Published on February 8, 2011 in Personal Injury0
Don’t be washed or blown away.
You CAN get legal assistance for your flood or storm injuries!
By: Mark Novakovic
Australia, and particularly Queensland, has experienced large scale natural disasters in recent times that have affected thousands of lives and led to costs in excess of millions. Despite the material damage and tragic loss of life stemming from the flood of December 2010/January 2011 and Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland, they have undoubtedly raised legal issues for victims of the natural disasters. Among the obvious insurance claims, it also includes:
- Property Law, damage and fencing
- Landlord/Rental entitlements and Body Corporate issues
- Family Law
- Small Business and Debt
- Victims of Crime and Coroner’s Process and
- Wills and Estates
Unfortunately, legislation does not account for disaster relief on a federal level; and instead relies on local and state authorities to take the brunt of responsibility, providing assistance to disaster victims when resources are exhausted by local and state governments.
In these circumstances each individual at some point or another feels helpless and without anyone to turn to. While it can be understood on some level why one would assume that personal injury and disaster relief would come hand in hand, it is yet to be evidenced in the law. At present, the law stipulates that to claim against another party for personal injury, there needs to be a duty of care (or responsibility) to the injured party, and that duty needs to have been broken by the other party’s actions in some form to the point where it has a detrimental effect to the injured person(s). However, the dilemma with natural disasters is that they aren’t caused by another party. So, it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, for injured victims to claim for any type of injury compensation.
While we may not be able to provide you with a free case review, you may contact Queensland Legal Aid by phone on 1300 65 11 88 or visit their website Legal Aid Queensland for more information on flood or cyclone relief.
Published on February 4, 2011 in Personal Injury0
What is a Common Law Claim? and how to proceed to Common Law
A Common Law claim is basically when you require an amount for damages sustained for past, present, and future expenses.
In relation to a workplace injury, before you can commence a Common Law Claim you are required to carry out requests from the insurer so they can assess your permanent situation. An insurer will usually have a plan put in place with a time frame to seek rehabilitation for an injury. Physiotherapy is common along with further investigations by radiologists, and depending on the injury a specialist of some sort. During this period it is policy to consult your doctor and provide the insurer with updated medical certificates stating your capacity to work on light duties or not work at all.
This rehabilitation period varies depending on the injury and the treatment requested. Once the insurer has reviewed all of the treating practitioner’s reports they will conclude the claim. The means that the insurer has met their requirements and found the injured person has adequately been treated and is now ‘stable and stationary’. Sometimes the insurer will just close up a claim, and you will be able to return to work. In this case, if the insurer does not request a final independent examination from a doctor, you can request this. Once an ‘independent medical examination’ is carried out the insurer will finalise the offer with a ‘Notice of Assessment’. A Notice of Assessment will provide you with a breakdown in percentage (%) form, of the permanent impairment and work related impairment. The percentage is calculated and a small lump sum offer will be made. At this stage you do not want to accepted any off nor sign off at any point on this document. If you accept this amount, you will not have any additional rights, even in the future for further compensation.
To proceed to Common Law you should consult a solicitor, preferably a No Win No Fee firm who can provide you with free legal advice and a free case review. A solicitor will usually want to investigate the claim further by reviewing the insurers claim file and advising you of the prospect of your claim. If you decide to commence the claim you will be required to file a Personal Injuries Proceedings Act claim form, which your solicitor will request you fill out and return to them so they can direct to form to the appropriate department. You will attend different medical examinations with specialists, who will provide detailed reports to support your claim. The defendant’s representatives will also require visits to specialists to review and prepare their own case. The time frame for a Common Law Claim varies also and limitation periods can be protected with a solicitor representing you. When running a Common Law Claim a lot of solicitors will recommend and choose to settle the claim outside of court as court procedures are costly and could take you backward not forward. A settlement conference will be held with the aim to finalise a sum to compensate you for past, present and future, economic loss, medical treatment, out of pocket expenses and also pain and suffering.
Each matter does vary, so please seek legal advice for your individual case and personalised advice.
Published on February 3, 2011 in Personal Injury0
- Is the injury going to be on-going and/or permanent?
- Did you require time of work – resulting with economic loss?
- Were there out of pocket expenses due to the injury? E.g. not being able to drive, taxi / public transport fares, medical bills, etc
- Will you require future treatment resulting in ongoing out of pocket expenses?
- How will the injury affect the remaining working life of the individual?
- Will the individual be able to continue working in the same occupation?