The job of a compensation lawyer is to work in cases where a plaintiff seeks damages from a defendant. Such cases usually go through a civil court system. While the term compensation lawyer can cover a wide range of cases, in Australia it can often specifically refer to certain cases involving an employee taking legal action against a current or former employer.
Employee cases which are taken on by a compensation lawyer may involve anything from injuries suffered at work to an unfair dismissal or a discrimination case. Many general compensation lawyers are associated with personal injury cases where an accident is the outcome of a company’s negligence. These kind of lawyers can also deal with a case where somebody involved a traffic accident, feels that they are being offered an inadequate sum of compensation from the other party’s insurers.
How such cases involving a compensation lawyer work will differ from region to region and from country to country. In most cases, they are conducted on the principle that the loser of the case is then made responsible for paying the legal costs of the winner. Should a plaintiff happen to be paying their own legal fees before the verdict, they will be advised to follow the principle that you should never begin a case that you are not prepared to see all the way through the legal process. Professional compensation lawyers in Canberra can provide expert advice for all situations.
Because the plaintiffs in worker compensation and personal injury cases are often not in a position to pay legal fees up front, many law firms specializing in such cases operate on a “no win, no fee” basis. Under such arrangements, if the plaintiff wins, the defendant will pay their legal fees. If the plaintiff loses the case, the lawyer will not charge a fee. Using common sense, this means that a lawyer will not usually be prepared to take on a case, unless it is likely the plaintiff will win.
Making the Case
In some legal systems in a number of countries, a losing defendant will have to pay back the costs of the premium. There are some people who have argued that this system is open to abuse as it encourages lawyers to take on cases involving spurious claims because, despite the “no win, no fee” system, they are certain to be paid whatever the outcome. Luckily, this is not the case in Australia.
A worker’s compensation lawyer can become involved earlier on in the injury process. He can also help the employee file his claim, assist the employee in the expert filling out of the required paperwork and complying with the state-specific claims processes. If he works for an insurance company, he can also assist the company in concluding whether the employee meets the correct legal requirements for recovery, which mainly involves determining whether the injury happened in the course of a work related duty.
Whatever your case, it’s best to contact a reliable and trustworthy compensation lawyer first.