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Topic ClosedTPD Claim, lawyer fee. How much to pay?

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Carrera914 View Drop Down
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Joined: 22/January/2013
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: TPD Claim, lawyer fee. How much to pay?
    Posted: 22/January/2013 at 17:55
I had a spinal cord injury about 3 years ago, which left me quadraplegic. Haven't worked in any capacity since then.

Now that i have decided to to apply for TPD claim, one of the lawyer firms has offered no-win-no-pay with a fixed fee of $37000 (all inclusive GST+sundries...etc). A separate agreement +fee if matter goes to the court.

Considering that we are not even going to the court yet, i feel that this fee is way too expensive.

Question is how do i know if i should take up this offer or not?. I have spoken with other firms but they do not offer a fixed fee and i 'm afraid that others might drive it even higher.

Please help!

iconoclast View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/January/2013 at 18:04

My condolences for your injury and current predicament.

Gee - only $37,000! At over $400/hr for a lawyer - that's somewhere around 90 hours of solid work. It would easily take that long and perhaps you are unaware of how much time and effort a really good case takes to prepare.

But this lawyer is taking a massive risk - no win - no fee. So if you lose they get nothing. If you win (and for quadriplegia that would likely be a substantial amount). If it was me - I'd get another quote - most PI lawyers will give the 1st hour free.

But all said and done $37k is a good price given the circumstances. Do you honestly think you could do this yourself in the circumstances?

Best regards
not legal advice

Carrera914 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/January/2013 at 18:52
Thanks for the reply. Really appreciate it.

Well, you see all other firms that offer no-winno-fee dont give a ball park no of hours spent. I'm afraid that they might drive it ridiculously high.

Being a lay man, i just want to know if a solid TPD case where i would be getting all the forms filled myself (doctor, employer, myself), a lawyer is justified in charging for 90 hrs (we are not going to court yet). If 'yes' then i'm happy to go for it.

I could have done it myself but i dont know what i'll be getting into.

BD Eye View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/January/2013 at 01:02
Even with bundled services, i.e. you doing some things yourself, from my experience, and I am required to deal with lawyers regularly, this is a fair ball park figure.

Remember its not just the paperwork, your lawyer also has to research, consider, make sure the facts fit the law, identify issues, negotiate, prepare considered correspondence etc etc.
BD Eye

Sueby01 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/January/2013 at 09:41
Hope you don't mind me asking as I am also looking at a TPD claim, but if its a set amount, do you need lawyers? Mine is a TPD claim through Super, is yours Carrera? If its through Super, should a lawyer still be engaged or is it just a matter of filling in insurance forms and sending them in to your insurer, same as you would for a household claim on your insurance, then seeing how it goes and if there is a claim rejection, then engage a lawyer?

Carrera914 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/January/2013 at 13:56
Sueby01 - Exactly that. Mine is a TPD component of super. It requires filling up forms and sending them to the insurer. The reason i want to engage a lawyer is to do it right the first time and not having to wait for a year to be rejected and then look for a lawyer. Thats why i feel that 37000 for filling up forms ( which have to be done by doctors, employers, etc anyways) is a bit steep. But after hearing people on this forum, maybe its alright.

By the way, if the claim is rejected and i decide to go to the court then another contract will have to be signed, with another fee amount.

I just feel that when lawyers see such large payout amounts, they are tempted to charge higher fee. Not reaIzing that the recipient has to live the rest of his life off it. Or maybe i'm wrong.

Edited by Carrera914 - 23/January/2013 at 14:25

Sueby01 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/January/2013 at 01:09
I have been on Income protection payments for nearly a year, and now its come to the point that I am coming up to 12 months, and they don't want to continue paying IP if I am going to be paid out, so I am now getting the doctors getting heaps of letters from the insurer asking about diagnosis, and long term impacts. Im not sure if your in the same boat with IP payments prior? Im not sure if IP is accepted, then the TPD is accepted as well as its all part of the same insurance policy? Not sure, I too am wondering if I need a lawyer or if the claim process just moves from IP to TPD? Are you in the same boat?

Carrera914 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/January/2013 at 17:35
Am i in the same boat?? Yes and No. Yes, because i'm on IP as well for three years and another two to go before it finishes. No, because my IP and TPD insurers are different, so even if i take out TPD, IP would still continue.

I dont know your physical condition, so cannot suggest how solid your case for TPD would be. But if by any chance you feel that it may be rejected, then it may be a good idea to involve a lawyer. Sure they are ecpensive but alternatively you may risk waiting for 6-12 months and then getting rejected. It all depends on your physical condition.

iconoclast View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/January/2013 at 03:40

look - it comes down to something like this: say you have to have all your teeth extracted. One guy says "I'll do it in the chair with a local anaesthetic - it will take 5 or 6 hours and you'll experience some extreme pain. At $500 per hour (or by the tooth) that's going to be $2.5k - $3000 or maybe more. Result not guaranteed but you will pay up front no matter what. Great - expect some extreme pain, no guarantee of results and the max fee is say $3k maybe and I may or may not get it right, Your risk entirely! Please deposit $3k into my trust account today,"

the uber (fabby) dentist says "I promise that you will experience no pain during surgery, if I don't get it right you will pay absolutely nothing". He so darned good that he does the job (under general anesthetic) in 2 hrs flat but he will charge you only $3700 flat. Nothing at all if no success - meaning all teeth extracted with minimum pain (financial and physical and mental).

So which dentist will you choose? For me any day of the week I'll take dentist #2. Guaranteed results and if not; not a single $ to spend.

Do you want some amateur fiddling around quite possibly hurting you even more - or do you want someone who will guarantee no more pain on top of what you have already suffered? This is a "no-brainer" for me - I've already decided to go with quality and expediency over "maybe this much pain - no guarantees". The guy that gets the result at no pain to you is the guy I'd be going for. Does this make sense? Maybe his 30 years of experience trumps a new graduate just "practicing" (learning) on you.

You want a result with minimum pain - then buy it now. Please consider!



Edited by iconoclast - 27/January/2013 at 04:03
not legal advice

becstar79 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/March/2013 at 15:38
Carrera, are you aware that there a Community Legal Services available? There are solicitors that deal in specific areas. I personally am going through a TPD Claim myself, I did all of the initial paperwork myself such as getting doctor letters, medical reports, etc. A solicitor can assist once you have obtained all of this but until the claim has been handed in, they cannot do an awful lot. This is my own personal experience, having lodged a claim this week and having had a solicitor go through. Depending on the amount you are claiming & have insured, hiring a middle man to undertake the work (a community financial counsellor can also act.. and not cost you a penny, just check their qualifications).

becstar79 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/March/2013 at 15:42
Personally, I think to have a go at it yourself.. much of the information can be obtained online (my local hospital emailed me a F.O.I form to which I printed, signed and sent back). Little things you can do which do not cost whatsoever.
As above I said, depending on what your insurance claim amount is, $37000 is a mighty chunk and that for me is a lovely new modified car to take my son to school!

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