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Frequently asked questions by people injured in an accident

  • Do you offer no win, no fee services??

    Yes. In many cases and subject to conditions, we act for injured people on a no win, no fee basis, meaning that if we are unsuccessful in obtaining a monetary payment for you, then there are no charges made for our time.

  • Can I change lawyers and bring my case to Adelaide Injury Law Firm?

    Yes, you can, but bear in mind that before you do, you need to consider any Retainer Agreement between you and your existing solicitor. We can assist you in interpreting your Retainer Agreement. The Australian Solicitor Conduct Rules also provide information relating to transfer of documents from one solicitor to another.

  • What should I do if I’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident?

    • Call Ambulance and Police.
    • Obtain the name and address of the driver/s of the other vehicle/s involved, and if a passenger, the driver of the vehicle you were in.
    • Exchange your name and address.
    • Record the make, model and registration number of the other vehicle involved, and if a passenger, the same details of the vehicle you were in.
    • If you believe you are at fault, DO NOT ADMIT LIABILITY.
    • If safe and practicable, take photographs of the respective positions of the vehicles on the roadway, any skid marks, and areas of damage to any vehicle involved.
    • Note any discussions between you and the other driver/s or any passenger or independent witness.
    • Submit a claim to the CTP insurer.
    • Seek legal advice.

  • What should I do if I am injured in a slip, trip or fall?

    • Note the date, time, and precise location of the accident scene.
    • If possible, draw a diagram of the layout of the premises or area where the accident occurred.
    • Note the positions of any CCTV cameras.
    • Report the incident to the person in charge of the premises, such as the manager. Provide your name, address and an accurate general description of the incident.
    • Record the name and the position of the person who you reported the incident to.
    • DO NOT sign anything.
    • If a slip, note the presence of any skid marks or other visual cues at the point of the incident.
    • Note the presence of any foreign liquid or other substances on the floor that caused the incident, including dimensions, colour and description of the substance or foreign object. If practicable, take a photograph.
    • As soon as possible after the incident, write down a detailed accident description and what was said by any representatives of the premises, from the time of the incident to the time you left the premises.
    • Seek legal advice.

  • If I have been injured in an accident, should I see a doctor?

    Yes. Even if you think it is only a minor injury, it is always prudent to seek medical assistance.
    Not only is it important for your well-being to be checked out by medical practitioners, but seeing a doctor will establish an independent contemporaneous record, that is likely to record the description of the circumstances as advised by you, your symptoms/complaints and the results of any examination or treatment advice. This is important, as there are likely to be medical opinions obtained by the insurer or your lawyer as your case progresses. In many cases the failure to report symptoms to a medical practitioner shortly after the incident has resulted in a dispute as to what injuries were sustained in the incident. Seeing a doctor promptly and reporting any injuries and symptoms reduces this risk.

  • How much detail should I offer my doctor?

    Your doctor can provide the best treatment advice, only if all information is provided, so it is important to describe all your symptoms accurately and fully. This will also assist with any expert medical opinions required later as to diagnosis of the injuries attributed to the incident.

  • If I had a slip and fall in a shop, why are a diagram and notes important?

    The reason for this is that liability is frequently denied in such cases. The existence of CCTV footage (if available) may assist in assessing liability but it is not exhaustive.
    Any admissions or discussions from employees may shed light as to the circumstances through which the substance or object appeared on the floor or remained on the floor. Observations of substances or objects and drawing diagrams are also useful in assessing liability.

  • What compensation might I be able to claim?

    There are several categories of damages that may be available, depending on legislative limitations. The broad categories of damages are non-economic loss (also known as pain and suffering), economic loss (past and future loss of income), loss of superannuation benefits, gratuitous assistance, future care, and medical treatment expenses (past and future).

  • Will someone pay for my loss of wages due to my accident or injury?

    In most situations and excluding workplace injuries, a claim for loss of income is included as part of the claim for damages and therefore a lump sum is paid in settlement of all categories of damages at the one time.

    Accordingly, in most cases, there are no provisions for periodic payments of loss of wages to be made. If, however an income protection policy or superannuation policy exists, there may be benefits payable under those policies.

    In workplace injuries, a claim can be made for payment of loss of wages due to incapacity to work because of the work injury. These payments can be made on an ongoing basis, subject to legislative limits.

  • How long does it take for a claim for compensation to be finalised?

    It is prudent for your compensation lawyer to wait until the injuries are stabilised before negotiating a settlement of your matter. The length of time for injuries to stabilise varies from person to person, with a significant factor being the nature of the injury.
    Some injuries stabilise within several months whereas other more catastrophic injuries take many months and sometimes years to stabilise. While every case is different, in our experience, on average, a matter may resolve within 18 to 24 months of stabilisation.
    There are however cases that settle earlier and conversely cases that take longer to settle. Your compensation lawyer can provide further details of this.

  • If I do have a work injury, what should I do?

    The first thing to do is to make sure the incident and injury is written or recorded in the ‘incident book’, or another similar document or program. Your manager will know.

    You should seek immediate medical attention and seek a Work Capacity Certificate (a special certificate used in work injury case), from your Doctor if you are unfit for work. The certificate and WorkCover claim form should then be lodged with your employer. The employer will then either pass it on to its WorkCover Claims Agent, or if self-insured, will handle the claim internally.

    We recommend that you keep a copy of any documents given to your employer or Claims Agent from time to time.

  • Is compensation available, if my injury was caused by my employer’s negligence?

    Injuries due to the employer’s negligence, may entitle a person to claim additional compensation.
    Certain limitations apply, although these limitations don’t apply if the injury occurred in the workplace but was due to the negligence of someone other than the employer. An example of this would be if you are employed by a labour hire company (your actual employer) and are allocated to a business (host employer), but then have an injury because of the negligence of the host employer. In these circumstances, you are permitted to take action against the host employer and as the claim is not against your actual employer, the above limitations do not apply.