Your guide to personal injury claims

 

Personal injury compensation can be awarded for a range of conditions and circumstances, and can be given in the form of a lump-sum payment directly to you, payment directly to any treatment providers you have or will be seeing for treatment, or in smaller payments depending on your case and whether a government body such as WorkCover or TAC are involved. 

Accidents can happen and it may not always appear simple and straight-forward to proceed with a personal injury claim. However, if you are in need of help and medical treatment to recover from your injuries, then it is only right that you should be able to access that help and treatment and to recover as fully as possible from your experience. 

If you have experienced an injury as a result of medical procedures, prescription medicines or treatments that you believe was caused by medical negligence then you may be entitled to compensation for your physical and mental distress associated with your injury, your medical treatment and your recovery. 

 

What should I do after an accident?

If you suffer a physical or psychological injury, the first thing you should do is consult your doctor for medical treatment advice. 

There are different legal steps that should be taken depending on the circumstances under which you suffered your injury. 

As a general rule, you should ensure that the incident in which you suffered your injury is recorded and reported.

For example, if you suffered your injury at work, you should report your injury to your employer in writing within 30 days of experiencing or becoming aware of your injury. You should report your injury in writing by filling out an incident report.  

If your injury was suffered in a transport or motor vehicle accident, you should record the accident details as well as the details of the other drivers and vehicles involved. You should also report the accident to the police if the police did not attend the scene. 

If your injury occurred in a public space, you should gather information such as how and where the incident occurred, and report it to whoever is responsible for the space. If your injury occurred on commercial premises, a formal incident report may need to be made. 

 

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

Different time limits apply for filing a claim depending on how your injury was sustained. It is important to get legal advice early to ensure that any applicable time limits are not missed. 

 

What if I had a pre-existing condition? Can I still claim compensation? 

You may still be able to claim personal injury compensation for an injury even if you have a pre-existing condition to that body part.

Depending on the circumstances in which your injury was sustained, the law differs as to how your pre-existing injury may affect any potential entitlement to a claim for compensation you may have. 

You should speak to a lawyer about the details of how your personal injury occurred and any pre-existing conditions you may have in order to receive advice about your entitlement to compensation. 

 

How long will it take to settle my claim?

The time required to settle a claim for compensation will depend on a number of different factors, including whether you require further treatment for your injury, whether you have returned to work, and the legal requirements of the particular area of law that governs the compensation you seek. 

You should obtain legal advice from a law firm about your entitlement to pursue a settlement for a personal injury claim. A lawyer will be able to advise you how long the process may take in light of the individual circumstances of your injury. 

 

What damages/compensation are available in a personal injury case?

Different forms of compensation may be available to you depending on how you suffered your personal injury. You may be entitled to claim:

  • Reimbursement of the costs associated with your medical treatment 
  • Weekly payments if you are unable to do the job you were doing prior to your injury 
  • Lump sum compensation for injuries that are permanent

The law differs depending on how your injury was sustained, whether it be at work, on the road, on public or private premises, or in the course of receiving medical treatment. It is therefore important to discuss your prospects of successfully pursuing lump sum compensation with a specialist personal injury lawyer, who will be able to advise on these legal requirements with you in detail and in relation to your specific circumstances.

 

What is a public liability claim?

If you have sustained an injury in a public place, you may qualify for a public liability claim to help you with medical expenses and lost earnings while you are recovering.

Common public liability claims include slips, trips and falls in either commercial, retail or public places. Sports injuries, injuries on the water, playground accidents and assaults can also be covered by this area of the law. Any injury which is sustained as a result of a business, local council or venue’s negligence will be considered a public liability claim. Most organisations these days are required by law to hold public liability insurance over their space or property.

 

What fees do personal injury lawyers take?

At Gordon Legal, we act for injured people on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that an injured person will not be charged for the legal work completed on their matter until the successful resolution of their claim.

 

What to do if this information applies to you

At Gordon Legal, we understand that personal injury claims are a personal issue.

For personalised and individual advice, we offer consultations to discuss your matter.

Please call Gordon Legal on (03) 9603 3000 or our Geelong office on (03) 5225 1600 to speak with a member of our team.

Given the current environment, we are providing consultations over the phone or via video conferencing platforms.

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