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Here are some of our most frequently asked questions pertaining to Personal Injury Law. If you have a question that is not listed please call us or book a time so that we can give you peace of mind with an answer.
1. How long do I have to make a claim?
2. Can I get an extension of time?
It is possible. You need to find a material fact of which you are not aware within the three-year period that you only discover once the three-year period has expired. Often this can be a medical condition. For example, if you are not aware during the 3 years after the accident that you are likely to suffer the early onset of arthritis as a consequence of the accident, then it may be possible to get an extension of time. However, whatever you do, don't do anything until you contact our office as if you do anything yourself, you may prohibit yourself from getting an extension of time.
3. Is there a threshold of injury you have to suffer before you can make a claim?
It depends on the date of the injury. The law recently changed. As from 1 July 2015 unless you score 11 or more on the personal injury table, you are unable to make a claim for pain and suffering. The law is very complex on what you can in cannot claim. If you suffered an injury, you should contact our office immediately. We have a 1st interview free service which is no obligation and totally free.
4. If I've been injured, what sort of things to I need to do?
Generally speaking, claims for pain and suffering if you are working require you to have at least a week off work. This is an absolutely essential but it is a very important factor. You should keep copies of all chemist bills, doctors accounts, crash repair details if you are driving a car or a passenger in a car. Most importantly, at the earliest opportunity, you should write out a detailed statement of exactly how the accident occurred. Ideally, return to the scene of the accident and take photographs and draw a map making measurements of where your car was at the time of the collision and the other car. Measurements of where you were when you 1st saw the other car can be critical. You can measure them using paces. It is essential to write down what anybody said, particularly if one driver admitted are in the wrong. Most importantly, you should start a diary straightaway, riding down every day out the pain and suffering from your injuries effect she and the things you're unable to do. When it comes to making a claim, sometimes we have to go back 1 or 2 years asking clients to recall how they were affected by the injury. This can be very difficult but if you have a diary that you have kept from the beginning, it will be very easy and that will pay handsomely in making your claim for compensation.
5. What if I'm in hospital and I can't get to see a lawyer?
We will come to see you.
6. What if I'm unemployed at the time of the accident when I'm injured?
Compensation is payable for the loss of the ability to either continue your current work or to obtain work that you are looking for at the time. If you were looking for work at the time of your injury, it is most essential to have details. It would be very helpful if you could cut out advertisements from the paper or print out information of the Internet of jobs you are applying for of the time.
7. If I can't go back to work and I have no sick leave left, should I go on the sickness benefit?
If you receive any centre link payments while you're off work as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you will have to repay those out of your compensation payout. However, you might not want to take a holiday leave from your work as if you lose holiday leave, there is no guarantee you'll ever get it back. You will be compensated for the loss of money you lose that you may not technically be able to keep those holidays. Accordingly, it might be best not to use up your holiday pay and instead go on Centrelink sickness benefit that is the only option. If you use up long service leave, again, you will get the money back be you may not be entitled to the actual leave.
8. If I pay the doctor direct or the chemist, will I get that money back?
If you are found to be 100% in the right, you should have no difficulty getting all of that money back. However, if you are found to be say, 50% in the wrong, you might only get 50% of that money back.
9. Why do I read in the paper sometimes that victims in motor vehicle accidents get huge payouts and others don't?
The greatest portion of the compensation that is paid is for loss of income or loss of potential to earn income in the future. Accordingly, the amount you will recover is directly proportional to the salary you're on at the time of the accident.
10. I understand that passengers can make claims without much difficulty if I was the driver?
The driver can still make a claim depending on who is liable for the accident. Even if it is found that you were say, 80% in the wrong, you would still be entitled to 20% of what your damages would have been. In other words, if you would have got $40,000 if you had been 100% in the right, you may still get $8000 even if you are 80% in the wrong.