Best Lawyers for Personal Injury Litigation in Australia

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Practice Area Definition

Personal Injury Litigation Definition

Personal injury law in Australia is found within a maze of legislation and case law, depending upon which jurisdiction the claim arises in and also depending upon the type of claim being made. Each State and Territory has its own distinct Civil Liability Legislation which were enacted as a result of the 2002 tort reform process following a perceived ‘insurance crisis’ and concerns over the availability and affordability of personal injury liability insurance. Reforms were proposed and in some cases adopted, but despite it being more than 14 years since the introduction of the civil liability legislation, a uniform approach throughout Australia remains elusive.

Consequently each State and Territory has different procedural requirements for bringing a claim (with some prescribing extensive pre-litigation procedures), differing duty of care provisions, variations in assessments of damages and impositions of costs thresholds. There also is specific legislation in each State and Territory for statutory classes of action, such as Workers’ Compensation and Compulsory Third Party Insurance for motor vehicle claims. Once again, there are discreet differences in the various jurisdictions.

Consequently, care must be taken when instructing lawyers in personal injury claims to ensure that they have the requisite expertise in the relevant jurisdictions and for the different types of personal injury claims. Lawyers briefed in such matters will be required to provide detailed advice on coverage issues arising under insurance policies and applicable legislation, advice on liability and apportionment issues between co-tortfeasors as well as assessment of quantum and recommend reserves. Representation is often required for Court applications/hearings and at conferences/mediations. A lawyer with excellent advocacy skills is essential, as well as the ability to negotiate settlements on behalf of clients. Clear and concise advice writing is also desirable and the ability to clearly define strategies for the future conduct and direction of a claim.

Carter Newell

Carter Newell logo

Personal injury law in Australia is found within a maze of legislation and case law, depending upon which jurisdiction the claim arises in and also depending upon the type of claim being made. Each State and Territory has its own distinct Civil Liability Legislation which were enacted as a result of the 2002 tort reform process following a perceived ‘insurance crisis’ and concerns over the availability and affordability of personal injury liability insurance. Reforms were proposed and in some cases adopted, but despite it being more than 14 years since the introduction of the civil liability legislation, a uniform approach throughout Australia remains elusive.

Consequently each State and Territory has different procedural requirements for bringing a claim (with some prescribing extensive pre-litigation procedures), differing duty of care provisions, variations in assessments of damages and impositions of costs thresholds. There also is specific legislation in each State and Territory for statutory classes of action, such as Workers’ Compensation and Compulsory Third Party Insurance for motor vehicle claims. Once again, there are discreet differences in the various jurisdictions.

Consequently, care must be taken when instructing lawyers in personal injury claims to ensure that they have the requisite expertise in the relevant jurisdictions and for the different types of personal injury claims. Lawyers briefed in such matters will be required to provide detailed advice on coverage issues arising under insurance policies and applicable legislation, advice on liability and apportionment issues between co-tortfeasors as well as assessment of quantum and recommend reserves. Representation is often required for Court applications/hearings and at conferences/mediations. A lawyer with excellent advocacy skills is essential, as well as the ability to negotiate settlements on behalf of clients. Clear and concise advice writing is also desirable and the ability to clearly define strategies for the future conduct and direction of a claim.