Preparing for a settlement conference
A large percentage of Personal Injury Compensation Claims settle at a conference or mediation convened for settlement negotiations, prior to the matter proceeding to a hearing, be it in Court or in the case of a NSW motor vehicle accident, before an Assessor of the Claims Assessment and Resolution Service of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority.
When acting for a Claimant it is necessary to quantify the Claimant’s claim before the settlement conference or mediation, and to put before the Insurer the evidence on which you would intend to rely at any hearing.
The “heads of damage” which must be quantified are:
- Entitlement to general damages
- Past out of pocket expenses (medical)
- A calculation of likely future out of pocket expenses
- Past economic loss
- A calculation of likely future economic loss
- Past care claim
- A calculation of the likely cost of future care
- Claim for costs
Claims for past loss or expenses should be verified by production of proof of payment. Claims for future expenses should be verified by medical or expert reports. Amounts owing to Medicare and any Private Health Fund for past treatment, and to Centrelink for past benefits, should be established. Statements by the Claimant and by any care givers should also be prepared.
The Insurer or its lawyers should be placed in a position where they can accurately quantify the claim.
Early settlement of a claim reduces the legal costs involved, and the stress to Claimant.
If you, or a member of your family have been injured in a motor vehicle accident you could be entitled to compensation. You can contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800 or by making an online enquiry, to obtain friendly advice about your circumstances from one of our compensation experts.
Written by Sue Owen
Sue Owen is a solicitor in Ian Chipchase and Anna Tavianatos’ Practice Group. Sue works with Ian and Anna on a variety of compensation claims including workers compensation claims, motor vehicle accidents and civil liability claims.