When we hire a law firm to represent us after a no-fault accident we ensure them with our trust and expect them to do the right thing. But what happens when they get it wrong?
Finding a solicitor to act on your behalf and starting a claim is something that should be entered into carefully.
Choosing the wrong solicitor for your compensation claim can have a ripple effect on the rest of your life.
A Case Study
After any workplace incident, if an injury has been sustained, depending on the severity, a few weeks or maybe months off work can be expected. What’s not expected is having to take time off work years after the initial accident. That’s what happened to Andrew Adams after he suffered a broken leg in 1996 that led to problem after problem.
The initial accident in 1996 in which Mr Adams, a concrete worker who broke his leg in a construction site accident due to faulty steps that left him out of work for several months to recover.
Mr Adams of the Gold Coast was later laid off by the company he worked for as they no longer felt he was fit enough to complete the tasks required of him.
Speaking with Australian Accident Helpline’s Gold Coast branch Mr Adams said “I decided to claim against my former employer as the accident wasn’t my fault, however, they denied liability and prevented my colleagues from testifying on my behalf”
He then went on to say, “I didn’t fully research my lawyer, I just went with a recommendation from a friend and signed an agreement. I did receive compensation for my injuries, but I now know that I was entitled to so much more. I think the lawyer just wanted the case over with as quickly as possible”
This happens all too often and it’s the plaintiff that ends up suffering the cost. The quicker the case is settled, the quicker the lawyer receives payment. This is especially the case for some lawyers who offer conditional costs agreements because they take their fees from the awarded compensation but receive nothing if the case is lost.
One rushed decision by Mr Adams over 20 years ago is still haunting him today. Mr Adams has had continuous problems and several more operations on his ankle and now suffers from arthritis which is all a direct result of the accident.
Over the years Adams has had to change his career several times as he can no longer work as a concreter which has seriously impacted his earning potential. This year he also has had to undergo an operation to have his ankle reconstructed and expects that he will be out of work for at least 6 months.
He says “If I’d have known that my accident would affect me as long as it has I definitely would have taken more care when choosing a lawyer to represent me. If I’d received the compensation I was entitled to, we could have paid off our mortgage and wouldn’t now be struggling to live on my partner’s salary whilst I’m off work”
The disturbing part is that it’s not unique, day in day out people are being cheated out of the compensation they deserve by compensation lawyers who rush the case or simply ‘can’t be bothered’.
Not every lawyer out there is dedicated to fighting for what’s right, some are just in it for the payout.
How Are We Different?
A message from our Managing Director
‘Some lawyers that specialise in personal injury or ‘ambulance chasers’ as they’re often called seem to live up to their nickname. They don’t always have the claimant’s best interests at heart and tend to settle for less than the claimant deserves in order to get a quicker payout.”
Too many people have suffered at the hands of negligent lawyers, maybe we should start to claim against them?
Although we can’t change what’s happened in the past, we can ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future. All of our lawyers give each case the time and dedication it deserves and fight their hardest for each individual.