Most people will go their entire lives without having to deal with a lawyer, and when they do it may only be to prepare a Will or to purchase or sell a property. That is why it can be difficult to know what to look for when unfortunate circumstances arise, and you need to seek legal help.
Being injured due to an accident, whether it is a workplace accident, a car accident or an accident that happened while in a public place, can be stressful enough without having to worry about who will offer the best legal advice. So, when you are in need of assistance from a personal injury lawyer what should you consider before commencing your claim?
Billing and Fee Structures
In Queensland, the most important thing to look out for is the personal injury lawyer’s fee structure. For matters such as civil disputes, lawyers may charge by the hour, but for personal injury matters, lawyers usually take a cut of the compensation you are awarded. This is how law firms are able to offer ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements.
According to Queensland law, the maximum amount a lawyer is permitted to be paid out of your compensation is 50%. Some firms will take up to this percentage, whereas others will give you a fixed fee to be taken out at settlement.
In the first meeting you have with any lawyer you are considering having act for you, you should always ask what their fee structure is and ensure you fully understand it. If they do not clearly explain it, you should be wary.
Personal injury claims can be lengthy and complex and it is vital that you only seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows what to include in your claim to ensure you are awarded the most compensation possible.
At Cairns Compensation Lawyers, your case will always be overseen by a senior personal injury law expert and a senior paralegal. We understand that your personal injury claim is one of, if not the most, pressing concerns in your life and we commit to undertaking it as if it were our own case.
Area of expertise
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a personal injury lawyer is the lawyer’s field of expertise.
While you may already deal with a solicitor for property, family or estate matters, that solicitor is unlikely to be the best person to handle your personal injury case for you.
As previously mentioned, to increase your chances of making a successful personal injury claim it is crucial that you engage a lawyer whose primary area of practice is personal injury law. A personal injury lawyer is equipped with an understanding of the ins-and-outs of personal injury law, they will be aware of the strict timelines pertaining to your case and they will be able to seamlessly guide you through the process of collating your evidence as it is what they do every day.
Another bonus of using a personal injury lawyer is that they deal with insurance companies on a regular basis and may already have built a rapport with the company that is receiving your claim, which could help the case to run more smoothly.
Your personal responsibilities
The final thing you need to consider before choosing a personal injury lawyer is your own responsibilities as a client. Your lawyer can only build a base on as much information as you give them, so it is crucial you are completely open and honest about how the injury occurred, how it has impacted your life and how it will continue to affect you.
Be sure to keep all of the important documents for your case, including your medical records, accident report, any photos you may have, insurance policy documents, and start to prepare a list of any lost income you have suffered as a result of the accident.
You will also need to ensure that you submit all of your medical bills to your insurance company and keep your lawyer updated on the progress of any treatments you may be receiving.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident in the workplace (including while working from home), in a road accident or in a public place and you require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to make a claim, get in touch with our compensation team in Cairns today.