An interview with a Personal Injury Accredited Specialist
Personal Injury Lawyers Sydney – Accredited Specialist – Steve Walker Principal Walker Law Group
1. How long have you been practising personal injury law?
I have been practising personal injury law since 1994. Initially acting for Defendants for the first decade of my career and learning how to think like an insurance company. This experience has then been utilised by me since 2003 when I decided to use that knowledge to my client’s advantage in solely representing Plaintiffs going for the insurance companies for the maximum compensation in the minimum time.
2. Why did you choose to focus on one area of law, rather than a diverse range of legal services?
Some lawyers do a little of everything, including personal injury. They may look after their clients divorce and maybe their will, and will then try their hand at a traffic misdemeanor, but when it comes to representing their client in the case of workers compensation or a car accident they can often do their client a disservice as they are not well-versed in the latest laws or insurance companies tactics.
I do this type of work every day, it takes a specialist to really know the personal injury field inside out, to practice at the highest skill level and to strive to get the absolute best results for our clients.
Personal injury laws change almost constantly. The New South Wales government is always trying to change the laws and deprive people of their rights especially in the last decade and they have made claims more difficult to prosecute and thus almost making it compulsory that injured people retain a lawyer to assist them. Without a personal injury lawyer by their side, injured people will be eaten alive by insurers who are skilled and versed in depriving them and paying them as little as possible.
3. What kind of cases do you handle on a day-to-day basis?
4. Why should people choose Walker Law Group to handle their case?
Generally, most personal injury lawyers offer a No-Win-No-Fee model, which sounds great. But that could also mean that a lawyer fresh out of law-school who may not have the experience with these types of cases or exposure to dealing with insurance companies yet.
At Walker Law Group, I have in excess of 25 years of experience and a phenomenal success rate. We are continuing with getting outstanding results for people. In December 2017 I helped our clients settle claims totalling $36 million!
Every case is different and every case has a unique solution. My philosophy is to listen, understand and then resolve people’s cases. No case is the same and the law operates differently depending on an individual’s circumstances, injuries, age, education and skills and education needs to be looked at in a holistic manner.
Have you already got a lawyer handling your case? No worries, it’s easy enough to switch.
5. Are most cases settled out of court?
Yes, the majority are settled out of court, however, the team at Walker Law Group are always prepared to appear in court to represent our clients.
I only have one goal, and that is to get the absolute best result for our clients.
I want to make sure that by the time that we are finished with their settlement, that they are in a better position than when I met them in the first place!
If that means that I have to front up to court to plead our case, then we will.
6. What is your firm’s track record of verdicts and settlements?
I have never lost a case. So much as I have never had a Judge give a verdict for the Defendant.
Normally along the way, there are opportunities to settle cases and if cases turn out differently to the instructions then opportunities can be had to withdraw cases.
7. Who will actually handle my case?
Generally, the lawyer you meet when you come in to see us is the lawyer that will take your case to the very end. We may collaborate with each other on particularly complex cases, or delegate routine functions to less experienced lawyers. However, I will always oversee all matters.
8. Are you a member of the Law Society of NSW?
Yes, I am an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury, and have been for 15 years.
This means that I have to keep refreshing my skillset and knowledge and do continuous training.
9. What if the Case is Lost? Who pays for any out-of-pocket expenses?
The client does not pay any of my costs and disbursements if the case is lost.
However, if there is a verdict for the Defendant it can be in order that the client pays the insurance company’s cost. Once again as I said earlier most cases can be resolved prior to the Judge giving a verdict for the Defendant.
10. My current lawyer or my insurance agency wants me to settle, how do I know if the settlement figure is fair?
If you are not confident in your current lawyer, or completely disagree with the Insurance company’s settlement fee, then call us at Walker Law group. It’s easier than you think to switch lawyers, call us and we will take it from there.
There are so many factors in settling a claim – how the accident occurred, what were the facts leading up to the incident, was the company|place|person|product liable for your injuries, how bad are you hurt, how do the injuries affect your lifestyle, earning potential? Did you have pre-existing ailments?
If you are in doubt, please call us at Walker Law Group and we will help you.
11. What happens to the costs in WorkCover Cases?
In WorkCover cases, the client pays no money at all to me.
As an approved legal service provider with the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO), I get approvals to act for clients and they pay my costs. In other words, the client does not pay my cost. The costs do not come out of any settlement. The cost is paid to me on top of the amounts recovered for the client.
For further information on Personal Injury Law talk to our Accredited Specialist Steve Walker 1300 363 013.