Personal Injury Claims. What You Must Know.
Making personal injury claims may appear to be a major step, and the variety of law firms all promising free consultations, no win no fee arrangements, and maximum compensation may overwhelm you. However, before you file personal injury claims, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the personal injury claims process and your legal rights. This guide will teach you all you need to know about personal injury claims, settlements, and how to file a successful claim, including the characteristics of successful personal injury claims.
What is the definition of personal injury claims?
Personal injury claims are basically a request for compensation for injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Personal injury claims cover all types of accidents, including work accidents, road accidents, accidents in public places, and accidents that occur because of the negligence of someone who should know better (medical practitioner, etc).
How much money do personal injury claims provide?
The amount you can recover for a personal injury might be anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. The amount of your settlement will be determined by the following factors:
- Your injuries’ severity
- Your age and physical condition
- Prior to the accident, what did you do for a living and how much did you earn?
- The impact of your injury on your capacity to work
Personal injury claims settlements for mild injuries that require only a few days off work and a short time away from work are likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Personal injury compensation can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars for more catastrophic injuries that require surgery, a long period of time off work, or prevent you from returning to work full time.
There’s no way to know how much the average personal injury claim will cost. However, in the 12 months leading up to March 2022, there were 9,445 motor vehicle accident injury claims filed in NSW, with $783 million paid out in personal injury payments and lump sums*.
*April 2022, based on SIRA Open Data
Do I have a case for a personal injury?
Consider the following three questions:
- Have you been in an accident and sustained injuries?
- Have you taken any time off from work to rest?
- Have you received any kind of treatment?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. However, speaking with a personal injury lawyer who specialises in accident injuries like yours is the quickest way to find out for sure if you qualify.
The stages to filing Personal Injury Claims
You must follow certain procedures in order to file a claim for personal injury compensation.
Step 1: Report the accident and any injuries that have occurred.
Reporting and notifying the appropriate person or authority about your accident is the most important stage in the claim procedure. You must, for example, notify your employer if you have been injured at work.
Similarly, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should contact the police and receive a Traffic Incident Number (TIN). If you have any further queries, our accident lawyers can answer them.
Finally, if you have been injured in a public location, you must report your injuries to the appropriate local government or authority.
Step 2: Consult with your doctor.
Medical and diagnostic reports, as well as medical certifications from your doctor, are examples of evidence that can be used to back up your claim. As a result, contacting your doctor is critical both for your health and for filing a compensation claim.
Step 3: File an insurance claim
You should file a compensation claim with the proper organization as soon as possible. If you are claiming workers’ compensation, you must submit a claim to your employer in the prescribed format.
If you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may be required to follow a specific structure. Consult your employer or a lawyer for advice on how to proceed. Preferably the latter for the obvious reasons.
To file a claim for a motor vehicle accident, you must contact the insurance company of the at-fault vehicle’s owner or driver.
If you have a Public Liability claim, you must file it with the insurer or authority who is at fault.
Step 4: Consult a lawyer.
We strongly advise you to obtain legal counsel from a personal injury lawyer so that you are aware of the following:
- In a personal injury case, you have legal rights and entitlements.
- How do you go about making such a claim?
- How long will the complete procedure take?
A note on your claim’s acceptance or rejection: It could take up to 28 business days for your claim to be approved or denied. If your claim is approved by the proper insurance company, you may be eligible for the following benefits:
- a weekly wage, the amount of which is determined by the state in which the accident or injury occurred;
- out-of-pocket expenses;
- reimbursement of medical expenses;
- Referrals to medical specialists and rehabilitation services are also available.
If your claim is denied, you should consult with a lawyer to discuss your options. Because your claim may have been denied due to non-disclosure, partial disclosure, or erroneous disclosure of facts, it’s critical that you hire expert compensation lawyers to evaluate.
Importantly, insurance companies typically deny compensation claims. Don’t let this be a reason for not seeking legal advice.
Step 5: Seek medical attention as needed.
While pursuing a personal injury claim, you should seek all necessary medical treatment.
Step : Damages (Compensation) are awarded in personal injury cases for:
- Suffering and pain
- Loss of earnings (past and future)
- The cost of medical treatment
- Assistance and care in the home
- Any additional losses that may occur
If you get any monetary compensation in connection with your personal injury claim, seek legal guidance. This will keep you from giving up your right to file another claim for compensation or receiving less than your full entitlements.
Timelines for Applying for Personal Injury Claims
Compensation claims are subject to time constraints, and personal injury claims are no exception. It is critical to contact your compensation lawyer and file your claim within the three years following your injury. Your claim may be void if you exceed this time limit.
However, some circumstances differ, and application windows can be longer or shorter. Consult your compensation lawyer to determine how your period might differ.
Making Successful Personal Injury Claims
Providing an accurate and truthful history
Your credibility is the most crucial aspect of your claim. That is because, in order for you to obtain compensation, the insurer or decision-maker must agree with your claim, which means they must accept your claim in its entirety. How can the insurer or decision maker do that if they don’t believe you because there’s proof that you’re lying or making a claim that contradicts the evidence?
For example, despite your clinical notes demonstrating that you did have pre-existing injuries prior to the accident, you may argue that you never had any prior to the event. If you had told your lawyer right away, it may not have harmed your claim and, in fact, it may have aided your lawyer and all parties in advancing your claim based on factual information, allowing them to claim maximum compensation. Of course, you are not expected to recall everything that happened to you before the accident, but it is crucial to recognise that presenting an honest and accurate history is not only the proper thing to do, but it is also the best thing for your claim and all parties involved.
Understand what you can and cannot claim.
Doesn’t it appear to be simple? Although it appears to be simple, despite being one of the most vital, it is frequently overlooked. How can you and your lawyer be sure that all of your potential losses are being claimed appropriately if you don’t grasp what you’re entitled to and what you’re not? A lawyer can only operate on instructions, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, how will you be able to give your lawyer the information he or she needs to get the best possible result? It is reciprocal. That’s why our personal injury lawyers take satisfaction in explaining the law to our clients so they know what they’re entitled to and how to pursue those rights. As a result, our clients can proceed with their claim with confidence.
Manage your Expectations
It’s a simple word, yet it has a lot of power. As quickly as possible, find out how much your compensation claim is worth. Particularly before rejecting a reasonable offer and/or taking legal action. Just because your claim is approved doesn’t imply you’ll get the money you deserve. The cost of your legal expenses will rise as your compensation claim progresses. Before rejecting or accepting an offer, you should consider all of your options. Even if you could get more money, think about whether it will still be more money for you once legal fees and disbursements are eliminated. You should think about whether it will make a difference in what you get. While it is true that there are numerous situations in which it is necessary to reject offers and persevere to the end, do so based on knowledge and realistic expectations rather than emotions and logical fallacies. Although it may be difficult to determine the exact value of your claim at the outset, after your personal injury lawyer has sufficient evidence and medical information to support your claim, you should be able to determine the range of value.
Social Media and Compensation. They Don’t Mix.
People’s daily lives have been influenced by social media. Did you realise, however, that social media posts can be used as surveillance evidence in compensation and Super/TPD claims? You should avoid publishing anything that could be used against you in your CTP, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, or Super / TPD claims. Even seemingly innocuous social media posts can jeopardise a claim’s success.
If you have a pending compensation or Super / TPD claim, you should avoid posting anything that could invalidate your claim (or could be seen to do so).
You should not post the following:
- Photographs of physically demanding activities, such as sports, jet skiing, running, weightlifting, or swimming.
- Verbal evidence of exercise — even mentioning that you have done or enjoyed specific activities could jeopardise your claim.
- Posts that contradict your claimed level of suffering – the nature of the claim will determine what opposes it. If you claim you need a neck brace all of the time, for example, a single shot without you wearing it could jeopardise your compensation claim.
Accepting responsibility – social media is not a private space. It’s not the place for you to discuss prospective culpability or anything related to a claim, no matter how safe you think it is.
Before you post, consider your options.
Although the law on social media is still evolving, there have been several cases in recent years where a person’s posts have had an impact on their compensation claim.
Every family member or friend knows someone who ‘overshares’ on social media, documenting every detail of their everyday activities.
This propensity can be a huge issue in situations like personal injury lawsuits, when a person may be seeking reimbursement for an injury that, based on their social media posts, is not as serious as they claim.
Get Legal Advice
Compensation law is very complex, and governed by very strict rules and regulations. For this reason, it is very important to seek legal advice as early as possible from an experienced compensation lawyers today.