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Peter has been practising personal injury law since 1985.  His expertise in this area was recognised in 1994 when he was awarded his specialist accreditation in personal injury law by the NSW Law Society, an accredition which he still maintains today.  Peter is also a WIRO approved compensation lawyer having held that position since the inception of the changes to the scheme in 2012.

Because we practice in NSW and Victoria, we are familiar with the personal injury and compensation law in each State.  Sometimes claims can overlap between States and having someone familiar with each jurisdiction means claims can proceed properly to start with.

NSW and Victoria each have 3 basic pools of funds for those who are injuried and each pool has its own set of rules.  There is a pool for those injurred as a result of motor vehicle accidents which is funded by green slips, a pool for workers funded by employers and a general pool for all other types of claims such as public liability claims. Sometimes claims can overlap between pools which create complexities which need to be managed.  The most common overlap occurs when a worker who in the course of their employment is injured in a motor vehicle accident or at a place or  worksite which is not managed  by their employer.

Generally speaking, a person can only claim compensation for personal injury when they are able to establish that their injury has arisen as a consequence of someone else's negligence. There are however some important exceptions to consider.

The most common exception is in relation to a work related injury where you do not need to establish fault to be entitled to workers compensation benefits such as weekly payments, medical expenses and if the injury is serious enough, a lump sum payment for that injury.  If you do have a work related injury where you can establish fault then you may also be entitled to damages at common law which are gernerally more generous than workers compensaiton entitlements.

Another expection is for drivers in relation to motor vehicle accidents where you, as the driver, may have been at fault.  The most common example is where there is no other vehicle involved in an accident.  Passengers in such accidents remain entitled to claim compensation from the driver, but traditionally the driver has not been able to claim for his or her own injuries.  Each State now has schemes in place to cover drivers who were at fault.  These schemes may not be as generous as those who are able to nominate another driver at fault, but they do provide a benefit which traditionally  has not been available.

Another example of where a driver of a single vehicle accident may claim compensation is where the accident has occured either because of some defect in road or when hitting an object on the road such as domestic livestock.  Drivers injured in these circumstances need to obtain advice from a personal injury law specialist as the law in this area can be quite complex to manage.

There are some important matters or concepts to know about these types of claims which we address below.

Contributory negligence.  This is when a claimant is found to be partly responsible for his or her own injuries.  Just because you might have been partly to blame, that generally does not cancel out another persons negligence.  You may still be able to  claim but the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced to reflect the portion of your blame.  A typical example is a passenger who was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.

Time limits. Strict time limits apply to lodging documents and commencing proceedings which means its important to obtain early advice about any claim.  A typical example is in the case of a motor vehicle accidents where the insurer has to be notified of a claim.  Times periods can be as short as 28 days from the date of the accident.  Sometimes there is scope to get around late claims, but you should never rely on being able to do so.  Even if you think your claim is too late you should still obtain legal advice about it.

Costs.  There is no getting around it, the costs of bringing a compensation claim can be significant and the work time consuming for a whole host of reasons.  It would of course be pointless for a lawyer to bring a claim on behalf of someone who has suffered a compensible injury where ther final result is unsatsfactory for the client in terms of costs.  In most cases costs will form part of your claim against the insurer, but it is never a complete indemnity.  The way to manage costs is to ensure that you consult a lawyer who specialises in compensation claims because they have the experience to progress a claim effectively and to manage the relationship between costs and the claim to ensure a satisfactory outcome. This is important information for you to have before deciding whether to puruse a claim or not.  Before a lawyer commences work, they are required by law to make a separate disclosure to you about costs.

If you suffer an injury where you think you might be entitled to claim compensation,you are invited to phone Peter on 0408212518 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss whether it would be worthwhile to proceed with a personal  appointment to discuss the matter further.

 

 

Simpson Law Albury

Yambla Avenue
Albury NSW 2640
M: 0408212518

Int: +61408212518

E: peter@simpsonlaw.com.au

Simpson Law Wodonga

91 Hume Street
Wodonga VIC 3690
 M: 0408212518

Int +61408212518

E: peter@simpsonlaw.com.au