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FAQs 2017-06-22T10:48:33+00:00

Compensation Laws are complex and often confusing. The following questions and answers
detail the most frequently asked questions that our clients as us every day. To
see the answers, please click on the appropriate question below.

FAQ 1: Do I have a claim?
FAQ 2: Are there time limits?
FAQ 3: What are my rights to compensation?
FAQ 4: What do I need to prove?
FAQ 5: How is the compensation paid, ie, periodically or in a lump sum?
FAQ 6: How long will my claim take?
FAQ 7: Will I have to go to court?
FAQ 8: Is my claim likely to be settled?
FAQ 9: Who pays the legal costs?
FAQ 10: What costs will I have to pay?
FAQ 11: Will I have to pay tax on the compensation I receive?
FAQ 12: What will the insurer pay whilst the case is being prepared?
FAQ 13: Can I go back to work?
FAQ 14: What if I lose?
FAQ 15: What if I am held to be partially to blame for the incident?
FAQ 16: Will I have to see any doctors?
FAQ 17: Is the insurance company likely to follow me around and spy on me?
FAQ 18: How often will I need to see you?


Compensation FAQ 1: Do I have a claim?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)

Public Liability compensation is awarded when you have suffered injuries which was
not a motor vehicle or work incident. You may be entitled to receive compensation
(i.e. damages) if you can prove that the incident was caused by negligence of a
person or corporation, even if you were partly responsible for the incident.

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Compensation FAQ 2: Are there time limits?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
For public liability compensation claims, there is no need to submit a
claim form, but it is advised you give a written notice to the person/company at
fault as soon as possible. Court proceedings regarding public liability must be
commenced within 3 years.

However, if your claim is made over 6 months after but within 3 years of when the
injuries were sustained, your claim may still be accepted if you can explain why
your claim was not made within 6 months. Your reason must be valid and must be reasonable.
The claim can sometimes be made after 3 years if it is a death claim or claim for
serious and permanent disablement of the worker. There are also instances where
the claim can be accepted after the 3 year time limit.
A claim for damages must be made within 3 years of the date of incident, although
there are some exceptions to that time limit depending on circumstances.

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Compensation FAQ 3: What are my rights to compensation?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
Public Liability compensation is awarded when you have suffered injuries
which was not a motor vehicle or work incident. You may be entitled to receive compensation
(i.e. damages) if you can prove that the incident was caused by negligence of a
person or corporation, even if you were partly responsible for the incident.

 

 

 

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Compensation FAQ 4: What do I need to prove?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)

IF you can prove that your personal incident was sustained as a result of another
person/corporation’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation (i.e.
damages). Even if you were partly responsible for the incident, you may still be
able to claim personal incident compensation.

The onus is on you (by us) to prove all aspects of your claim, on the balance of
probabilities. The insurance companies do not have to prove anything except for
the extent to which you may have been the cause of the incident.

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Compensation FAQ 5: How is the compensation paid, ie, periodically
or in a lump sum?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
Compensation will be paid in a once and for all lump sum, which will be tax free.

 

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Compensation FAQ 6: How long will my claim take?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
This depends on the severity of the injuries you sustained and the type
of compensation claim. Your claim will not be finalised until your injuries have
stabilised and a long term prognosis can be made. Generally claims conclude within
2 years of the date of the incident. Of course, if the injuries stabilise reasonably
quickly and a long term prognosis can be made, your claim can be finalised more
quickly.
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Compensation FAQ 7: Will I have to go to court?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
Over 85% of personal incident compensation cases settle without going to Court.
In fact most claims settle without Court proceedings even being commenced. If liability
has been admitted by the insurance company it is likely that your claim, if not
settled, will be assessed by an assessor.
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Compensation FAQ 8: Is my claim likely to be settled?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
Yes

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Compensation FAQ 9: Who pays the legal costs?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
If your claim is successful the insurance company will pay most of the
legal costs. You will pay the difference between what the insurance company has
to pay and the actual costs. As a rule of thumb the difference is about one third.
If you choose Stacks/Goudkamp as your legal representation, we will pay all the
disbursements (e.g. fees for medical reports) and be reimbursed at the end of the
case. In the unlikely event that your case is lost we will not charge any fees or
seek reimbursement of disbursements. The insurance company may however seek to recover
its costs from you.

As a result of the Civil Liability Act 37741 the following applies:

(a) If the verdict you receive from the Court is $100,000.00 or less, the maximum
allowance for legal services provided to you by us or by a barrister, which the
insurer must pay is 20% of the verdict or $10,000.00, whichever is the greater sum,
e.g. if you receive a verdict from the Court of $20,000.00 the insurer will only
have to pay legal costs, including barrister’s fees, of up to $10,000.00.

(b) Costs for legal services do not include disbursements e.g. interpreter’s fees,
fees for medical reports, witnesses expenses.

(c) The restrictions on legal fees do not apply to the amount of costs payable by
you, over and above the costs recoverable from the insurer (pursuant to our Costs
Agreement). This means that if the total legal costs in successfully concluding
your claim exceeds 20% of the verdict (or $10,000.00, whichever is greater), you
will have to pay the difference. Fortunately we expect that we will be able to recover
most of the legal costs from the insurer on the successful conclusion of your claim

(d) We cannot commence Court proceedings in your case unless we believe that your
claim has reasonable prospects of success. We actually have to certify to the Court
that we have this belief. This provision will make no material difference to the
way we conduct cases because we never commence Court proceedings in a case unless
we believe the claim has reasonable prospects of success.

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Compensation FAQ 10: What costs will I have to pay?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
If your claim is successful the insurance company will pay most of the
legal costs. You will pay the difference between what the insurance company has
to pay and the actual costs. As a rule of thumb the difference is about one third.
If you choose Stacks/Goudkamp as your legal representation, we will pay all the
disbursements (e.g. fees for medical reports) and be reimbursed at the end of the
case. In the unlikely event that your case is lost we will not charge any fees or
seek reimbursement of disbursements. The insurance company may however seek to recover
its costs from you.

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Compensation FAQ 11: Will I have to pay tax on the compensation
I receive?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
Almost identical to above.

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Compensation FAQ 12: What will the insurer pay whilst the case
is being prepared?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
The insurer is not obliged to make any payments before the claim is concluded e.g.
it won’t pay your medical expenses.

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Compensation FAQ 13: Can I go back to work?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
If you can return to work, you should, provided your doctor certifies you as fit
to return to work. If you were working at the time of the incident or if you had
the potential to earn income and your injuries have stopped you from working or
from realising your potential you are entitled to claim the loss of income e.g.
wages – except for the first 5 days from the date of the incident.
The claim includes loss of income or income earning potential from the date of the
incident (except for the 5 day period) and for as long as your injuries will continue
to affect your ability to work.

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Compensation FAQ 14: What if I lose?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
In the unlikely event that your case is lost we will not charge any fees or seek
reimbursement of disbursements we have paid. The insurance company may however seek
to recover its costs against you.

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Compensation FAQ 15: What if I am held to be partially to blame
for the incident?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
If you were partly responsible for the incident the amount of compensation you receive
will be reduced by the level of your responsibility(e.g. 50% your fault means a
50% reduction in compensation.)

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Compensation FAQ 16: Will I have to see any doctors?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
The insurer will make appointments for you to be medically assessed by
its own medico-legal doctors.
You will need to:
1. Attend all medical appointments arranged for you, and co-operate with doctors
who have been asked to assess you, whether they be doctors appointed by us or by
the insurer or by the Motor incidents Authority
2. Keep us informed of your medical condition, progress, employment situation, change
of address, change of circumstances. There is no need to phone us on a regular basis.
Rather you should make a note of all the changes and bring us up to date at our
regular meetings or pre-arranged phone conferences.
3. Forward all accounts, receipts, invoices etc in relation to medical expenses,
including physiotherapy expenses, to us, in the self addressed, stamped envelopes
provided, so that we can apply to the insurer for a refund for any payments you
have made and also so we can prepare a schedule of your claim for medical expenses
to present to the insurance company and/or to the assessor/Court in due course.
4. Get on with your life, if possible e.g. if you can return to work, you should,
provided your doctor certifies you to be fit to return to work.

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Compensation FAQ 17: Is the insurance company likely to follow
me around and spy on me?

Public Liability (Slip & Fall)
Maybe, but there is nothing to fear if you act honestly and tell the truth at all
times

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Compensation FAQ 18: How often will I need to see you?

Public Liability

From time to time we’ll need to communicate with you to obtain updates
in relation to your medical condition, etc.
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If you are in need of legal advice, contact Stacks/Goudkamp today. Stacks/Goudkamp
is a Sydney based law firm with Accredited Specialists in Compensation Law and Compensation
matters. We are situated in the heart of the Sydney CBD and also have offices in
Parramatta, Liverpool, Newcastle. Call us today on 1800 25 1800 or
alternatively, fill out the form on the right.