One of the first questions asked of accident and injury compensation lawyers is "what is the value of my claim?".
It is a fair question, and one that should be answered at the beginning of any compensation claim process.
However, every case is different and there are a lot of variables to evaluate in an accident or injury case prior to providing a fair estimate of the claim's potential.
Accident and injury claims are resolved between an injured person, a negligent party, an insurer, a compensation lawyer, and possibly the courts.
Here are some important considerations:
The injured person
Compensation damages are for physical or psychological pain, suffering and inconvenience.
To maximise your claim's potential, you should report all injury symptoms to your doctor, and retain copies of records and receipts wherever possible. Inform your doctor if you are:
- Unable to work, or only capable of part-time duties;
- Continuing to work in pain in order to support your family or retain your job;
- Experiencing pain performing household and domestic activities;
- Unable to enjoy regular social or sporting activities due to pain;
Report all symptoms to your treating doctor on each visit, and continue with regular check-ups to determine recovery progress, or deterioration.
Medical and doctor's reports are an essential component of any accident or injury compensation claim.
The negligent party
Accident and injury claims need to prove negligence or a breach of duty of care by another person or organisation.
You will need to establish a strong case in order to maximise potential compensation.
If you have been seriously injured due to someone else's negligence, you (or your lawyer) will have to prove:
- There was a substantial or 'not insignificant' risk of harm; and
- The negligent party knew about, or should have understood the potential for harm; and
- A reasonable person would have taken necessary precautions against this risk.
The majority of accident and injury claims are accepted, although many others are disputed by the negligent party and their insurer or legal representatives.
If yours is a difficult or complex case, or your valid claim has been rejected, you need the services of an experienced accident and injury compensation lawyer.
The compensation lawyer
A personal injury claim can be daunting, and it's no surprise that many people baulk at the idea of a fight against insurers and prefer to tough-it-out.
Piling further heartache and misery on a person trying to recover from injuries is simply unjust, so the best lawyers have systems in place to relieve you of the burden.
They offer a free no-obligation face to face case assessment and in most cases a 'no-win, no-fee' payment schedule to cover costs while your case is in progress. If you don't win, your lawyer doesn't get paid.
An experienced lawyer familiar with accident and injury compensation law can expediate the claim process, maximise potential payouts, and provide you with the strongest possible claim case by:
- Compiling a detailed account of the accident or injury circumstances;
- Obtaining all medical and treatment reports related to your injuries;
- Obtaining police, government or other reports and information relevant to your case;
- Collecting photographic or video evidence;
- Collecting witness statements;
- Communicating with medical and other experts;
- Communicating with opposing insurers or their legal team;
- Collating all information and evidence into a case winning presentation.
Compensation payments are designed to assist an injured person in maintaining quality of life without unnecessary stress or financial hardship.
Other family members are affected also, with impacts that can include loss of income, property loss, marriage problems and more.
Although no amount of money or assistance can totally compensate for debilitating injuries, a successful claim will provide money to cover:
- Loss of income past, present and future;
- Hospital and medical treatment and appointments;
- Rehabilitation services such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Personal care services, domestic services and gardening;
- Equipment aids such as wheelchairs;
- Assistance for study or a return to work;
- Payments to cover loss of enjoyment or life-satisfaction;
- Lump sum payments in cases of severe physical or psychological injuries;
- Loss of superannuation.
Strict time frames apply in accident and injury compensation cases, so you (or your representative) should get your claim started as soon as possible after an injury, or when injury symptoms have stabilized.
The law is on your side, so take advantage of the services of highly regarded compensation lawyers who can help you get your life back on track.
This article was written in partnership with Taylor & Scott.
Business News Australia
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