5 Essential Things You Need To Know If You’ve Been Injured
Personal injuries are a lot more common than most people think.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare “in 2014–15 over 36,000 people were admitted to hospital due to non-fatal injuries sustained in road crashes” – that’s a football stadium worth of people admitted to hospital just from road crashes and just in the year 2014-15.
Factor in other potential causes such as office injuries, road accidents, slips and falls, and public liability and there are a lot of ways things can go wrong.
Experiencing a serious injury can be one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. There’s the pain, the potential disability, the stress, the uncertainty – not just for yourself but for those close to you as well.
But often the worst part of such an injury isn’t the injury itself, or even the effects that it can have on you, but the fact that it wasn’t your fault – you were the victim of either someone else’s negligence or just plain bad luck.
You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anything that could go wrong did go wrong. And that can be the hardest thing to deal with.
Fortunately there are avenues you can pursue to help put things right again. While there isn’t a silver bullet for getting you back to health there are means of helping you make the most of a bad situation. As the experts at Drink Driving Defence Sydney put it “unfortunately no one can wave a magic wand and restore the injured person to health. Damages in the form of monetary compensation is all that is available.” If you’ve been injured it’s time to start thinking about pursuing a Personal Injury Claim.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
It’s all in the name – if you’ve been the victim of bad luck or negligence then you might be entitled to compensation. As defined by Southern Coast Lawyers, “personal injury in legal terms is a general physical and/or psychological damages to an individual that are the fault of another responsible party, be it the driver of another car, an individual, of the owner or manager of a public space.” If you’ve been hurt and it wasn’t your fault then you should be entitled to a personal injury claim.
After experiencing a traumatic injury you’re not your own best advocate – you’ve got bigger and more immediate worries on your mind, like dealing with the injury itself and getting back on your feet.
However there are some crucial matters you need to attend to quickly to save yourself a world of struggle down the track and, potentially, stop a short term tragedy from becoming a lifelong trial. There are some positive steps you can take to get yourself on the road to recovery and you should be taking them now.
If you’ve experienced a personal injury and are looking to make a claim, there are five essential things you need to know now to save yourself later.
What Do I Need to Know?
One – What kind of injury do you have?
There are different laws and legislatures covering various types of personal injury, including:
- Work injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Injuries suffered by victims of crime
- General personal injuries
Because different types of injuries have different legal avenues it is essential that you choose the right path. You need to know exactly what category your injury falls into and where best to pursue compensation.
There is no substitute for expert legal advice, so seeking out a lawyer to help you define your injury is a critical first step.
Two – You Need to Act Fast.
Personal injury claims have a three year period to commence legal action, but there are other factors that can shorten that time significantly such as worker’s compensation or public liability, which all have differing time spans of action.
Seeking legal advice immediately will give you the best timeframe for taking action and ensuring you don’t miss out on what you are due because of a missed deadline.
Also you need to keep in mind that any legal action can be a lengthy and drawn out affair and it is best to start the ball rolling as soon as possible.
Three – Know What to Ask Your Solicitor
Now that you’ve decided to pursue a claim and have sourced a good solicitor to represent you, there are some crucial questions you need to ask them before you agree to go any further.
According to legalaid.qld.gov.au, there are four essential questions that you need to ask your solicitor straight off the top:
- What are my prospects of success?
- How much am I likely to get if I win?
- How much is it likely to cost me?
- How long is it likely to take?
Once you’ve got the basics down you can then choose how best to pursue your case, from an informed and measured position.
Four – Have Your Documents in Order
While your solicitor will try to ensure that all of your documentation is in order, it never hurts to be vigilant yourself in keeping your records up to date. A personal injury claim, as with any legal matter, is highly dependent on evidence and it’s up to you to provide that evidence.
As the practitioners and experts at Flex Osteopathy Adelaide have to deal with injury clients regularly, they recommend having your documents together prior to a claim, saying “many of our clients are required to have important documents just as personal injury claimants are. Here’s a tip, whenever you do anything related to your injury or your rehabilitation make sure that you get written and signed documentation to leave a clear paper trail of your injury and make the claim process as easy as possible.”
Five – Know Who Else Can Help
Your solicitor is obviously your best option and the first port of call, but they’re not the only ones who can assist you with a Personal Injury Claim. They can also point you in the direction of various entities who offer more specialised aid, such as the Civil Law Legal Aid Scheme (CLLAS) which helps disadvantaged people pursue justice.
The Motor Actions Insurance Commission helps deal with motor vehicle-related claims, as does the Nominal Defendant. If you were injured at work then Workcover is an agency designed for the specific purpose of assisting you with your legal needs.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are a number of people and agencies who are here to help you. Consult with your solicitor about who can best help you get back on the road to recovery.
A personal injury can be the most traumatic thing to ever happen to you, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. A personal injury claim might not turn back time, but it can help smooth the road moving forward.