If you've been injured as a result of someone else's negligence you could be entitled to compensation and have every right to make a personal injury compensation claim, but you have to lodge your claim quickly as strict time limits do apply.
Personal Injury Claims Lawyers NSW
We are personal injury lawyers. We act for people making personal injury claims (claimants) as a result of injuries they have sustained; injuries which have caused them to suffer some form of loss. Typically, the loss will result from one or more of the following:
an inability to work;
an inability to care for one’s self;
an inability to perform one’s usual domestic duties i.e. cleaning the house, mowing the lawn;
a need to incur expenses on receiving treatment; or
a loss of function causing pain and suffering.
When we act for a claimant the first thing we do is ensure the claimant is aware of the time frame within which the personal injury claim must be made. There is an applicable time limit for every claim type, and if the personal injury claim is not made within that time limit, the claimant is not entitled to make the claim “as a legal right”… the claimant will require the leave of the Court to make the claim “out of time”.
We then turn our attention to the merit of the claim. “Merit” in this context at the early stage of claim relates to whether another is likely to be found liable for causing the claimant’s injuries. Most personal injury claims in NSW require the claimant to prove that their injuries were caused by the fault of another. The exception is a workers’ compensation claim.
Once a personal injury claim has been made our attention turns to evidence. Ultimately, if a claim does not settle it proceeds to a hearing, and the Judge will decide the case based on the evidence available. In broad terms, the Judge will have to decide two issues:
is the Defendant (the insurer’s client) liable for the claimant’s losses (“liability”)? and
if it is, how much is the claimant entitled to by way of compensation (“quantum”)?.
These issues will be decided by the Judge based on both expert and lay evidence.
Expert evidence is given by an expert in a particular field. Such an expert is known as an expert witness. In personal injury compensation claims, experts in the fields of medicine, accident reconstruction and accounting regularly give evidence. Such experts provide opinions about the facts and circumstances relevant to the claimant’s accident, injuries and losses.
Evidence of the “facts and circumstances” relevant to the claimant’s accident, injuries and losses, is given by lay witnesses. The most important lay witness could be you, if you are the claimant.
Evidence about liability in compensation claims
It is important at the outset to recognise that for most of us, our memory of events will fade over time. Accordingly, if you may need to rely upon a person’s lay evidence to support your personal injury claim, you should take steps to have that evidence committed to writing as soon as possible. We can assist in having this done.
Once the lay evidence is gathered, consideration should turn to whether any experts should be engaged to provide opinions as to the Defendant’s liability.
Evidence about quantum in compensation claims
Lay evidence is equally important to support the quantum of a claimant’s claim. A claimant can give lay evidence as to how the injury suffered by the claimant in the accident, affect him or her. A claimant’s family and friends can give evidence of the care and domestic assistance provided by them to the claimant, as a result of the claimant’s inability to attend to such matters after the accident, as he or she could prior to the accident.
The role of barristers (counsel) and solicitors in personal injury claims
A little about the roles of barristers and solicitors in relation to personal injury claims.
In New South Wales, there are two main types of lawyers – barristers and solicitors.
Barristers specialise in Court work and advice.
We are solicitors who specialise is managing our clients’ personal injury claims and we’ve been doing this since 1969.
How will we manage your personal injury claim?
provide preliminary advice about the law and evidence;
engage and brief counsel to provide final advice about the law and evidence;
provide advice about the claims and litigation process;
correspond with and interview witnesses;
correspond with and engage appropriate experts to provide evidence;
collate evidence and submit to this to counsel, the insurer and Court;
correspond with you, the insurer, the Court, process servers and any other relevant person or entity;
issue all Court documents necessary to prosecute claims;
prepare documents necessary for any mediation, settlement conference or hearing;
brief counsel with all documents necessary for counsel to appear at any mediation, settlement conference or hearing; and
manage the finalisation of settlement documentation (if applicable).
What types of personal injury claims can we assist you with?
We have been doing this type of work since 1969 and we accept instructions in these types of claims: