Personal Injury Claims NSW - Your Guide | Personal Injury Lawyers

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Medical Negligence, Motor Vehicle, Public Injury, Work Injury, Injury and Rehabilitation | 25 March 2020

Personal Injury Claims and Compensation in NSW – Your Guide.

If you’re thinking about making a personal injury claim in NSW, you might be a bit overwhelmed by information and ads offering free consultations, no win no fee terms and maximum compensation. This guide will help you understand the personal injury claims process and how to choose the best personal injury lawyers to suit your needs.

 

What is a personal injury?

Personal injury refers to physical or psychological injuries that you suffer in an accident, often as a result of someone else being negligent. For many people, a personal injury causes financial hardship through being unable to work and the cost of medical treatment.

 

Do you qualify for a personal injury claim?

If you’ve been injured in an accident in NSW and suffered any losses, you might qualify for a personal injury claim. For example, if you’re injured in a car accident or at work, and you need time off work and treatment, you can claim personal injury compensation.

Personal injury compensation is money that’s paid to you to cover your losses that result from your injuries. These losses can include lost wages, travel expenses, medical and care expenses and “pain and suffering”. Pain and suffering is a payment that’s made to cover the detrimental impact an injury has on your life. It’s also referred to as non-economic loss (NEL) or general damages.

 

Personal injury – what can I claim for?

When you make a personal injury claim, you might be eligible to claim for:

  • Lost wages resulting from time off work
  • Medical and care expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future losses

 

How much can you claim for a personal injury?

The amount you can claim for your personal injury will depend on:

  • The extent of your injuries
  • Your age and health
  • Your occupation and income prior to the accident
  • How your injuries affect your ability to work

 

For minor injuries that only require a short time off work and a relatively short recovery time, personal injury compensation is likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. However, for more serious injuries that require surgery, a long period of time of work or that prevent you from returning to work full time, compensation can run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

 

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Filling out an application for a personal injury claim in NSW.

What types of personal injury claims qualify for compensation?

Personal injury claims in NSW that qualify for compensation generally fall into one of these four categories:

  • Personal Injury claims for motor vehicles accident injuries – including injuries to drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. This also includes passengers on public transport. In NSW, personal injury compensation is paid through the CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance scheme. You can read more about this in our CTP Claims Guide.
  • Personal Injury claims for work injures – workers compensation is available to employees and sub-contractors who’ve been in an accident or sustained an injury at work, whether they’re at fault or not.
  • Personal Injury claims for injuries in public places and buildings – for example: slips, trips and falls, injuries from falling objects, food poisoning and injuries from faulty equipment. For more information, see our Public Liability Claims Guide.
  • Personal Injury claims for medical negligence – including surgical mistakes, doctor and hospital negligence, birth injuries and defects, defective implants, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis. For more information, read our Guide to Medical Negligence Compensation.

Both physical and psychological injuries can qualify for a personal injury compensation claim.

To find out if your injury qualifies for compensation, call Law Partners Personal Injury Lawyers Sydney / NSW on 13 15 15.

 

How do personal injury claims work?

Most people who make a personal injury claim use a specialist personal injury lawyer to make sure their case is thoroughly prepared and give themselves the best chance of success. It’s important to understand that when you make a personal injury claim you’re actually claiming against an insurer, and the insurer will be looking for ways to minimise your payment. So having the best personal injury lawyers on your side puts you on a much more level playing field and is very likely to result in a much higher compensation payment to you.

Once you’ve chosen a personal injury law firm the claim process generally runs like this:

  • Your personal injury lawyer will assess your situation and determine whether you have a valid injury claim, then provide you with advice on how to proceed. Part of this process is to identify the insurer.
  • The next step is preparing to submit your claim to the insurer. This includes gathering the evidence to back up your injury claim, including medical reports to show evidence of your injuries.
  • Once your personal injury claim has been submitted to the insurer, if the insurer accepts your claim it will generally offer to settle. This means it will offer to make a settlement payment to you. Your personal injury lawyer will advise you on what is a reasonable settlement and how much you should accept.
  • If the insurer denies your injury claim or you can’t come to a settlement agreement, you have the option to take the matter to court – this is known as litigation.

 

What is the average payout for a personal injury claim?

Looking at car accident injuries in NSW as an example – in the 19 months to June 30, 2019, the average payout in NSW for a car accident personal injury was $10,984. A total of $179.5 million was paid out in benefits and 16,342 claims were submitted*.

*Average CTP payout NSW data according to SIRA Green Slip scheme quarterly insights, June 2019.

It’s important to understand that your payout will depend on the extent of your injuries and to get the maximum payout you’ll need to make sure all of your injuries are included in your injury claim. The best personal injury lawyers won’t rush your claim – they’ll allow time for your injuries to stabilise and work with medical experts to understand the full impact of your accident on your life. It’s only through asking the right questions and claiming for all of your injuries that your personal injury lawyer will get the best outcome for you.
To find out how much you can claim, all Law Partners Personal Injury Lawyers Sydney / NSW on 13 15 15.

 

What does a personal injury lawyer take?

It’s important to understand your personal injury lawyer’s fee structure before you sign their costs agreement. Here are some things you should know:

  • In NSW, personal injury lawyers can’t take a percentage of your compensation claim.
  • They can either charge an hourly rate or fixed rates according to a schedule of services they provide.
  • They can cap their fees – so that their fees will never exceed a set percentage of your personal injury compensation. So, for example, if a personal injury law firm caps its fees at 30% of your final settlement amount, that is the maximum they can charge you, regardless of how much work they do on your claim.
  • Most personal injury firms will offer to work on a no-win-no fee basis. However, some firms may still charge you for disbursements* if they don’t win your case, so not all no win no fee agreements are the same.
  • For more information, read our Guide to Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers.

*Disbursements are costs incurred by the law firm in the course of running your personal injury claim.

 

How long does it take to settle personal injury claims in NSW?

Most personal injury claims settle within 9 to 18 months; however, some can take longer. The amount of time it takes to settle your claim is determined by:

  • How long it takes for your injuries to stabilise so that they can be assessed by medical experts
  • Whether the insurer accepts liability for your injuries
  • Whether you reach an agreed settlement with the insurer quickly
  • If you don’t reach a settlement with the insurer and need to litigate the matter, it can take considerably longer than 18 months
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