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Claimant Lawyer Use in Road Traffic Injury Compensation Claims


Clare E Scollay, Janneke Berecki-Gisolf, Becky Batagol and Genevieve M Grant

In injury compensation schemes, claimants engage lawyers to navigate the claiming process, access benefits, and resolve disputes. As a result, lawyers can play a central role in facilitating claimant access to entitlements, and shaping claimant experiences and outcomes. This article presents findings from the largest empirical investigation of lawyer use in a single compensation scheme: using evidence from almost 50,000 claims in the road traffic injury scheme in Victoria, Australia, the socio-demographic, crash, injury, and recovery factors associated with lawyer use are identified, and explanations for these relationships explored. The analysis shows that some claimants who struggle to access lawyers in other contexts are supported to do so in this scheme. The findings highlight opportunities for improving access to justice within and outside compensation settings.

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(2020) 43(1) UNSWLJ 82: