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QLD Workcover Personal Injury Compensation Claim - Solicitor Paid Doctor's Bill

Discussion in 'Personal Injury Law Forum' started by kim67, 13 March 2015.

  1. kim67

    kim67 Member

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    Hi,
    I have a question but first a brief history of my problem. My husband injured himself at work some time age. The personal injury has been dealt with by Workcover and medical expenses have been settled. We went to a solicitor to see if we could get compensation. Due to the time frame of the incident, they explained that we could be outside the timeframe to apply for compensation. After a few months of them reviewing his case, told us that it was a 50/50 chance of success and they advised us that he would need another orthopedic examination and report which was needed if it went to court, although there had already been 3 done, 2 by workcover appointed drs. The solicitor paid the bill, we were reluctant to take on the debt as the injury severely impacted on out income, which the solicitor was aware of, and we said that we couldn't afford to pay the bill. We have since been told that the injury is outside the time frame allowed to make a claim and now they asking for their $5000 repayment of the dr report.

    My question is, since the solicitor knew of our financial status and that the claim was not guarranted to be successful, can they make us pay the doctor's bill? We didn't want to take on the debt in the first place, but they assured us it was necessary.
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kim67,

    The bill the solicitor took against your account to pay for the doctor fees is a "disbursement". To recover a disbursement, this should be provided for in your retainer letter, the agreement you signed at the beginning which retains the services of the solicitor. If you specifically instructed the solicitor not to pay for the medical reports, and they went ahead and did this anyway, they may not be able to recover the costs. I recommend you take a read of your retainer letter, especially the costs section and what instructions you gave the solicitor between then and now.

    As for the time bar, it really depends on what information they told you and what you later instructed or allowed them to do. Did they warn you that the action may be time barred? If so, did you tell them to go ahead and try anyway? Was the time bar a clear limit? Or was their a possibility of extending the time frame for apply for compensation?
     
  3. kim67

    kim67 Member

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    Thanks Tracy, It was a no win no pay deal, but I have since gone through the paperwork and found that my husband signed to say that we would incur extra costs (dr bill). The kicker is they gave us the impression that we would be successful with this dr's report and that we NEEDED the report from this particular dr to get it over the line. We were under a lot of stress at the time and were under the impression that this would help us. Otherwise we would not have agreed to another $5000 bill (for a 20 minute assessment). Looks like we will have to cop the expense. Think we need a lotto win! Thanks for your reply
     

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