If you have suffered injury and it was someone else’s fault, you have a personal injury claim. You are entitled to compensation. We handle compensation cases for injured people throughout Queensland.
You May Not (Yet) Need a Lawyer – Read This First
Here are the top 3 things we suggest you focus on immediately after an accident:
- Treatment, medical bills/waiting lists and your income. The first thing you will probably want to figure out is how you will pay for your medical bills. Medicare will pay for your immediate medical costs and treatment, but as you progress on the road to recovery you might find, for example, that you need surgery. But there are long waiting lists. If you don’t want to wait forever, you need to find a way to get funding. You might be entitled to WorkCover in which case they will pay for any necessary surgery. Alternatively, you might have private health insurance. The other issue is: how will you replace your income? WorkCover may pay your wages. We can tell you if you are entitled to WorkCover – sometimes you can claim this even if your accident didn’t happen at work. Alternatively, you may have income protection cover. Be sure to check your policy if you have one, and call us if you need help with this. We are happy to help – free of charge.
- Time limits. If you are thinking of making a claim for compensation, there are some important time limits. Usually you must give notice to the party at fault that you want compensation within 9 months of your accident. In some cases, the time limit is different. The point is: you don’t have to take immediate action after your accident, but you also can’t wait forever. If you want compensation, you need to start the process as soon as reasonably practicable.
- Research lawyers before you hire one. If you don’t know a personal injury lawyer, ask your friends and family to see if they know one, or if they know a lawyer who can recommend an experienced colleague. Don’t go to a lawyer who handles many different areas of law. Choose a lawyer, not a law firm. A big brand doesn’t guarantee anything (other than high fees), your success largely depends on your lawyer’s experience. Make sure you understand what “no win – no fee” means.
The Types of Cases We Handle
We have acted in many different types of injury cases. Some common scenarios:
- Motorcycle accidents. These can involve “single vehicle accidents”, for example, when a motorcyclist suffers injuries due to road conditions. Other cases involve a crash between a motorcycle and a car.
- Cycling accidents. Keep in mind Oszkar Denes, our principal, is an avid cyclist and understands the particular circumstances of accidents involving cyclists.
- Slip/trip and falls. These commonly occur in shopping centres.
- Steps or stairs in disrepair, not meeting standards.
- Holes, cracks, depression in footpath.
- Work Accidents.
- Sexual abuse claims involving survivors who were previously in the care of state run institutions.
Who are you up against?
In most cases, when you make a claim, you will be up against an insurance company, or a sophisticated corporation. (Some companies have so much money that they don’t buy insurance – they “self-insure”). You can be sure of this: the other side has one goal in mind, to pay you as little as possible to settle your case. And even though this may be the first time you have been injured, as far as the defendant is concerned, this is not their first dance – they know what they are doing. But you can win this battle.
Who will be your lawyer?
If you hire us, your case will be handled by Oszkar Denes, our principal. Your case will not be run by a paralegal. Oszkar is an experienced personal injury lawyer. And prior to starting this firm, he used to act for insurance companies in defence of injury claims. This means he knows all the tactics.
If we accept your claim, that means we consider your claim has merits and we are prepared to go trial if settlement isn’t possible. Remember, insurance companies (who defend claims all the time) know which lawyers and law firms settle at any cost and who are the lawyers prepared to go all the way to Court judgement.
How we charge
You will pay no fee to us unless you receive fair compensation. If we accept your case, we will pay the costs required to investigate and prove your claim. At our initial meeting, we will give you a written fee agreement, which we will leave with you to read in your own home.
We do not charge a percentage of your compensation amount. We do not take 50% (as some large firms do). We charge according to the amount of time spent on your matter. You will end up with more money in your pocket, because:
- Oszkar Denes, who will handle your case, is experienced and there will be no unnecessary work or duplication on your case.
- We do not have high advertising expenses and so we are not under pressure to charge high fees.
- Our charged rates are reasonable.
Areas we service
We handle personal injury claims throughout Queensland. While we are based in Springfield (which is between Ipswich and Brisbane) we have injured clients all over South-east Queensland, and indeed throughout the State. If you have been injured, we will come and visit you in your home (happy to travel), or we can start the process on the phone. You do not have to come to our office.
Please Take the Time To Look at the Types of Matters We Commonly Handle
You have probably ridden your motorcycle for years without an accident. You are experienced. You have ridden in all sorts of traffic and road conditions. And now you have had an accident and your life has turned upside down. The other driver might have changed lanes not even seeing you. Or, there may not even be another driver. It may be that your accident was caused due to inferior road conditions.
The fact is that motorcyclists are in a vulnerable position. And the injuries suffered in a motorbike accident are often traumatic.
We have extensive experience in representing injured motorcyclists, claiming compensation from councils, as well as other motorists. We have a successful track record of obtaining maximum compensation to our clients.
We also keep in touch with the motorcycling community, and hold presentations on motorcycling safety. Here is a picture of Oszkar with a group of recreational motorcyclists belonging to the Historic Motorcycle Club Queensland. You can read about our presentation to the Historic Motor Cycle Club Queensland here.
Cycling is fun, especially if you ride in a group. (By the way, if you are looking for a good bunch, come join Brisbane Bike Rides).
But there is one problem which we riders know all too well: impatient drivers. They think the road belongs to them, and only them. (And then there are the ones who throw empty milk containers at you as you ride along Centenary Highway towards Ripley.) Then there are the distracted drivers on their mobiles. And unfortunately many times accidents happen because people don’t recognise the bike path, and, for example, open the door when a cyclist is riding along.
The reality for cyclists is that often times an injury means their ability to ride is put on a long term hold. The injuries can be serious, indeed life changing. Plus, the damage to the bike can be extensive.
Our principal, Oszkar Denes, is an avid cyclist himself. If you have been in a cycling accident, we can tell you over the phone in a few minute conversation if you have a case. If you haven’t been injured but your bike is damaged, we will tell you how you can seek financial compensation for your damage. Click for more info.
Slip and falls
Slip and fall (and trip and fall) accidents commonly occur in shopping centres, footpaths and other public places. In Queensland, there is no duty imposed on occupiers to guarantee that slip and falls will not happen. (An occupier can be a shopping centre manager, a hotel or even the local council). The obligation imposed on these entities is to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents.
The most crucial part of these matters is to undertake thorough investigation of the circumstances. This will reveal if the owner/occupier or manager of the incident area (for example a shopping centre manager) should have done more to prevent your accident.
For example, had there been accidents in the same location before? If so, what were the lessons learnt? Was the slip resistance of the floor surface compliant with applicable standards? Was the cleaning system appropriate, and was this only a system “on paper” or was it actually implemented and followed in practice?
These are some of the matters which we must investigate. Some issues (such as slip resistance) require an expert. We have been working with well qualified experts who can assist our clients to advance their claims.
Another issue we find is that defendants are sometimes less than forthcoming about their own investigation results and accident prevention track record. We frequently rely on the relevant legislation and case law to force defendants to adequately disclose to us all relevant information, even if it hurts their defence.
We often advise and represent migrants who suffer personal injuries in Australia. Our clients include international students, working holiday visa holders, sponsored employees as well as asylum seekers (both inside and outside of detention).
Migrants face a number of barriers in relation to personal injury claims. And it’s not just language barriers.
One of the biggest issues is that migrants on temporary visas must leave Australia fairy soon after their accident. The party at fault might try and take advantage of this by delaying the matter. This can create anxiety as injured migrants might feel they have less control and oversight from overseas about what’s happening in the claim in Australia.
The other significant issue is the calculation of an injured migrant’s loss. For example, if the claim involves wages which might be lost in the future, is the calculation based on Australian or overseas wages? This is just one example of the complexities which may be involved in these types of cases.
Because Oszkar Denes understands and practises both in injury claims and immigration law, he is well placed to help injured migrants. He effectively progresses claims and negotiates with the party at fault to make sure there are no delays, and to achieve maximum compensation within the shortest possible time. He also advises migrants about any options to extend their visa, or return to Australia for the purpose of finalising the injury claim.
When you lose a loved one in an accident, or they suffer serious injury, the effects on yourself can also be devastating. You might find it extremely difficult to cope, and indeed you may develop anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, or some other form of psychiatric injury.
While a legal proceeding is probably the last thing that you want to deal with, it’s important that you be aware that in Queensland you have the right to seek a lump sum financial compensation. This is important because if you develop a psychiatric injury, it may prevent you from returning to work, or it can leave you with significant medical bills.
To be eligible for compensation, the medical evidence must demonstrate that you have a “recognised psychiatric illness” (such as anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder and so on). How much you could get then depends on the amount of loss which this psychiatric illness is likely to produce in your lifetime.
This type of case (which is also called a “nervous shock claim”) can be more complex than a claim involving physical injuries. It’s important for you to hire a solicitor who understands this area of law, and who can provide you with an accurate assessment of the compensation which you are entitled to receive.
If you are in this situation please contact Oszkar Denes to discuss your options. He will be happy to speak with you at no cost to you.
TPD and insurance claims
If you can’t return to work due to injury or illness, you may be able to receive insurance benefits from your insurance company.
Let’s start with some basic terminology:
- Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover means that if you can’t return to work, you get a lump sum payment from your insurance company. This payment can be hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) and it is meant to cover your living expenses for the rest of your life.
- Income protection cover is a monthly payment, to cover your lost income while you can’t earn. So this is not a lump sum amount. Usually it’s about 75% to 85% of your regular earnings.
Most workers have TPD, income protection and life insurance through their super fund. Essentially, if you have been employed, you will find that your super fund purchased these types of insurance benefits on your behalf. In addition, more and more people purchase these products directly from an insurer, outside the super system.
However, please be aware that not all insurance products are the same. For example, some insurance policies say that if you can’t return to work to your own occupation, you can get a lump sum TPD payment. So if you were an engineer and you now can’t work as an engineer you get a payout. Other policies might say that you can only get a payout if you can’t return to work to any occupation. That tiny word makes a huge difference.
TPD and income protection policies are very difficult to navigate. Insurance companies can be difficult, they might ask for the same information multiple times, they will give weight to evidence that favours them and disregard evidence that helps you, just to name a few of the tactics.
Our first step is to very carefully analyse your insurance policy as well as your medical condition. We may accept your case on a no win no fee basis if we believe that your claim has strong merits. If we think your chances of success are poor we will advise you accordingly.