Not Using A Lawyer? You’re Probably Selling Yourself Short
Posted on August 1, 2019
For most people injured in a car accident, making a CTP claim will be the first time they will take any sort of legal action. If you have never needed a lawyer, you may think legal assistance will cost you a fortune, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Do you need a lawyer?
While some people may lodge their injury claim successfully, attempting to negotiate a final outcome without legal assistance is a dangerous endeavour.
If you’re making a compensation claim, the short answer is yes, you do need to obtain advice from a lawyer and you will be better off for obtaining their help. Depending on the amount of compensation you are entitled to, you may be able to claim some of your legal fees from the insurance company, in addition to your compensation.
Your road to medical recovery
You can’t put a price on your health. It is vital that you have access to the best medical care after being injured. You should seek out this care as soon as possible, in order to minimise your injury’s impact and maximise your recovery.
While the insurer of an at-fault vehicle will generally fund reasonable medical treatment and rehabilitation, disagreements can arise around what is considered ‘reasonable’. Sometimes an insurer will stop paying for treatment, even if it is medically supported. A lawyer can assist in this situation: either by obtaining further evidence to show the insurer your treatment is reasonable, by arranging mediation to try to resolve the dispute, or by taking the dispute to court for an outcome.
Get the compensation you deserve
In a personal injury claim, the devil is in the details. There are specific rules that dictate what compensation you are entitled to. If you choose to represent yourself, you may miss out on the repayment you deserve. You can find more about your entitlements here.
There are three main areas that you may be able to claim compensation for:
Pain and Suffering
Claiming compensation for pain and suffering is not straightforward. Your injuries must be assessed against a complex table of categorised injuries that is found in legislation. Medical evidence is often required to assist with the classification process. An understanding of medical terms is also often required to properly classify the injury.
Loss of Income
While loss of income might seem easy enough to work out, it often isn’t a simple calculation. Don’t just think about what you’ve lost already – what about the future? How might your working life be impacted by your injury in 10 years? You may be able to claim compensation for any impact on your ability to work. Our lawyers are skilled in analysing and appropriately claiming compensation for such loss, which may also include loss of superannuation too.
Care and Assistance
Another area often overlooked is compensation for unpaid care and assistance. Sometimes the injured person can claim compensation for unpaid assistance. Our lawyers know when and how to calculate such assistance – both past and future aid.
What do the stats say?
The statistics speak for themselves. The Motor Accident Insurance Commission previously found that the average CTP settlement for people not legally represented was an average of $10,281.94, while people with legal representation received $51,295.77 in their pocket – that’s after paying legal fees and other deductions. This is almostfive timesthe amount of in-hand compensation!
A claim settlement is final
If your circumstances change after your claim has been settled, there’s nothing you can do. A settlement is once and for all. If you choose to represent yourself throughout the process, you could be risking more than you realise. What if your injury is likely to deteriorate in the future? What if you will need expensive surgery down the line? What if you receive advice after a settlement to suggest that you did not get the compensation you deserve? A legal representative can foresee these situations and help you avoid the damage they may cause to you.
What if multiple parties are to blame?
Sometimes people are injured in circumstances where multiple parties are to blame. In that case, to protect your interests you should make a claim against all negligent parties. For example, if you’re injured in a car accident that’s not your fault but your car’s airbag failed to deploy when it should have; you may need to make a claim against the car’s manufacturer as well as the at-fault driver’s CTP insurer in relation to your injury.
As road injury experts, our legal team are experts in identifying all available legal actions and providing thorough advice to our clients.
Are you aware of the time limits?
The law imposes strict time limits in which to make a compensation claim. You can read more about them here. If you miss a strict time limit, you will lose your right to make a claim. Our Claimify team will make sure your claim doesn’t miss any deadlines.
While most claims settle before any court action, some may require a Judge to decide on the matter. It’s important to know the legal process and not to be afraid of taking court action if appropriate, to get a just and fair outcome. Our team of Claimify lawyers are litigation experts and will provide frank and straightforward advice in relation to the best way to conduct your claim.