Monday, December 12, 2011

Personal Injury Solicitor

Linked to The Green Mechanics: Personal Injury Solicitor.

Floyd asked: "Do we have Personal Injury Solicitor?"

This is not exactly an expert opinion or good post. :D

I had an accident that resulted in bodily injury. After the good sergeant ruled that the other party was at fault, he forwarded my contact number to an accident claim lawyer (can this be termed personal injury solicitor?). Don’t ask me, I didn’t know how to get one, I didn’t even know if they exist. :)

The same day (or was it night or evening?), the law firm rep contacted me for a meeting. The keyphrase were free of charge service even though the claim was unsuccessful but would only charge certain percent from the total claim if successful. So, I agreed to see him.

The next day, he really came. Upon seeing me in unilateral full leg cast, he (unconsciously?) nodded (as if he confirmed the truth of the good sergeant story) to me, greeted me, shook my hand and asked about my health (as if he couldn’t see I had difficulty moving, and in pain at that). I answered I was okey but moving difficultly and still in pain. He missed the sarcasm though (in my mind, was he even care about his (potential?) client.

I introduced him to another person involved in the accident (my girlfriend). Well, she didn’t have broken bones, just (according to the doctors) some bruises, laceration and probably soft tissues injury (from the medical report I managed to peek before the nurse at the A&E "took and hid" it from me). :)

Seeing he was perhaps in haste (got signs of agitation, and perhaps nervousness from the attention from my family members), I asked him go ahead. Then, he became so business-like (I bet this was the fruit of his training and his strength that he completely forgotten about his "discomfort") began to explain the process of how to get my right.

He (re-)explained, the charge was FREE OF CHARGE if the claim was unsuccessful. However, they would ask for certain percentage if the claim was successful. Furthermore, he said my case was a straightforward one (in other word, simple and sure get one, and I was like, so not so straightforward case you don’t take lah?).

He gave examples how much I might gain. Can’t really remember how much but below numbers are just examples, mind you:
1. One finger broken equal RM5,000.00.
2. One broken leg equal RM20,000.00.

So, total I could gain equaled RM25,000.00. That total not yet included other claim they might help (or "help", take your pick) to apply e.g.:
3. Loss of income (personal).
4. Loss of income (to workplace, due to me not able to come to work, resulted in loss of revenues).
5. Extra cost of medical related (not covered in the top two items) cost e.g. eh, not sure about this one. :)
6. Others, can’t remember anymore. ;)

He hypothesized, “Say you get RM30,000.00 from this (your bodily injury claim), we will only take 30% from the total, so you’ll still have about RM21,000.00, if you agree that is.”

When I asked if there were other “hidden” charges or fees (though I didn’t exactly say the word hidden). I really didn’t like the idea of “Oh, why do I have to pay RM10 for check in again (just because I didn’t know about the news about the RM10 counter check in)?”. Ops, stray from the topic again. :D

“No, no, no! You Don’t. Need.” (Remember to pause after every dot) While he was making chopping hand, horizontal style). “To pay for Anything. At. All. If we lost the case that is. Only, if we win we’ll, hmmm, proceed with the charge.” Well, he’s using a very layman term to explain to my tiny bruised (?) brain.

So, with zero starting fee/charge, a “winnable” (borrowed term from our PM Najib Razak) case, and still might gain okey amount for the trouble I got by the result of the accidents, I agreed.

“So, when can I, eh, we, expect the claim?” I asked. “After we register the case, we can expect at the fastest 8 months, depending if the other party’s insurance company wanted to fight their case or not. Which, might prolong the claim.” He shrugged (but looked relieved, probably because I already signed the consent form for them to proceed with my claim). :)

“However, we have heard of claim being approved in 2 months,” he supplied. “You mean after medical report was releases(which is about 6 months)?” I asked. “Of course,” he said and stood up. “We’ll keep you inform. Have a nice day.” (Oh, I forgot, he did take some picture of me and my girlfriend before he went out.)

BTW, did I mention that he declined my invitation to see two other persons (just upstairs) involved in the same accident just because they wouldn't be, eh, pressing charge/claim, because, they would be going back to peninsular the next day? No? :)

Fast forwarded to this day, I have not yet had any update in so long... Last I heard (few months ago), from the kind sergeant, my medical report had not been released, and thus the delay, according to the law firm to the kind sergeant.

So, you tell me, do we have Personal Injury Solicitor? I think the answer is YES (BUT). However only by "invitation" or "introduction" (like my case). Except if you know some lawyer who know who to contact. If not, you're on your own. Some NGO like Biro Bantuan Guaman (Legal Aid Bureau) may help you but an experience of a friend doesn't really convince me of their, eh, help.

Sabah Legal Aid Bureau can be contacted at:
Biro Bantuan Guaman (Cawangan Sabah),
Tkt 4, Blk B, Bangunan KWSP,
Peti surat no. 11319,
88814 Kota Kinabalu.
Phone: 088-238966
Fax: 088-242344

Other like Sabah Law Association may point you to the right direction. SLA can be contacted at:
2nd Floor, 58, Jalan Pantai,
Hainan Association Building,
88000 Kota Kinabalu, SABAH.
W.D.T. no. 414, 88904 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Phone: 088-232662
Fax: 088-232654

The best Personal Claim Solicitor is your insurance agent. So, go buy yourself an insurance. Not only it protects you, it's also a good investment. ;) Have a nice day.

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