Step 5: Risk Assessed
The fifth step in the CONTROL© audit is to assess whether the advice has been risk-assessed.
Compensation is a tricky process. A process that can (at times) be full of risk.
The legal world is a world dedicated to risk avoidance and risk removal.
Just look at the tricky language they use. There’s a reason for the confusing Latin, and the extremely longwinded sentences. It’s to remove ambiguity. Remove the risk of someone misinterpreting or twisting what’s been said.
But managing risk isn’t restricted to the language they use. That is just one small piece of a much larger puzzle.
It is a step by step process. A process which involves 4 critical steps. The same 4 critical steps used by Safe Work Australia:
1Identifying Hazards - find out what could cause harm
2Assessing Risks (if necessary) - understand what harm could be caused as a result. How serious that could be. The likelihood of it happening.
3Controlling Risks - apply the most effective measures to control each risk
4Reviewing control measures - monitor success/failure of these measures
Just as Safework Australia protects employees from risks and hazards in a workplace, a good lawyer will protect their clients from the risks and hazards of compensation claims. A good lawyer will do this using risk elimination.
The only way to be completely safe is with risk elimination
In a compensation claim, potential hazards include:
Of course, the list goes on. There are plenty of hazards that could affect your final insurance payout. But all of them can be avoided with a lawyer who is focussed on risk-elimination.
Assessing the risks gives you the chance to control them.
Just like Jack did. A 53 year-old tiler who was rear-ended on his way home from work.
Jack had incomplete financial records - there were great inconsistencies in his tax lodgements. He risked his credibility being questioned. And in compensation, credibility is extremely important. It helps a Judge determine the legitimacy of your claim.
It was extremely likely the Judge would notice these inconsistencies. The consequences could be extreme.
So Jack and his lawyer took necessary precautions immediately. Fixing his tax returns were just the first step.
Once you've identified the risks with your lawyer, you need to put control measures in place.
Luckily for Jack, he had a smart lawyer. He controlled his credibility by boosting it with evidence in the other four areas:
The 5 crushing cogs of evidence pressure
He aimed to prove his credibility despite the inconsistent tax returns.
Sure enough, the Judge brought the inconsistent tax returns to light, calling them “a work of fiction.”
But Jack was prepared.
After presenting the mountain of other evidence to boost his credibility, The Judge concluded:
"The weight of medical evidence and witness statements well outweigh the questions brought on by his creative accounting."
Jack received $461,249 in compensation.
Not all contingency plans work. It's a fact of life. It makes constantly reviewing the plan vital. Ensuring there are no gaps. No leaks in the system.
For Jack, his hazard was inconsistent tax returns. The risk was his credibility being questioned. And one of his control measures was simply asking the question:
"Is the strength of my claim good enough in the five areas of evidence?"
By asking the control question, his lawyer would have been immediately alerted to the weak financial evidence and done something about it.
Jack had to constantly assess the quality of the evidence he was collecting. He had to ensure it was capable of standing up to rigorous cross examination.
By using a lawyer that eliminated risk, Jack successfully controlled the potential for failure.
By using a lawyer that eliminates risk, you too could avoid failure. Failure you cannot afford.
All you have to do is run through the 4 Steps of Risk Assessment with your lawyer.
You will successfully guarantee yourself:
And like Jack, you will walk away with your head held high. No matter the hazards that stand in your way, a lawyer who uses risk-elimination techniques will help you control the outcome.
Like Jack, you’ll be certain your claim is bulletproof.