Please browse through our frequently asked questions to assist you with the content of our website and the enquiries that you may have.
Who can claim?
Anyone who has sustained an injury whilst in Queensland may be entitled to claim compensation so long as there has been negligence on the part of another party (for example an employer, medical practitioner, land owner, landlord or motor vehicle driver to name but a few).
You are able to make a claim no matter where you live now, so long as the accident occurred whilst in Queensland and generally, was not longer than 3 years ago.
Minors are also able to appoint a litigation guardian (usually a parent) so that they too can lodge a claim for personal injuries compensation so as to protect their future interests.
If you have sustained an injury whilst in Queensland, please fill in our enquiry form or call the Accident Compensation Advice helpline on 1800 700 125 for free legal advice.
How much will my claim be worth?
No Solicitor, irrespective of their experience or knowledge, is able to tell you how much your claim will be worth at the outset. This is because the amount your claim will be worth is based upon medico-legal reports which can not be obtained until the injuries stabilize (6-12 months) and your individual circumstances including the impact of the injury may on your life in the long term.
At times liability considerations (e.g. contributory negligence on the part of the injured party) can have a significant impact on the quantum (or amount) of your claim. Once all relevant expert reports have been obtained and information considered your solicitor will be able to guide you through the negotiation process and recommend offers. However before such time any indication as the quantum of your claim is a mere ‘stab in the dark’.
How long will the claim take?
This is a difficult question. A rough average would be two years however this can greatly vary. It is IRRESPONSIBLE and UNFAIR to settle a claim before your injuries have stabilised as you may be missing out on due compensation. To that end, it is almost impossible to settle a claim within 12 months. The time it takes to settle a claim is influenced by a number of factors but mainly the types of injuries you have an the time that you take to recover (as best you can).
The length of some claims are also determined by the legal process or sometimes the attitude of the defendant insurer and/or solicitor towards a particular claim. Your solicitor will able to give you an approximate indication as to the time your claim will take and a more definite indication once medical reports are received and in light of any other complications that may arise.
What are my likely legal fees?
No firm can say what the costs of a matter will be before it has taken place. This is because no lawyer can predict how the other parties may respond and how much work will be involved.
Our fees are based on the Supreme Court scale set by the Judiciary in accordance with what the Judges consider is fair and reasonable. Even if asked to provide an estimate any lawyer would be remiss in doing so without a proper cost assessment. Charging on a percentage basis is illegal in Australia. We only charge you for the work we do on a ‘per item basis’. We refer the file at the end of a matter to an independent cost assessor. They review the file and carry out an assessment based on the Supreme Court scale, the client agreement and the actual work done. It’s the most fair and independent process available. For full deals please view our pro forma client agreement.
Do I have to pay costs and outlays throughout the claims process?
No. All professional costs and outlays are only paid upon the successful conclusion of the claim and deducted from the settlement sum. It is illegal to take a percentage of the claim. Costs must be assessed by an independent assessor as to the actual work done.
What are limitation periods, and how do they affect me?
Different types of matters can have different limitation periods. If a limitation period is allowed to expire that matter will become ‘statute barred’ – meaning the matter can not proceed.
Time limits under legislation are complex and can be fatal to a claim if not complied with. It is best not to delay. Protect your rights and contact us to receive free legal advice.
Delays can jeopardise a matters prospects of success. Additionally, evidence is harder to gather after the fact. Don’t delay in obtaining free legal advice. Fill in our enquiry form or call the Accident Compensation Advice helpline on 1800 700 125.
How long after successfully concluding a claim do I get my money?
It will take up to 3 months for the settlement monies to be passed on to you after settlement. In more complex court related matters this could be longer. This is because a cost assessment needs to made, at times an agreement as to costs made with other parties, and repayments made to Medicare and other statutory authorities.
What are Contingency fees?
We do not charge contingency fees. Contingency fees are an American concept and illegal in Australia. A contingency fee is simply taking a percentage of a matter irrespective the amount of work that is done. Therefore this is regarded as unscrupulous. We do not charge on a percentage basis. We charge on a conditional fee basis; i.e. only for the work performed and only when the matter is successfully concluded.
How can I be confident in the advice provided by my accredited specialist solicitor?
In addition to having extensive experience, accredited specialists are solicitors who have satisfactorily completed an advanced study program in a particular area of law. By using an accredited specialist you can be confident in your advice. The firm also allows second opinions from barristers and other accredited specialists.
Is this service confidential?
Do KM Splatt & Associates only deal with accidents and injuries that happen in Queensland, Australia?
Yes. KM Splatt & Associates only deal with accidents and injuries that were sustained in Queensland. This is because legislation can vary widely from state to state and our solicitors specialize in Queensland legislation and are admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. We are able to act for any person from any corner of the world who may have been injured in Queensland whilst, for example, on holiday.
Why use a Barrister?
Barristers are engaged on a subcontract basis. They provide an objective independent review as to evidence and the likely outcome at trial.
If we brief a barrister there is no duplication of work – it is simply that we have subcontracted that type of work to the Barrister.
What is the Legal Services Commission?
The Legal Services Commission (LSC) receives and deals with complaints about lawyers. They also investigate suspect lawyers and initiate disciplinary action as appropriate. Furthermore, they audit legal practices to help them develop and maintain ethical workplace cultures.
Their fundamental purpose is to protect the rights of legal consumers and promote high standards of conduct in the delivery of legal services.
What is the Queensland Law Society?
Queensland Law Society assists legal practitioners to continually improve their services, while monitoring their practices to ensure they meet the high standards set for the profession in Queensland. They also assist the public by advising government on improvements to laws affecting Queenslanders, and working to improve their access to the law.
Click here for more information about the Queensland Law Society.
What if I have a motor vehicle accident on my way to or from work?
If you have a car accident on your direct way to or from work you will need to lodge a notice of claim with the correct compulsory third party (CTP) insurer.
You will also need to lodge an application for compensation with WorkCover.
However, as is the usual case, there will be no negligence alleged against your employer so a common law claim will proceed only against the compulsory third party (CTP) insurer of the at fault vehicle.
What if I drive for my job and have a motor vehicle accident during my work – is it a WorkCover claim or a motor vehcile claim?
The simple answer is both. If you have a car accident at work or on your way to work you will need to lodge a notice of claim with the correct third party insurer of the at fault vehicle.
You will also need to lodge an application for compensation with WorkCover. However, as is the usual case, there will be no negligence alleged against your employer.
A common law claim will proceed only against the compulsory third party insurer of the at fault vehicle.
What if I can’t prove someone’s negligence caused my injury?
If you can not prove negligence against another party than you cannot make a common law claim. However, determining negligence is a legal matter and you should seek legal advice [link] as to whether there has been negligence in your circumstances.
There may be other statutory bodies or insurance agencies through whom you may be able receive compensation. You should seek legal advice [link] regarding this.
Click here for Road accident examples:
- coach accident
- crashes and collisions
- hit and run
- motor bike
- motor vehicle
- pillion rider
Fill in our enquiry form or call the Accident Compensation Advice helpline on 1800 700 125 for free legal advice.