• Read the Fine Print: What Travel Insurance Companies Don’t Tell You!

    Travel insurance is an essential form of protection to have when travelling. Even if you’re going on holiday to a relatively safe location and you can’t possibly imagine anything going wrong – you never know what might happen. A hotel might accidentally lose your luggage, or you might get unexpectedly sick overseas.

    It’s also very important to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers every potential problem that might arise. At times, travel insurance will be offered much cheaper than their competitors precisely because they exclude coverage for a lot of different circumstances. These exclusions will often be buried in the fine print.

    The team at Dwyer Lawyer Group has a wealth of experience in travel insurance claims, and so we’ve assembled a helpful list that will help you ask the right questions and know what to look for when buying travel insurance.

    Medical Claims

    Travel insurance will often require that you seek professional medical attention in the country that you contracted an illness or disease. Many people have fallen into the trap of waiting until they’re comfortably back in their home country before seeking medical attention, especially if the illness doesn’t seem urgent, and then been denied an insurance claim because there wasn’t evidence of the illness being contracted overseas. If you get sick, always see a doctor immediately – so you have documentation of the illness occurring while travelling.

    Travel insurance will often exclude a medical claim if it is connected to a pre-existing illness. People may be denied a claim if they had an illness prior to travelling that made them more susceptible to contracting a particular illness overseas.

    Money and Time Limitations

    Travel insurance will often stipulate limitations on the amount of money you can claim and the time in which you have to make that claim. There’s no point getting cheap insurance if the upper limit on claims is low – especially if you take expensive items. Particular classes of items (expensive cameras, for instance) might also be excluded unless you specifically list them on your form when buying insurance.

    Don’t leave it too long before making a claim. Travel insurance forms can stipulate a small timeframe in which to make your claim after returning home.

    Lost or Stolen Items

    Make sure to take proper precautionary measures when protecting your luggage or valuables. Travel insurance will usually exclude a claim if something is lost or stolen while left unattended.

    There also needs to be evidence of your items having been acquired and lost/stolen. Valuable items will often need to be registered on the form in advance if they might be claimed later. If you are robbed while overseas, it will be necessary to contact police in the country and get a police report that proves you have been robbed. Keep all receipts from expensive items you buy while on holiday.

    Contact Dwyer Law Group in Brisbane or the Gold Coast

    Travel insurance is a tricky field – read the fine print and don’t be caught out! If you believe a claim you’ve made has been incorrectly denied, make a free enquiry with us to see if you need compensation lawyers. Alternatively, contact us directly today!

  • Understanding Common Legal Terminology

    Law is a complex field, and there can be a bewildering amount of unfamiliar terminology to consider if you’re not a trained lawyer. Some familiar, everyday words have more restricted or precise meanings in the legal field. The friendly team at Dwyer Lawyer Group are always happy to help you out and you can make a free enquiry regarding a potential case here .

    Firstly, we’re explaining three common terms that have complicated meanings when used in a legal setting.

    ‘Reasonableness’

    In courts and in legislation, terms like ‘reasonableness’ or ‘reasonable person’ come up occasionally. These terms are used as tests to indicate the kinds of conduct that would be expected in different situations. They are used as a yardstick to compare the conduct of those involved with a hypothetical, legal situation.

    For instance, in a motor vehicle accident, the court might ask questions regarding a hypothetical ‘reasonable person’ and how they would have responded in the same situation. ‘Was the accident caused by a reasonable attempt to prevent another collision?’ ‘Did the defendant take all reasonable steps to assist the plaintiff after the accident?’

    The justice system always considers a baseline level of conduct, so it pays to act honestly and consistently in tricky situations – and to know what’s expected of others.

    ‘Negligence’

    The term ‘negligence’ in law usually refers to an act or omission on the part of someone who owed a duty of care to prevent or as much as possible reduce the risk of causing injury or loss to another.

    For instance, if there are complications arising from a medical operation for which compensation is sought, the court might ask questions like: ‘Did the doctor have the skills required in undertaking the operation?’ or ‘Did the doctor adequately inform the patient of the potential risks involved prior to undertaking the operation?’

    The term is also applied to the plaintiff sometimes, in the form of the term ‘contributory negligence’. The court might find that a defendant acted negligently, but that the plaintiff added to their own misfortune by contributing their own measure of negligence.

    ‘Causation’

    The word ‘causation’ can have varying degrees of interpretation depending on the context. ‘Causation’ in science means something different to ‘causation’ in law – and we use the word ‘cause’ more loosely in everyday language.

    With regard to a harm that occurs in the workplace or in a vehicle accident, lawyers ask whether or not a particular act led directly to the harm (or directly enough). This is sometimes called a ‘but for’ test, where lawyers ask: ‘But for this act having been done, would the harm have otherwise occurred?’

    Sometimes, someone might act extremely negligently (a doctor might offer incorrect advice regarding an operation) but cannot be held responsible because the outcome might not have been any better even if correct advice had been given.

    Standards of ‘causation’ will change depending on the context, but there usually must be a fairly direct link established between an act and the harm suffered.

    Need Help Understanding Legal Jargon?

    If you think you have a case for compensation or damages and need advice on how to approach it, consult with the qualified team at Dwyer Law Group. Make a free preliminary enquiry or contact us directly today!

  • Why Choose Dwyer Law Group?

    Why Choose Dwyer Law Group?

    If you have a legal issue to resolve, it is crucial to have the right people representing you. There are so many legal services available these days, but not all of them can be relied on for a first class service. The team here at Dwyer Law Group are highly experienced in the areas of negligence compensation, insurance claims and workplace accidents. Here are some of the reasons we should be your choice of Gold Coast and Brisbane lawyers.

    A Focused, Friendly Firm

    Some lawyers will claim to be able to do everything and end up offering very general advice rather than tailored advice in the precise area of the law that applies to you.

    By concentrating only on compensation and damages for the kinds of issues that affect our clients (motor accidents, insurance claims, workplace claims, etc.), we are able to focus our energies in areas that we have an enormous amount of experience in.

    Our team is led by Jeff Dwyer , who has practised as a solicitor for over 35 years. A Queensland man, Jeff was admitted to the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1991. Over the years Jeff has successfully handled thousands of cases, and has had just as many very satisfied clients. Jeff has taken his legal experience and built an energetic and vibrant team at Dwyer Law Group.

    A Great Prospect of Success

    Due to our experience in compensation cases, we’ll be able to tell you early on what your chances of success are. We won’t waste your time or money if there isn’t a solid case to be made.

    That is why we offer a free inquiry on our website so Jeff can assess all of the options available to you. We think “outside the box” to try and achieve the best solution to your problem.

    Furthermore, in many cases we offer a ‘no win, no fee’ policy. While we would always have our clients’ best interests at heart, it is reassuring for our clients to know they can access skilled, experienced lawyers to fight for them at a difficult time in their lives without having to worry about the burden of having to fund their cases. And if we do take on your case, you know that we’ll be putting in 100% effort to secure a positive outcome for you.

    Don’t Delay, Call Us Today!

    Our small, friendly firm offers tailored advice on your issues. Check out our client testimonials and you’ll see that our results speak for themselves. To learn more about our areas of law, check our blog . Or if you have an issue you’d like to speak about – make a free enquiry .

  • Do You Really Have a Case to Bring Forward?

    Do You Have a Case?

    In an ideal world, none of us would need a lawyer and we’d be able to happily resolve our disputes in person. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. On the other hand, the portrayal of the law in the media sometimes gives the impression that there is always an opportunity to sue and a chance for success in litigation. Dwyer Law Group is your local firm for compensation and damages claims in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. We’ve assembled a few pointers to get you thinking about the circumstances in which you might have a legal case.

    Is It a Legal Problem?

    Not every wrong you suffer in life will be resolvable by legal means. While the law does admit to some flexibility in application, there are many firm rules and standards that will limit the circumstances in which you’ll be able to claim compensation. While something might feel ‘unfair’ in the workplace, terms like ‘unfair dismissal’ have a more restricted interpretation in a legal setting. There will be stricter criteria to be applied than simply a feeling of ‘unfairness’ on the part of the victim, however justified that feeling may be.

    Often, there are also terms like ‘reasonableness’ or ‘reasonable person’ used in the law. These are generic terms that seek to ask ‘What would a reasonable person do in these circumstances?’ and are used as a yardstick to compare to behaviour in your circumstances.

    Have You Tried to Resolve the Problem Through Other Means?

    Nearly everything you can think of is governed by some kind of law – and there just aren’t enough resources to accommodate everyone trying to use them. That’s why a lot of legal issues will require that a person tries to resolve the dispute through non-legal avenues prior to commencing formal legal proceedings.

    For instance, if you have an insurance claim rejected, it will probably be necessary to file an ‘internal complaint’ with the company prior to getting lawyers involved. It may have been an administrative error or a particular circumstance that the company was unaware of. Even if your claim is still rejected, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the precise reason it was rejected – helping you decide whether you will need the aid of a lawyer.

    Legal Issues to Consider

    If you think you do have a case, there are a couple of extra things to consider.

    There are things called ‘limitation periods’ that restrict the amount of time you have to make a claim for compensation. These are in place so that people can’t decide ten years after the fact that they’d like to sue someone – which is potentially unfair and much more difficult for courts to decide on. These vary from case to case, so make sure to organise and present your claim as quickly as possible.

    Naturally, you’ll also need evidence of your case. If claiming on travel insurance for stolen items, you’ll need to have filed a police report. If you suffer an injury at work, you’ll need to have filled out an accident report that states precisely what happened.

    Speak to Dwyer Law Group about Your Case

    It pays to be prepared in advance with the law. If you think you’ve suffered a legal wrong then make a free enquiry on our website, and Dwyer Law Group will get in touch to let you know whether to come in for a legal consultation.

  • What are Class Action Lawsuits and How Do They Work?

    What are Class Action Lawsuits and How Do They Work?

    A class action lawsuit is a common method of taking legal action for groups of people with similar grounds for legal redress. Class actions are best described as large scale comp nensation cases. They may involve claims for damages, medical costs, and/or multiple other issues. Class actions may involve hundreds, or even thousands, of people with legal claims for compensation against the same party or parties.

    How Class Actions Work

    Class actions may involve a whole suite of issues.

    For example:

    There are multiple claims against a company for compensation for problems with goods, services, financial loss, or malpractices. A class action is created to represent all claimants against the company for compensation. The class action is the most efficient, cost-effective way to bring action for all these people, who otherwise may not be able to afford to take legal action.

    The “legal efficiency” factor also solves the problem of getting suitable legal representation for claimants. Some class action cases are extremely complex, involving multiple legal issues and often large numbers of legal technicalities.

    Class action lawyers are experienced, with adequate resources to manage these very demanding legal issues. In contrast, individual cases may drag on for years, and could be unsustainable for some claimants, even if they have a very solid case.

    Class action lawyers will identify and coordinate claims for compensation, which may involve individual issues as well as the general common claim for compensation. This is a meticulous process, identifying all areas of claim for compensation.

    How Do You Participate in a Class Action?

    The first thing to do is to seek help from qualified compensation lawyers. They can assist with your claim, explain the legal issues, and they can also assist in participation in a class action.

    Please note: In some cases, class action lawyers may invite applications from affected claimants for a case; however, this can be a hit-or-miss approach. Not everyone is aware of class actions under way which may provide them with legal representation for their claims. Your compensation lawyers, however, will be aware of any class actions and be able to assist in engaging your claim with the class action.

    The best way to manage your compensation claim is to deal with “No Win, No Fee” lawyers. You’ll get an assessment of your claim, legal guidance regarding your rights to compensation, and all the help and advice you need to pursue your claim as party to a class action.

    Looking for Help with a Compensation Claim on the Gold Coast?

    Dwyer Law Group offers a full suite of No Win, No Fee compensation lawyer services, including insurance law and many other common compensation cases. Ask our experienced team for any assistance you need with your claim, including participation in a class action. Give us a call on 07 5538 2766 or contact us online and speak directly to us.

  • What to Do When Your Travel Insurance Claim Gets Denied

    What to Do When Your Travel Insurance Claim Gets Denied

    It’s the nightmare scenario for travellers; a denied insurance claim that leads to very expensive out of pocket costs. If the denied claim includes health costs, it can be a serious blow to your bottom line. You may be unable to work, with massive bills piling up. In some cases, these costs can be catastrophic.

    Many people are hesitant, with good reason, to take legal action. Adding legal costs to a failed claim isn’t exactly an appealing choice, especially when you already have major costs to deal with.

    There are, however, much better options to get justice and solve the financial worries. In this article, we’re going to explain how to manage a denied claim, and manage your legal costs effectively to avoid further financial damage.

    Travel Claim Basics

    A travel insurance claim may be denied for a range of reasons:

    • Claim not covered by policy: This may or may not be the case. In some cases, the claim may reasonably be expected to be covered. For example, it’s not uncommon for insurers to simply get it wrong, for whatever reason.
    • Very low quality insurance coverage: There are some travel insurance policies which (to put it politely) are barely worth looking at, let alone worth buying. These substandard insurance products are highly contentious.
    • Insurance company simply won’t pay the claim: This isn’t as common as urban myths make it seem, but for whatever reason, some insurers don’t pay. You’ll need legal support to make your case.

    Getting Legal Representation

    Before you even pick up the phone, this is the sort of legal representation you need:

    • Qualified insurance lawyers : Insurance law is very complex. This is not the sort of case your family lawyer can do for you. Also bear in mind that your claim will probably be contested by the insurer. Qualified insurance lawyers can fight and match the insurance law professionals on the other side.

    How Legal Representation Works for You in Insurance Cases

    The first thing your lawyers will do is assess your claim, step by step, point by point. They’ll examine the basis for denial of your claim. They’ll explain to you the basis for taking your claim to court, and clarify any of the almost incomprehensible legal issues involved.

    The next likely scenario is that the other side will offer to negotiate a settlement. This is also a potentially tricky situation. You may need an adequate settlement which will cover things like future medical care, for example. That provision must be built in to any settlement to manage your future costs and medical issues.

    You can see why getting experienced lawyers is so important. Your lawyers will systematically address your needs, to make sure your interests and financial needs are being appropriately addressed.

    Need Experienced Insurance Lawyers on the Gold Coast?

    Dwyer Law Group have qualified lawyers to help you with your insurance claim. We provide a No Win, No Fee service, we’ll be happy to provide all the legal services and guidance you need. Call us on 07 5538 2766 and speak to our friendly team, or contact us online for more information.

  • Have you Been Unfairly Dismissed at Work?

    What to Do If You’re Unfairly Dismissed at Work

    As a country, Australia has always been a nation of workers. We have some of the highest wages in the world and we have a legislation system that protects the rights of workers. While our country is far from perfect, the systems in place strive to protect employees when they have been wronged.

    Unfair dismissal is an unfortunate reality that countless Australians face every day. Fortunately, though, we are in a position where it can be scrutinised and even overturned. Knowing your legal rights could save you extreme stress, financial pressure and hardship. Let the team at Dwyer Law Group educate you about unfair dismissal and your rights at work.

    What Counts as Unfair Dismissal?

    Unfair dismissal is when an employee is fired from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner. Basically, if an employer wants to fire an employee, then they must have a legitimate cause for doing so. If this reason is performance based, the employer is required to first issue a warning before any move to terminate an employee is made.

    It should also be noted that you must have worked for a minimum of 6 months in a large business or 12 months in a small business to be considered for unfair dismissal. Deciding whether you have been dismissed unfairly can be a difficult task, with many different guidelines applying for companies of different sizes. That is why it is always best to consult a legal professional. They can examine your case and determine if your termination was unfair. Following this, your options may include reinstatement and compensation.

    Act Fast if You Have Been Dismissed Unfairly

    If you think you may have been sacked without cause, you must apply to the Fair Work Commission within 21 days of the dismissal date. If you apply later than this time period, you will be unable to apply for any compensation unless there are special circumstances to consider. It also essential that you start to gather information on your dismissal as soon as humanly possible. We recommend documentary evidence and witness details be obtained, if possible, before the dismissal is in effect. This is because your employer will most likely delete incriminating information, especially if it is on shared work computers. You should also remember that there is no right to privacy if personal emails and other information that s stored on company computers. Please also be aware that your boss will likely look at any social media posts that are not private posts.

    Compensation Entitlements

    According to the Fair Work Act of 2009, the preferred method of compensation in a successful unfair dismissal case is the reinstatement of the employee they including back pay. In these cases, the employee would be restored to their previous position and paid for the time they were out of work.

    However, this is simply not realistic for the large majority of cases and compensation is instead paid out. The maximum compensation you can receive from your former employee is 6 months of pay, capped at $69,450.

    If you think you have been dismissed unfairly, act now. Contact Dwyer Law Group to discuss your options for Fair Work compensation and to determine your eligibility.

  • Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) Benefits

    What are TPD Benefits?

    The future can always be full of unwelcome surprises and unexpected tragedies that have the potential to irrevocably alter your lifestyle. In 2013-14 alone, there were almost 120,000 serious workplace injuries in Australia. Many of these resulted in the sufferer being unable to continue in their line of work for the foreseeable future.

    It is important to be covered in case that disaster strikes and you become unable to support yourself or your family. Luckily, in Australia, financial protection against these scenarios is available. Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) benefits are made available for people who are unable to work in their normal occupation due to a debilitating injury or illness. Making sure that you are entitled to TPD benefits should be a priority for every working Australian adult.

    What is Defined as Total and Permanent Disability?

    If you have suffered a debilitating injury or have contracted a permanent incapacitating illness, you will be considered to have a total and permanent disability. Alternatively, if you suffer injury or illness that prevents you from working in your normal field you are also considered to be TPD. A total and permanent disability is officially defined in Australia as when:

    • You are unable to work again in any occupation OR
    • you are unable to work again in your usual occupation

    Am I Entitled to Potential TPD Benefits?

    In Australia, TPD insurance is often linked to your superannuation fund. Every super fund is unique, but the majority of them will have at the very least some level of TPD cover.

    The amount of TPD entitlements your super gives you can be found in your fund’s product disclosure statement. This statement can be accessed by contacting your fund directly. In addition to super funds, all life insurance policies will provide TPD benefits to policy holders. If you are concerned about potential future benefits, it is advisable to seek legal advice to understand your options.

    How Do I Claim TPD Through My Super?

    If you have been rendered as having a total and permanent disability, it is important that you act quickly to claim your entitlements. It may be necessary to seek legal advice as soon as possible, as gaining access to your entitlements is not always straightforward.

    It should also be noted that you are unlikely to find a lot of assistance from your fund during this period. To claim TPD through your super fund, you will first need to submit a claim form. When you submit your paperwork you will be required to provide documentation that proves your condition, including appropriate medical reports.

    If you’re concerned about your TPD entitlements or are interested in making a claim, speak to a legal professional. Contact Dwyer Law Group today for an initial legal consultation.

  • Domestic Violence and Compensation

    Understanding Domestic Violence and Compensation

    In Australia, one in four women who have been married has been the victim of domestic violence. This is a harrowing statistic and an egregious crime that should never be accepted in our society. The prevalence of domestic violence in today’s society demonstrates a continuous need to protect the rights of sufferers.

    At Dwyer Law Group, we urge all men and women to be aware of the law when it comes to domestic assaults. Compensation for domestic violence victims varies from state to state, but assistance is available for those who speak out.

    Where Do I Start?

    If you have been the victim of violence at the hands of your spouse or partner, it is important to know and understand that assistance is available to you. While these experiences of violence can be profoundly traumatic and scarring to relive, speaking out is so important to prevent future attacks.

    Reporting instances of household violence to the police is the first step in protecting yourself. It is also necessary to ensure you are eligible for benefits and compensation. It is important to note that in most cases there needs to be a conviction if you are seeking to receive state financial assistance. It is also crucial that you document any injuries by taking thorough photographs.

    Compensation in Queensland

    In the state of Queensland, anyone who is considered a primary victim of a violent attack is eligible to receive up to $75,000 compensation and $500 for associated legal costs from the Queensland government.

    A primary victim is anyone who is injured directly as a result of violence committed against them. A secondary victim, a witness to any act of violence, is entitled to up to $50,000 in compensation.

    Compensation in Victoria

    Compensation claims and counselling for violent crimes in Victoria are handed by the state government funded ‘Victims of Crime’. Victims of Crime make up to $70,000 available for primary victims and up to $50,000 available for secondary victims. To be eligible the attack must have happened within the last two years and in Victoria.

    Compensation in New South Wales

    The New South Wales government provides up to $45,000 for victims of domestic violence. The New South Wales compensation scheme is broken down into various categories and should be discussed with your legal team.

    Compensation in South Australia

    South Australia offers up to $100,000 in compensation for the trauma, financial loss and grief associated with a violent attack. You are also able to backdate incidents and receive benefits for crimes occurring as far back as 1990.

    The team at Dwyer Law Group is your trusted provider of legal advice and assistance on the Gold Coast. If you have been a victim of violent crime and would like to explore your options for compensation, contact us to speak with our lawyers today.

  • What are Public Liability Claims?

    What Are Public Liability Claims?

    Accidents are an inevitable part of life, but sometimes they are preventable. In fact, if you suffer a serious injury on public property, the property owner may be liable for your injury and suffering. If you have recently suffered a personal injury on public property that was no fault of your own, then you may be eligible to file for a personal injury compensation known as a public liability claim.

    At Dwyer Law Group, we believe that everybody should know their rights when it comes to public liability claims. That is why we have compiled some pertinent information to keep you informed.

    Am I Eligible?

    The Personal Injuries Proceedings Act of 2002 is the federal legislation that outlines the type of incidents that can precede a public liability claim.

    The act states that accidents such as slipping and falling, poisoning, plane and boat accidents, faulty products, sporting incidents as well as private property accidents are worthy of public liability claims. However, it is not always necessary to file a public liability complaint if you have been injured in a public space. This is dependent on whether the suffering caused is ongoing and permanent.

    If the injury was minor, temporary and in the past, you can only go through your insurance providers for compensation. The most advisable course of action is to visit a personal injury lawyer to see if you have a claim.

    Important Factors in Public Liability Claims

    Every legal evaluation of a potential compensation claim will centre on several different factors.

    Firstly, it must be established that the injury is either ongoing or permanent. After this has been proven, you have to demonstrate that you will incur extra costs undergoing treatment, and explain how the injury will affect your ability to work in the same occupation as prior to the incident.

    It is always advisable to record as much information as possible about the conditions of the space where the accident occurred. Taking up close photos of the scene and making an audio or visual recording of the scene can be invaluable when trying to claim compensation.

    Public Liability on the Gold Coast

    Dwyer Law Group is here to offer careful and prudent legal advice to anyone has suffered a public injury on the Gold Coast. Our legal team offers initial consultations to anyone looking to file a public liability claim but is unsure if they have a legitimate case. If your case does go ahead, we have a no win, no fee policy for our clients. Please bring relevant photos of the accident area, of your injuries and of anything else that you believe may be relevant.

    Contact Dwyer Law Group today for an in-depth legal consultation on potential public liability claims.