A checklist to help you determine your prospect of having a claim

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 If you are reading this article the prospects are you or a loved one has recently been injured and your doing some research to see if you or loved ones are entitled to compensation. If this is the case then firstly, we are sorry to hear about you or your loved ones injury, and secondly you are on the right track by doing some research.

Whilst the determination of an entitlement to compensation (often referred to as the liability question) can be incredibly complex and has been the subject of countless cases that have gone to court of all levels, the determination of whether or not you have a claim to bring in the first place is far more straightforward.  If you answer yes to some or all of the questions below, the prospects are you have a claim:

  1. Have I been injured?  Whilst the question may seem straightforward, in many cases it is not.  Injuries aren’t always as easy to identify as for example a broken arm.  Many injuries can arise over a period of time (such as carpel tunnel or a bulging disc).  Just because you can’t point to a particular moment or a particular incident that resulted in you suffering an injury impairment or restriction of some kind, it does not mean that you are not injured.  A better question that you should be asking yourself is do I have an injury (be it physical, mental or another), if the answer is yes, you should proceed to question 2. 
  2. Have I been injured directly or indirectly as a consequence of work, a motor vehicle accident or through some other way?  As discussed in question 1, many injuries arise indirectly rather than as a direct consequence of a particular event.  If your injury restriction or impairment is in any way linked with:
  • Your work
  • A motor vehicle accident
  • Falling over in a public place
  • Any other unanticipated event

Then you may have a claim. 

  1. Have I sought medical advice from my injury?  Simply because you haven’t sought medical advice for your injury doesn’t mean you don’t have a claim.  In many cases injuries occur but lie latent for considerable periods.  Furthermore, many people who have been injured simply “suck it up” and don’t seek medical attention.  Your doctor, physio or allied health professional has already diagnosed your injury.
  2. Did anyone else cause or contribute to my injury?  It doesn’t matter if your injury was an aggravation of a pre-existing condition or injury nor does it matter if you were in some part responsible for your injury.  It is very common for people to aggravate pre-existing injuries or have contributed to their injuries through some wrong doing on their own part and are still being entitled to receive compensation.
  3. Have I been off work?  This is again often a misunderstanding that many people have in respect of their entitlement to compensation.  Purely because you haven’t take any time off work doesn’t in any way mean that you do not have a claim or are not entitled to compensation.  In many cases an injury may not necessarily stop you from working or earning money today, but rather could: 
    • Aggravate in years to come causing you to lose income at a future point in time; or
    • Worst still cut your working life short as you age.     
  4. How do I find out whether I have a claim once and for all?  Ultimately the only way that you can safely determine whether or not you have a claim and an entitlement to compensation is to seek legal advice.  You should take 15 minutes to call a lawyer willing to undertake a case appraisal with you over the phone to get the peace of mind of knowing whether or not you have a claim. 
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