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Personal Injury Compensation: Your Guide to Making a Claim

How To Get Started

If you’ve been injured in an accident in South Australia, you may be entitled to compensation. We at JD Legal Solicitors can help you understand your options, legal rights, and represent you in negotiations with the insurance company.

Once we’ve agreed to handle your claim, we’ll follow a meticulous process to get you the best possible outcome.

  1. Getting your detailed statement.
  2. Determine who’s liable and gather evidence.
  3. Assess your injuries and arrange medical care or rehabilitation.
  4. Review your recovery and calculate your compensation amount.
  5. Reach a settlement and get a compensation payment.

1) Getting your Detailed Statement

The first step in any personal injury case is to understand your life, how your injury happened, and how it is affecting you. A written statement from you before initiating a legal case helps to establish facts, preserve evidence, support credibility, assist in creating the legal strategy, and promote effective communication between us.

2) Determine Who’s Liable and Gather Evidence

Determining Liability

To determine who’s liable for your injuries, we’ll investigate the circumstances of the accident and gather evidence. We’ll consider the actions of the parties involved, the laws of South Australia, and the evidence we gather.

There are many factors that can be considered when determining liability, including:

  • How the accident occurred.
  • How the actions of the parties contributed to the accident.
  • The circumstances of the accident.
  • The laws of South Australia.

In some cases, it’s clear who’s liable. For example, if you’re injured in a stationary car and get rear-ended, then it’s almost always entirely the fault of the person who hit your car.

In others, it may be more difficult to determine liability. For example, if you’re injured in a slip and fall accident, we may need to prove that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the property.

Gathering Evidence

Once we’ve determined who’s liable for your injuries, we’ll gather evidence to support your claim for injury and loss. This evidence can include:

  • Medical records
  • Financial records
  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Photographs of the accident scene

The more evidence we gather, the more pillars of support your case will have to stand and the more persuasive your case will be to argue.

We value your help in gathering evidence. You can help us by providing us with your recollection of the accident. The more details you can share, the better we can understand what happened. Here’s some information we need from you:

  • Time and Location
  • Witnesses
  • Pre-Accident Activity
  • Incident Description
  • Responsible Party
  • Post-Accident Information

If you can take photographs of the accident scene, that would be very helpful. Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything or if you’re making a claim on behalf of someone else. Share everything you can remember, and we’ll investigate further if needed. If the police were involved, we can contact them to get a copy of the police report.

We may also be able to access accident reports or acquire video evidence from nearby CCTV cameras. Any additional supporting materials you have, such as dashcam footage, will be very helpful in building a strong case.

3) Assess Your Injuries and Arrange Medical Care or Rehabilitation

Assessing Your Injuries

Once we’ve determined who’s liable for your injuries, we’ll assess the severity of your injuries and arrange for medical care or rehabilitation if needed.

To assess the severity of your injuries, we will review your medical records, seek expert opinions, and discuss your symptoms with you. Additionally, we will take into account how your injuries are affecting your daily life by reviewing your statement to us.

Arranging Medical Care or Rehabilitation

If you need medical care or rehabilitation, we’ll help you get it. We can help you access public or private healthcare.

Here are some of the ways we can help you:

  • Access medical records: We will obtain your medical records with your permission, allowing us to understand the treatment you’ve received.
  • Supporting documentation: Share photos of visible injuries, such as bruises or scars, to strengthen your case.
  • Expert assessment: An experienced professional will examine your injuries, inquire about pain and its impact on your daily life, and assess any mental health effects. All information remains confidential.
  • Consult specialists: We seek expert opinions to determine the healing time and long-term consequences.
  • Support and rehabilitation: For serious injuries, we help liaise with specialised rehabilitation and therapy providers and can assist with arranging accommodation modifications or additional care if necessary.

It’s important to note that the parties we’re claiming against may request their own medical expert to assess your injuries. We’ll advocate for your rights and ensure that any such assessments are conducted fairly and accurately.

We’re committed to helping you get the medical care and rehabilitation you need so that you can recover from your injuries and get back to your life.

4) Review Your Recovery and Calculate Your Compensation Amount

Reviewing Your Recovery

We will review your recovery by:

  • Conducting a second medical assessment: In certain cases, we’ll arrange a second assessment to closely monitor your recovery. This allows us to gather updated insights and opinions from professionals overseeing your rehabilitation.
  • Consulting with rehabilitation experts: We communicate with the individuals responsible for your rehabilitation. Their input helps us refine our recommendations and ensure the accuracy of our evidence.
  • Considering the long-term outlook: Serious injuries may require a longer duration to fully comprehend your long-term outlook.

Once your assessors say that you are no longer getting any better or worse, but have reached your “maximum medical improvement” (or MMI), we are ready to try to forecast your future needs in order to calculate the value of your claim.

Determining Your Compensation Amount

Once we have reviewed your recovery, we will meticulously calculate the compensation you deserve. The figure takes into account various factors, including:

  • Injuries and pain
  • Medical treatments and rehabilitation
  • Travel expenses
  • Lost income (both since the accident and after your settlement)
  • Adaptive equipment and home adaptations
  • Care costs

Our calculation encompasses both current and future costs or losses, including those you have already incurred and those you anticipate. While we utilise the evidence collected in previous stages, we may also request additional documentation such as receipts, pay slips, or other supporting materials.

We’re committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve.

5) Reach a Settlement and Make a Compensation Payment

Negotiating a Settlement

Once your recovery has been reviewed and the compensation amount has been determined, the next step is to reach a settlement with the opposing party.

We’ll do this by engaging in back-and-forth communication and making multiple offers until we reach an acceptable figure. We’ll handle all communication and negotiation on your behalf, following your instructions.

The decision to accept an offer ultimately rests with you, but we’ll provide expert advice and unwavering support throughout the process.

If An Agreement Cannot be Reached

If an agreement cannot be reached, we’ll proceed to court. Although court proceedings can be demanding, we always prioritise attempts to reach out-of-court settlements before considering litigation. If your claim proceeds to a court hearing, our experienced team will guide you every step of the way, ensuring you fully understand the process and are well-prepared.

Receiving Your Compensation

After accepting an offer or receiving a court decision, the final step is to arrange the payment of your compensation. Typically, you’ll receive a lump sum payment after your claim, minus any interim payments you’ve already received.

However, if you’re unable to manage your own financial affairs due to reduced mental capacity resulting from a brain injury, the funds may be paid into a special Trustee by order of a Court. In such cases, appointed individuals will utilise the funds in your best interests to cover your care and associated expenses.

We understand that every personal injury case is different, and we’re committed to providing you with the support you need to get back to your life.

Take advantage of our free no-obligation, 30-minute consultation. Speak to the people at JD Legal today to learn more and get the help you need.