deadline passes.
There is also a very important deadline to lodge the claim form. It must be lodged within the earlier of 1 month of engaging a lawyer or nine months from the date of accident.
A claim form can be lodged after that deadline, but a reasonable excuse for the delay must be provided.
Yes! If your accident happened while working, between home and work or on your lunch break, you might also be entitled to weekly benefits and treatment from WorkCover. This can often be a huge help, particularly if you need time off work to recover. We typically recommend exploring this option, together with your car accident claim as it can make a big difference to your recovery and getting you back on your feet.
A common law damages claim is designed to provide a sum of money to you to place you back in the position you should have been had the incident not occurred. This can include sums for pain and suffering, loss of income or earning capacity, medical treatments and rehabilitation needs and domestic care needs.
Part of our role as your solicitor, is to gather and present evidence that proves the impact the injury has had on you. At Evolve Legal, we focus on telling your story so the insurer can best understand how the injury has affected you. During the claim we will be requesting information and documents from you and various other bodies. This could include your treatment providers, your employers, insurance companies, Medicare, Australian Tax office, Centrelink, and any other body we think is relevant. We may also obtain statements from family, friends, co-workers to help paint the picture of your life with an injury. We also obtain expert reports from independent experts.
You might still be able to bring a claim. Sometimes more than one person can cause or contribute to an accident (including yourself). This does not necessarily stop you from bringing a claim. If you have contributed to the accident, then your damages might be reduced by a percentage that reflects your contribution. This is a complex area of law and we recommend you get legal advice if you have any concerns.