In Queensland, we have a special legislative instrument that governs personal injury proceedings called the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (QLD).
The purpose of this legislation is to offer procedural guidelines for the resolution of claims, ensuring the ongoing affordability of insurance through awards or damages for personal injury. The PIPA governs both the process of claims and how personal injury lawyers describe their services.
The PIPA exists to ensure compensation schemes for personal injury claims are sustainable in the long-term and to prevent them being mismanaged or misused.
The legislation seeks to achieve this by:
- Promoting quicker resolutions of claims through settlement
- Ensuring a person cannot initiate court proceedings without appropriate preparation
- Putting reasonable limits on compensation figures
- Setting out strict timelines that apply to personal injury proceedings
- Minimising the costs of claims, and
- Regulating how personal injury lawyers advertise and promote their services.
The PIPA applies to all personal injury claims except for workplace injuries, motor vehicle accidents, injuries resulting from criminality, dust/asbestos related conditions, and injuries resulting from tobacco products. These cases are governed by separate legislation with their own procedures that apply.
The legislation restricts how personal injury lawyers can promote their services by limiting where personal injuries, injury compensation, or personal injury law can be mentioned and restricting the use of photographs, illustrations or messages of a self-promotional nature.
This means personal injury lawyers cannot provide someone with detailed information about their track record of success unless they are a client or are making a genuine enquiry.