I am a lawyer who specializes in compensation claims in NSW and WA. During my career, I have observed many people accepting compensation payouts that they should not have. This blog aims to equip you with enough information before making a regretful decision regarding your compensation payouts.
In this regard, I will introduce the correct questions you should ask regarding compensation payouts. Also, at the end of the article I will elaborate how Withstand Lawyers can guide you to make effective compensation claims.
Asking the right questions
Before you accept an offer, ask the right questions! Your decision should be based on the right information and not what your neighbour received for a similar type of claim or even different type of claim! These are the questions you should ask first:
Top 8 questions you must ask before accepting compensation payouts
1. What does this payout mean for me treatment wise?
Did you know that in some claims your treatment cover can continue beyond your payout and some claims can’t? Yes, depending on the type of claim, the payout will have different implications which if you knew have caused you to make a different decision.
For example, in NSW if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, your treatment expenses remain covered even after a compensation payout, pending certain conditions being met. In contrast, in NSW & WA treatment expenses do not continue following a payout of a work injury damages/common law claim. In some workers compensation claims, I have seen that it is better for the client if they stayed on benefits instead of taking the payout, depending on the percentage of their permanent impairment assessment.
2. What entitlement and how much is that entitlement limited or capped?
Some claims have limited and capped amounts and some do not. For example, pain and suffering in both NSW & WA have capped compensation monetary amounts for pain and suffering.
3. How long do you have to accept an offer? Time is king
This may seem simple but knowing how much time you have to consider accepting the insurers final payout is important. This may be one of the most important if not the most important decision you may have to make in your entire life.
You should not make it quickly. Know the amount of time you can take to consider the offer to speak it over with whomever you want to speak it over with and think it through. Many bad decisions take place because it was done quickly or without thinking it through properly.
This is especially true if your compensation payout is due to your psychological injury. That means that you should take more time to make the important decision whilst you are in the right headspace.
4. Do you understand what you are being told?
Personally, I am big on keeping things as simple as possible. My favourite quote of all time is from Albert Einstein where he apparently said if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. This quote resonates with me as I believe that if you have expertise in a field, you should be able to explain it in simple terms, without relying on complicated jargon.
I try as hard as I can to make sure I explain my advice in easy-to-understand language and not talk to a client like I am talking to a lawyer or a Judge. If you don’t understand it properly, please simply tell your lawyer that. Don’t just agree for the sake of it. You should keep asking until you can explain the advice, entitlements, implications and what it means to yourself easily if asked.
If you don’t feel comfortable or cannot understand for the life of you what legal advice you are being given, then feel free to contact me or another compensation lawyer to get a free second opinion. Hopefully you have the advice in writing so me or the other lawyer will have enough information to be given enough context to give you a meaningful second opinion.
Other questions to ask your compensation lawyer before accepting an offer
- 5. What are my options if I don’t accept the payout amount?
- 6. What is the range that my claim is worth if I don’t accept the payout?
- 7. What are the risks if I don’t accept the payout?
- 8. In your experience given you know the specifics of my claim; what is your opinion as to this payout? Do you recommend it?
Whilst you may be the client in this scenario and it is your claim, you should still know what your lawyers’ opinion about the payout amount based on your individual circumstances; is before accepting an offer.
No regrets: what should you have considered first.
I hope this blog was helpful for you in that you will be able to, at least, ask enough of the right questions; before accepting an offer or a payout. As you can see, the details are very important and with payouts or payments in general, the terms and conditions of the payment are critical for you to understand to make sure you have no regrets after.
What type of claims do we do anyway?
At Withstand Lawyers we only do compensation claims. So, if you have:
- Suffered an injury due to a motor vehicle accident
- In the course of work
- At a public place (supermarket etc)
- Stopped work due to an injury or illness
- Suffered an injury due to medical negligence.
Then we can help you because these are 5 types of claims we do all on a No Win No Fee basis.