How will my Common Law Claim run and how long will it take?
Depending on the status of your injuries at the time of commencing your Common Law claim, a claim in Brisbane, the Gold Coast or across Queensland can take as little as 6 months to resolve, however the average claim duration is around 12 to 18 months.
Claims durations are usually dependent on the complexity of the matter, as it is the more complex matters that proceed to trial.
If a matter goes to trial, then it can take 2 to 3 years or even more to obtain a final determination from a Court, however, the majority of claims in Queensland settle during the claims process and do not proceed to a trial.
What is the process for bringing Common Law Claims for personal injury in Queensland?
The process is governed by legislation applying to the type of claim being made, the purpose of the legislation is to try to resolve claims prior to proceeding to litigation in the Courts.
In all personal injury claims, the claim is commenced with a 'NOC'
A 'Notice of Claim' on the at-fault party or parties. The Notice of Claim provides details of the injuries being claimed for, how they occurred, the negligence of the at-fault party which caused the injuries, and the loss and damage sustained as a result of the injuries.
Your claim should proceed to a settlement conference
After the insurer has time to investigate your claim and the parties are able to gather information about the extent of your injuries, your claim proceeds to a settlement conference, where you have the opportunity to try to resolve your claim.
If this does not occur, then your claim proceeds to litigation with the filing of a Claim and Statement of Claim in the appropriate Court.
Once you commence your claim in the Court, you do not immediately move to a trial, the Court process encourages parties to try to resolve claims through Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) prior to moving to a trial.
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Trying to resolve your claim through written offers
There are also opportunities for the parties to try to resolve their claims through written offers being exchanged between the parties whilst your claim is running.
If the parties agree, your claim may proceed to a Mediation prior to the matter being set down for trial.
At the Mediation, an independent mediator will try to bring the parties to a fair and reasonable settlement of your claim.
What if am unable to settle my claim?
If you are unable to settle your claim at the Mediation, then your matter is set down for trial and proceeds to trial at the next available hearing date.
If you are making a work injury claim however, and you wish to proceed with a Common Law claim for damages for your injury, you need to be very careful what steps you take when your workers' compensation claim is coming to an end.
Check with us when you get a Notice of Assessment of your work injuries from Workcover Queensland
In Queensland, the majority of injured workers are required to make an election at the end of their workers' compensation claim as to whether they wish to proceed with a Common Law claim for damages in respect to their work injury.
This occurs when the worker receives a Notice of Assessment of their work injuries from Workcover Queensland.
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