You’ve probably heard of various kinds of lawyers. Family lawyers, criminal lawyers, immigration lawyers, corporate lawyers and personal injury lawyers are only some of the different types of lawyers you may come across in Australia.
If you’ve never been involved in any legal matters before, it’s unlikely that you know what each of these lawyers does. It’s usually only when you need legal representation that you learn what kind of lawyer you need.
If you’re reading this, then there may be a chance that you have experienced an injury or accident, perhaps at work, maybe in a public place, and now you’re looking for the right lawyer to understand your options.
In these sorts of situations, the type of lawyer that you need is a personal injury lawyer and we’re going to give you an overview of the role of a personal injury lawyer and what you can expect if you engage with one.
What is a personal injury lawyer’s role?
Injuries and accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, and sometimes, if you experience an injury or accident, you may be entitled to compensation. This is where a personal injury lawyer comes in.
The role of a personal injury lawyer, sometimes also known as a compensation lawyer, is to help people receive compensation after an accident or injury.
Injuries may be physical or psychological in nature and can be caused by a broad range of incidents, including workplace injuries, road traffic accidents, slips and falls, and even stress. Some of the types of claims that can be made due to these injuries and accidents include worker’s compensation claims, public liability claims, and road traffic accident compensation claims.
A personal injury lawyer’s role is very multifaceted and includes them reviewing your situation, including how the injury was caused, the severity of the injury, and the eligibility of compensation, as well as helping to navigate insurance policies, file compensation claims, and negotiate on your behalf.
What is the process of working with a personal injury lawyer and making a compensation claim?
Accidents and injuries can be extremely stressful and it’s common to feel overwhelmed. Working with a personal injury lawyer can help to reduce the stress for you. To give you an idea of the process of working with a personal injury lawyer, we’ll take you through the process from the time of an accident through to the completion of the claims process.
Step 1 – Seek medical attention
If you’ve suffered a personal injury, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly. Your health and well-being should be your priority.
Step 2 – Report the incident
You should report the incident to the relevant authority as soon as possible. For example, if it occurred at your workplace, you would report it to your employer or supervisor. If it happened in a public place, you may report it to the property owner or manager. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, you would report it to the police and your insurance company.
Depending on the severity of your incident, you may report the incident before receiving medical attention.
Step 3 – Gathering evidence
Collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This may include photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records, and any other relevant documentation.
Step 4 – Consultation with a personal injury lawyer
It is advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer who specialises in the compensation laws of the area that you’re in in Australia. This is important as there is different legislation throughout the country and your eligibility to make a claim and the process may differ depending on your location. They can provide you with legal advice, assess the strength of your claim, and guide you through the process.
Step 5 – Lodging a claim
Your lawyer will help you prepare and lodge a formal claim with the relevant insurance company or entity responsible for compensation. This claim will outline the details of the incident, the injuries sustained, and the impact on your life.
Step 6 – Negotiation and settlement
The insurance company or defendant will review your claim and may offer a settlement amount. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to ensure a fair compensation offer is made. If both parties agree on a settlement amount, the case can be resolved without going to court.
Step 7 – Court proceedings (if necessary)
Unfortunately, while many cases do avoid court, it isn’t avoidable in all cases. So, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your compensation lawyer may recommend taking the case to court. This involves filing a lawsuit and presenting your case before a judge. The court will then determine the compensation amount based on the evidence presented.
Step 8 – Compensation award
If successful, the court will award you compensation based on various factors, including the severity of your injuries, financial losses incurred, and the impact on your future earning capacity.
Step 9 – Legal costs
The fees you may be required to pay to your compensation lawyer could vary from a set price to a percentage of your total compensation. In many cases, when it comes to personal injury lawyers, you won’t have to pay a fee unless your claim is successful. This is known as a “no win, no fee” payment arrangement.
How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
In most instances, you will need to pay for the services of a personal injury lawyer. However, it is common, particularly here in Queensland, for a personal injury lawyer to operate on a “no win no fee” basis. This means that you won’t be required to pay unless you win your claim. The legal costs are then usually deducted from the compensation amount awarded.
A lawyer should provide you with a cost estimate for dealing with your matter prior to you agreeing to engage their services. There are numerous ways that the total legal costs may be calculated, some of the more typical ways include the costs being based on time spent on the matter, it could be a lump sum, or it could be a percentage of the total compensation value that you’re awarded.
How do I choose the right personal injury lawyer?
When it comes to choosing a personal injury lawyer for your case, it’s important that you select someone who has proven experience, is accessible and you feel comfortable with them. You will need to share personal details and working with someone you feel that you can trust makes this a lot easier.
Here are some steps you can take to make looking for a personal injury compensation lawyer easier:
· Ask family and friends
Talk to family and friends to see if they have any experience with working with a personal injury lawyer, or know anyone who does. The trust of someone you trust can make a big difference when it comes to finding the right lawyer for you.
· Search online
The internet is a great resource for finding lawyers in your area, however, it can also pose the problem of giving you too many resources to choose from. To help narrow down your options, check out their websites and online reviews. Their websites should provide relevant information and online reviews can help you learn about other people’s experiences with them.
· Speak to lawyers and ask them questions
As we mentioned earlier, feeling like you can trust your lawyer is an important part of finding the right lawyer. We recommend discussing your situation with a few different lawyers to see your options and work out how you feel about them.
Many lawyers offer a free case review or consultation, or they may charge a small fee, however, this step can help to make you feel significantly more comfortable and understand where you stand.
If you do meet with several lawyers, ensure that you prepare yourself with information about your situation and questions you want answered. Some questions to consider asking include whether your case is strong, how long it may take to resolve, how much compensation are you likely to receive and how much you will be charged to use their services.
Asking each of the lawyers these questions may make it easier for you to narrow down your options.
Do you need a personal injury lawyer in Queensland?
If you’ve been involved in an accident and have suffered an injury, you could be eligible for compensation and that’s what we’re here to help you with.
At South East Injury Lawyers, our team of experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers can help you understand your options, including helping you understand how much compensation you could be entitled to. We make it our mission to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
Talk to us today by calling us on 07 5241 7994 or booking a consultation here.