Hints and Tips for a General Personal Injury Claim in the ACT

A Claim

A time limited claim needs to be made to the correct person or organisation in a specified format.

Injuries

A medical report diagnosing your injuries, specifying and reporting on recommended treatment and indicating any incapacity for work is required and ongoing certification will be needed.

Documents

A wide range of documents will be required – Medicare and any social security information, payroll data, radiological reports, perhaps tax information and documents and often financial records and employment and claim histories.

Time Limits

There are statutory limits that must be observed.  Exemptions are problematic and add to legal costs.  Do not delay.

Medical Examinations

You will need to be prepared to be medically examined by both a specialist or 2 of your solicitor’s and your choice and by 1 or more the insurer selects.

Statutory Compliance

The claim, whether in or out of Court must be managed in accordance with statutory obligations of disclosure and time frames. Your cooperation is essential, and you and your lawyer must work cooperatively.

Legal Advice

Your solicitor will desirably advise you as early as feasible of your prospects, of issues that arise, of any legal or evidentiary obstacles, of settlement prospects and possible outcomes. If settlement is not possible you will need counsel to assist with drafting the pleadings accompanying Court proceedings and representation at a hearing.

Legal Costs and Disimbursments

Your solicitor is required to provide regular Costs disclosure by way of a formal updated Statement of estimates of fees for professional services and disbursements on evidence gathering, copying, filing fees, witness expenses and counsel fees, as well as what you would expect to recover if a successful or favourable outcome eventuates. There is always some risk and your potential exposure to the other side’s legal bill will be explained.

Relationship Issues

Misunderstandings by you or your solicitor can occur given the technicalities and uncertainties of all litigation so you should ensure you understand the advice given and not hesitate to seek clarification.

 

David Lander