An Opinion Piece by Olamide Kowalik
It might shock you to know that as a Personal Injury Lawyer, Compensation Lawyer or Injury lawyer I do not chase Ambulances.
Compensation lawyers in the mind of the average person seems to conjure the image of a Lawyer with a brief case chasing after an Ambulance.
I can assure you that most Compensation lawyers did not spend four to five years at university, 6-12 months of college of law and then another two years of supervision to chase an ambulance to secure claimants.
It does not help the image when the urban dictionary goes to the trouble of including and defining Ambulance Chasers as; “ an unethical lawyer, especially those who represent plaintiffs in personal injury actions.”
The origin of this popular phrase if Google is to be believed; “……. dates from late 19th century; from reputation gained by certain lawyers for attending accidents and encouraging victims to sue.”
And henceforth all who dare to work in the field of compensation were tarnished.
At its core the role of a Compensation Lawyer is to help claimants injured through no fault of their own navigate the complexities or road blocks of accessing their entitlements, so they can get back on track. The compensation lawyer is often;
- The one who knows the ins and outs of your injury claim;
- The one who knows the impact of the injury and claims process on you and your family;
- The one who is there for the highs and lows;
- The one that listens to you, and
- The one in your corner from the beginning through to the end of your claim when all others have lost interest in your injury claim.
A Compensation Lawyer typically works in all or some of the following areas;
- Motor Accident claim;
- Work Injury Claims;
- Public Liability Claims;
- Medical Negligence Claims, and
- Superannuation/TPD Claims
Just as there are good and bad people there are also good and bad lawyers. Some tough questions to ask before engaging a Compensation Lawyer are;
- Will you be accessible;
- Will you return my calls;
- Are you an expert in your field;
- Will you be upfront with me;
- Will you be charging an uplift on the legal fees, and;
- Are you a lawyer.
The position remains in Queensland that the Compensation Scheme is heavily regulated. Aside from the ethical implications of ‘chasing ambulances,’ it is insulting to suggest or surmise that the only way we are capable of helping those in the need of our services is to queue in front an ambulance or the like.
In summary as a Compensation Lawyer my central motivation remains to help others and I take immense pleasure meeting a claimant for the first time, navigating them through the highs and lows of the compensation process and coming out at the end with an outcome which sets them and their family back on track. To make a living from this is bonus.