How to receive the lion’s share of CTP scheme claims
CRASH victims receiving a cash payout from the CTP scheme face losing around 50 per cent of it to their lawyer's pocket, the RACQ warns.
The RACQ are pushing for greater transparency on what goes to the stakeholders from the compulsory third party insurance scheme.
The RACQ say the 50/50 rule, which is unique to Queensland, "guarantees" up to 50 per cent of settlements go to the lawyers.
Meanwhile an "uplift fee" means a lawyer may pocket an additional 25 per cent.
However, prominent compensation lawyer Travis Schultz said law firms can self-impose a much lower cap so it's assured the client receives the lion's share.
"At my own firm, we self-impose a cap of one-third, which means that our clients must necessarily receive no less than 66 per cent of the net settlement sum," Mr Schultz said.
"And we aren't alone. There are other small and boutique firms who specialise in compensation law who also put their client's interests first and foremost and offer lower fee arrangements."
Mr Schultz advised people injured in a crash to do their homework.
"Make sure the lawyer you engage is a genuine expert or accredited specialist, look to engage a law firm with a reasonable fee structure who doesn't charge uplift fees for acting on a no win or no fee basis. And if you are unsure, get a second opinion," he said.
RACQ claims that of a CTP premium, the State Government takes 17 per cent for levies, insurers receive 32 per cent to administer the scheme (including 19 per cent profit), lawyers get 17 per cent to contribute to their costs and the injured person receives 31 per cent, before paying their own legal fees, which could be up to 75 per cent of their settlement figure.
RACQ spokesman Paul Turner said peak motoring body is pushing for lawyers to also have to report how much they're claiming.
"That is appropriate (insurer reporting) because the government needs this information so it can set the premium," Mr Turner said.
"Lawyers don't have to reveal their earnings and can take up to half of anything their clients get, but on top of that, they take extra fees before their client sees a cent."
Additional reporting by Domanii Cameron and Jessica Elde.