Sometimes, it’s not until you find yourself in need of legal representation that you start to wonder what exactly a personal injury lawyer does, how the claims process works, and what a lawyer can do for you.
You may not have had any legal matters to contend with before, or you might not know where to turn and who can help you navigate this unfamiliar terrain.
If you've recently been injured, such as a work injury or in a road accident, and want to potentially make a personal injury claim, you’re in the right place. The following information may shed some light on how personal injury lawyers operate and what you can expect when you contact an Australian law firm in NSW or QLD.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Many people browse the internet looking for information on ‘what does a personal injury lawyer do’ to ensure they hire the right person for their case. With so many different lawyers available, it’s not always easy to understand whether you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer or one that specialises in something else.
The primary role of personal injury lawyers is to help people who have experienced physical or mental injuries. They assist with intentional tort and negligence cases and fight for your right to receive compensation.
Personal injury lawyers will also assist with a broad range of incidents, such as:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorbike accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Legal malpractice
- Wrongful deaths
- Workplace injury
Essentially, when someone fails to use reasonable care that results in injuries or loss of life, this can be classed as a form of negligence that may require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to help you through the legal process.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost? What Fees Can I Expect?
After being involved in an incident requiring legal help, one of your first thoughts might be how much personal injury lawyers cost. You likely want to ensure you can afford to pay for the legal fees before using their services, so having an idea of personal injury lawyer fees can be crucial.
Some of the best personal injury lawyers in Australia operate on contingency. This means that if you don’t win your case, you don’t pay your lawyer for their time - no win, no fee. This can be a weight off anyone’s mind who’s unsure about proceeding with legal action when they don’t think they can afford a lawyer’s hourly rate.
Some additional fees may apply, depending on your unique case, such as:
- Filing fees
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Expert witness fees
- Trial exhibits
- Postage and copying expenses
- Trial exhibits
How Does the Personal Injury Claim Process Work?
If you have never made a personal injury claim before, you may not know how the process works or what you can expect. Fortunately, by contacting a personal injury lawyer for legal advice, you can find out all this information and ask any questions you have to receive much-needed clarity.
Typically, the personal injury claim legal process follows this timeline:
1. Receive Medical Treatment
Immediately after your accident or incident, such as a motor vehicle accident, seek medical treatment at your nearest hospital or medical centre. Doing so can mean you get the help you need while also beginning your paper trail for the personal injury claim process.
2. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve suffered serious injuries or your situation is more complex than you can handle, contact a personal injury lawyer for help. You can explain the facts of your case, which gives your lawyer a foundation to work from while investigating your compensation claim.
3. Claim Entitlements and Begin Negotiations
After reviewing the facts of your case and waiting until you’re on the road to recovery, your chosen lawyer can claim your entitlements to cover your accident-related costs, such as medical care and vehicle damage. Some examples of claims are:
- Workers compensation claim
- Public liability claim
- Motor vehicle accident claim
- Medical negligence claim
- Personal injury compensation claim
If both parties cannot agree on a settlement figure, the litigation process begins, with a personal injury lawsuit filed.
4. File a Lawsuit
When negotiations break down, a lawsuit can be filed in court within the statute of limitations, in other words, the time limit allowed to initiate legal proceedings. From this point, mediation and negotiations begin. If a successful conclusion can’t be reached, your lawyer can prepare you for trial.
How Do I Choose the Best Personal Injury Lawyer?
Choosing the best personal injury lawyer is not always easy when you’ve never required their legal services before. However, there are ways to narrow down your options while speeding up the process.
Ask for Referrals
Ask your friends and family for referrals if they have had experience in the legal system before. If they trusted their lawyer, they would be more than happy to recommend them for your case.
Look at Online Reviews
Online reviews can sometimes be as effective as referrals from friends and family. Look at different lawyers online and review other clients’ experiences. Some lawyer websites also have testimonials so you can gain insight into the level of service you can expect.
Review Track Records and Lawyer Credentials
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, review your preferred lawyers’ credentials, track record and experience in personal injury law. By doing so, you can gain insight into how successful they are at fighting for their clients’ rights.
Speak to Several Lawyers
Many personal injury lawyers in Australia offer a free consultation or case review. Don’t be afraid to speak with several lawyers before making your decision on who you’d like to represent you.
How Much Can I Earn From My Personal Injury Claim?
When you have accident-related costs to cover, such as from a permanent disability caused by negligence, it’s only natural to wonder how much you can earn from your claim.
Some of the best lawyers use a personal injury claim calculator or calculation to establish your costs. Typically, this calculation will consider several factors, such as economic damages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
There is no universal compensation figure to expect, as claims can vary from between $20,000 to $1,000,000, more or less. Your lawyer can share some insight into what they believe your case can settle for during the investigative stage.
Navigating the legal world for a personal injury can be daunting. If you need a helping hand in with a legal issue or injury case, call 1300 011 149 to talk to an expert compensation lawyer. They can answer any questions you may have while fighting for your right to adequate compensation.