Slater + Gordon Lawyers Trilby Misso
Part of the Slater and Gordon group
1800 555 777
Font size A A

Personal Injury Claims

Understanding the personal injury legal process

We keep our process as straightforward as possible with five simple stages.

Stage 1: Initial contact and the decision to move forward with your personal injury compensation claim

Once you contact us, we will have an initial telephone conversation with you within 24 hours. If it’s convenient we will invite you to one of our local offices to discuss your claim or if your injury prevents you from visiting one of our local contact centres, we will organise to visit you at your home.

You start by telling us exactly what injury happened to you. We then review all the details of the incident and let you know if you may have an injury compensation claim. There are no legal costs to you for this advice, and you are under no obligation to proceed with legal action.

If you choose to make an injury compensation claim, then we proceed.

Injuries relating from car, trucks and motor vehicle accidents

For claims relating to motor vehicle accident injuries, we submit a Notice of Accident Claim Form to the other party notifying them of your intention to pursue an injury compensation claim and the circumstances of your case. This happens within one month of the initial consultation.

Workplace injuries

With workplace accident injuries, the Notice of Claim is submitted once your injuries have stabilised and WorkCover (or the self-insurer) has finalised your treatment and has stopped paying your weekly benefits. This occurs as soon as possible after your initial consultation—provided you have already received a Notice of Assessment from WorkCover (or the self-insurer).

If you haven’t got a Notice of Assessment, we will request one. We also need to ensure that all your injuries (physical and emotional) sustained are assessed. Obtaining a Notice of Assessment can sometimes be a difficult process, depending on the nature of your injuries.

WorkCover (or the self-insurer) may offer to settle your statutory claim after you have been provided with a Notice of Assessment. It is extremely important you speak to a lawyer before responding, as accepting the offer will mean that you will lose your legal rights to bring a claim.

 

Stage 2: The insurer investigates your injury compensation claim

Once the Notice of Claim is submitted, the insurer will investigate it to see if they will accept liability in full or part, or if they will deny they are liable for your injuries.

 

While this happens:

  • We continue to obtain updates from you regarding your injuries, treatment, and requirements for assistance and as part of our client service commitment we contact you on a regular basis and respond to verbal communications within one business day and written communications within two business days.

 

  • We also get updates relating to your employment status (if you are employed), including any difficulties you are having performing your usual employment or study, and any time off work you have had due to your injuries.

Where necessary we can assist you to obtain funding for your day to day rehabilitation needs (such as physiotherapy and counselling). In these cases, the insurer will fund any medication and treatment you require once they accept your claim as being correctly completed and accompanied by any required documentation.

With workplace accidents, the insurer cannot provide a Notice of Assessment until your injuries have stabilised.

 

Stage 3: We collect evidence for your injury compensation claim

During this stage we obtain the relevant evidence to help prove your injury claim to the insurer. If your claim is WorkCover related, most (or all) of this information would have already been collected prior to your injury compensation claim being submitted.

With your permission, the type of evidence we collect may include:

  • Hospital, medical and treatment records
  • Taxation information, pay slips and financial statements
  • Information from your current and previous employers
  • Centrelink and Medicare records
  • Your workers' compensation claims history and any relevant injury claim files
  • An expert medical report from one or more medical specialists depending on the nature of your injuries
  • Details from you regarding medication and travelling expenses you've incurred, treatment you've attended, and assistance provided by family and friends or assistance that you have sought commercially.

The insurer may also request that you attend expert medical examinations as they are entitled to have you medically assessed for your injury claim.

We may also seek reports from other experts in other fields that relate to your case.

It is important that you keep receipts for all related expenses (such as medical and travel costs) you incur throughout the duration of your injury compensation claim as well as details of any domestic assistance that you receive from friends and family members.


Stage 4: We provide an assessment of the likely award of damages

We will provide you with an assessment of the amount you can reasonably expect as a settlement (this is referred to as the quantum of your injury claim). We will then ask for your permission to submit an opening offer of settlement to the insurer to commence settlement negotiations.

This may involve telephone negotiations that we conduct on your behalf, or you may need to participate at a settlement conference and discuss your claim directly with representatives from the insurer or their solicitors.

In most cases, settlements will be reached through these negotiations. Out-of-court settlements are usually in everyone’s best interest because they can resolve the claim more quickly and with much less expense than proceeding to court. These settlements can often be obtained months or years quicker than if the injury claim proceeds to trial.

If we are unable to settle your claim through out-of-court settlement negotiations, we will lodge court proceedings on your behalf in the appropriate court.


Stage 5: Settlement of claim

Once your injury claim has been successfully settled or judgment has been given in a court, we arrange for you to receive the funds to which you are entitled, after the deduction of the costs associated with running your claim (including legal expenses and government refunds including Medicare and Centrelink).

If your injury compensation claim is not successful, Trilby Misso Personal Injury Lawyers does not charge you for legal fees or disbursements.

On average, it takes 14 months for a workplace injury or motor vehicle accident claim to settle. The actual time taken for a negotiated settlement to be reached will depend on the facts and complexity of your injury case. Personal injury claims that go to the courts will take longer and be subject to the schedules of the courts.