Julie Brownett

Attempts to resolve a Motor vehicle accident claim can occur between the parties at Conference. This can be either a Court ordered Settlement Conference or an Informal Settlement Conference arranged by the parties themselves.

In order for a Conference to be convened, your injuries need to have reached what is called ‘stability’ ie they are not going to get any better or any worse. Stability is assessed by a medical expert.

Additionally, you will need to have provided all relevant and sufficient information to the insurer which may include all Tax Returns and medical records.

Although resolution of the claim is the desired outcome of a Conference, in some instances that does not occur. It does however,  provide an opportunity for the parties to discuss the issues in dispute and for the Applicant to consider any further evidence required to support the claim.

Prior to a Motor vehicle accident Settlement Conference it is advisable to ensure that you have provided your solicitor with any invoices/receipts in relation to out-of-pocket expenses ie medication and treatment receipts relating to your injuries.

Prior to the Conference your solicitor will advise you of various protocols including where to go if attending the Conference at either the Magistrates or District Court. Additionally, your solicitor should explain to you the realistic damages potential of your claim and confirm legal costs to date.

Also if you are unfamiliar with the location of the conference, it is a good idea to scout that out beforehand, so that you know how much travel time to set aside as well as public transport/parking options.

On the day of the conference, allow yourself plenty of time to get to the venue. Keep your solicitor’s contact number at hand should you need to let them know that you are running particularly late or if an emergency arises.

Once you have arrived at the Conference venue, you will be located in a room with your solicitor and (if applicable) your barrister “counsel”. The other party(ies) will be located in different rooms with their respective solicitors and counsel.

If the other side has already proposed an offer to settle your Motor vehicle accident claim, your solicitor will discuss that with you and then obtain your instructions about a counter offer you wish to put. Your solicitor will then convey your offer to the other party(ies).

Offers are then made back and forth between the parties in an attempt to resolve your claim. Should the claim remain unresolved and the parties be unable to bridge any ‘gap’ in the offers, the conference will close. Your solicitor will then discuss with you any further steps to be taken.

Even if the conference is unsuccessful in resolving your motor vehicle accident claim, the parties can at any time arrange a further conference between themselves.

It is good to remember that motor vehicle accident claims can take some time to resolve.

If you have any further questions about settlements of Motor vehicle accidents or the claim process please call one of our Personal Injury Experts on 8357 7611.