If you ever find yourself injured by a third party through no fault of your own, then you’ll likely contact a personal injury lawyer about making a claim.
In this post, we’ve put together some of the key things our lawyers do day-to-day to help bust some common myths and shed light on our true role in helping you get the best from your situation.
So, who is a personal injury lawyer exactly?
Simply, a personal injury lawyer can help claimants recover compensation for their injuries, including direct medical costs and current and future lost earnings.
Personal injury law covers:
- Motor vehicle accidents + third party compensation claims
- WorkCover claims
- Public liability (for example, you slip on a banana skin in the supermarket)
- Medical negligence
- Wrongful death.
And what does a personal injury lawyer do, day to day?
It may surprise you, but we do a hell of a lot more than stand up in court arguing. In fact, we prefer to avoid court if possible, because court is expensive and reduces your in-pocket settlement amount.
1. We talk to our clients *a lot*
Our main goal is to help our clients work through the complex compensation system, to make sure they’re able to access what they’re entitled to. No one likes to miss out on money they deserve!
Most of our clients are regular people with jobs that aren’t related to compensation law. So, we try to cut through the jargon.
We spend a lot of time on the phone, in person, and via email explaining the process and providing updates along the way. We want you to feel comfortable, trusting that you’re going to get the best outcome possible while you focus on your recovery.
2. We research and investigate evidence that supports your injury claim
Think of us like ‘accident detectives’.
We know what can and can’t be claimed, and we know what evidence is needed to back it up.
We’ll spend time at the scene and chase up police evidence, paperwork, video footage (like from dash cams or CCTV), and witness statements to submit an iron clad case for a claim.
3. We negotiate with insurers
Many times, we’ve seen claimants miss out on money they deserve, because they’ve accepted the first pay-out offered to them by an insurer, before talking to a lawyer.
When we investigate a claim, we work through a pretty comprehensive damages list that can include:
- how the injury already has, and may continue to, impact life
- pain and suffering
- future loss of income-earning capacity
- future out of pocket expenses
- care and assistance both in the past and in the future.
This helps us establish the full liability of the negligent party and the extent of the damages suffered.
We then handle all communication with the insurer and negotiate a reasonable compensation amount for the claim (avoiding any low ball offers along the way).
4. We do the court thing
If the insurance company fails to offer a fair and reasonable settlement, then our lawyers will prepare the court documents to be served to the insurer. This part is costly, which is why Queensland’s three compensation schemes are designed to minimise the number of claims going to trial.
Don’t be too put off – we reckon less than 1 in 100 claims slip through.
Importantly, we only work on a no win no fee basis (meaning we only charge our client after securing a jury verdict or settlement).
We do a lot of things, but we don’t chase ambulances.
Contrary to popular culture, we don’t all hang about at the base of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital ambulance ramp handing out sweaty business cards to injured arrivals. That’s actually illegal in Queensland. In fact, the law relating to advertising and securing work in personal injury law is restrictive, and even includes our use of the term ‘personal injury’ in this news piece!