Knowledge is power and being armed with the right information and legal representation will empower and equip you to pursue a claim for compensation.
The below timeline provides a guide to the legal process after suffering an injury at work, a public place, in a car accident or through medical negligence. We further set out the all-important personal injury claim time limit.
The below process may however differ on a case by case basis and according to each area of law.
Call Adviceline Injury Lawyers today on (03) 9321 9988 to guide you through your legal journey. We look forward to hearing from you!
You can download a copy of this timeline here.
- Injury has occurred
- Report the injury:
(a) For a workplace injury, report it to your employer;
(b) For a car accident, report it to the police.
(c) For an injury in a public place, report it to the particular establishment or council.
- Seek medical help.
Consult your doctor or attend a hospital. An ambulance may need to be called to the incident location. Many people put up with pain hoping things will get better, however this can cause further physical and legal problems (i.e. exceeding the personal injury claim time limit). Be sure to provide an accurate and consistent account of the circumstances of your injury. Quick shorthand summaries can cause problems down the track when making a claim.
- Lodge a Claim Form (if applicable)
For work and road accidents, you must lodge a claim using a WorkCover claim form or by calling the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
Personal injury claim time limit: A WorkCover claim form must be lodged on your employer as soon as practicable and a TAC claim must be lodged within 12 months of injury. Extensions up to 3 years can be granted in exceptional circumstances. Lodge a claim as soon as possible following your injury. If you require assistance, contact Adviceline Injury Lawyers.
- Seek legal advice
Consult a lawyer who can explain the process, the law and the personal injury claim time limit. Please contact us on (03) 9321 9988 for an obligation free appointment. We act on a No Win No Fee basis.
- Your lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your injury and prepare a legal claim
This will involve gathering medical and expert evidence, speaking with witnesses and obtaining any further evidence to make sure you receive your proper entitlement to compensation.
- Serious Injury OR Significant Injury legal test.
To sue for further compensation where your injury was the fault of another, you must have a'serious injury' for WorkCover and TAC claims or a'significant injury' for Public Liability and Medical Negligence cases. Your lawyer can advise on whether you will meet the legal test. Your lawyer can make an application to the relevant Authority seeking leave to sue.
- Pre-litigation phase
Meetings will be arranged to discuss the possible settlement of your case without having a court hearing. Whilst we aim to resolve your claim during these pre-litigation negotiations, this is not always possible.
- Legal proceedings will be commenced
If your claim cannot be resolved, legal proceedings will be commenced within a strict timeframe. This will start the court process and will require parties to participate in a number of procedural steps involving the disclosure of evidence and providing answers to written questions one party asks the other.
A Mediation will be arranged prior to the hearing date. This is usually a good opportunity for parties to meet and attempt to again resolve the case without going to court.
- Hearing date
Finally, if a settlement is not reached at mediation, your matter will proceed to a court hearing before a Judge and Jury (or Judge alone in some cases). At the hearing, each side will be given the opportunity to present their case. The Judge and Jury will then determine the ultimate success of your case and how much compensation you should receive.