We spoke with Legal Practitioner Director, Paul D’Angelo, to answer the three most common questions people ask him.
1. What is the cost of seeing a lawyer?
For Personal Injury clients the initial consultation is free and comes with no obligation to proceed any further. It’s more of a fact-finding mission. The Legal Practice Board Cost Committee sets the fee scale and we are not permitted to go above that. However, many clients have little out-of-pocket expenses at the end of the matter because the insurers contribute a large portion towards the legal fees and disbursements on top of what settlement is negotiated.
2. What is the process and what options do I have?
It all depends on the type of injury or claim. For example, it may be a public liability claim, motor vehicle insurance claim or workers compensation claim. Different laws apply to the different areas. The types of injuries and if the insurer has accepted liability (admitted fault / responsibility) also have a significant importance in how the matter is progressed. If the insurer has accepted liability, we monitor the recovery process, ensuring the correct treatment is given to the client and that the treatment costs are covered. We also collect the required documentation and where appropriate, manage claims for reimbursement for time off work. We always try to enter an informal mediation process to resolve the claim. In 90% of cases, the claim is resolved without court intervention – in fact, less than 1% of claims end up in trial.
3. What outcome can I expect?
Generally, if we indicate there is a claim with the right evidence, there is a high probability that we can obtain a settlement for the client. It all depends on the injuries, treatment and impairments that one is left with.