A construction accident lawyer could be in a lot of trouble if the lawyer doesn’t have a lot to say, says a former builder who has since gone into business.
Key points:Lawyers who handle construction accidents can expect to earn up to $40,000 a yearLawyers can earn up a maximum of $10,000 for each day they work in constructionLawyers with no experience in construction are more likely to get caught up in the accidentLawyers will get paid less for each case they handle, but more than twice as much as a non-lawyer, says the former builder.
Lawyer and former builder Paul Williams was a construction lawyer when he became a lawyer in 2007.
Mr Williams is now a senior partner at the law firm of Perkins, Crandall & Gove.
He says it’s easy to be intimidated by the legal profession.
“If you’ve got an accident and you don’t have experience you may get told you need to do more work, you may be told to get a carpenter to do the work, they may be talking about getting an expert to do it, or you may have to get someone with a degree,” he said.
“It’s a little bit of a red flag if you’re just coming into the profession and you’ve been told ‘this is going to be a really hard job’.”
Mr Williams says he is now on the lookout for a law firm to work for him that is “very experienced in building accidents”.
The law firm’s reputation is on the line if it fails to meet a client’s needs, and lawyers who don’t take care of their clients can be in danger of being let go, Mr Williams says.
He says the cost of a construction injury lawyer’s training is about $100,000.
“You’re not getting paid to make people go out and do construction projects, you’re getting paid as a lawyer to represent people who’ve been injured or who’ve lost limbs,” he says.
“And the people who have lost limbs tend to be people who are the most vulnerable.”
The ABC has spoken to more than 50 construction accident and injury lawyers, who are also often dealing with clients from other industries.
A new industry, with its own unique challenges and unique needsThe Law Society of Victoria says there is a new industry developing in the construction industry, but it is still in its infancy.
It’s called construction accidents law, and the profession has developed its own rules and regulations.
The law firms that do the best in the industry, the Law Society says, are those that have the best training, and a “proven track record” of getting their clients to pay their bills.
“We do have a good understanding of the industry and the industry needs to be able to do what it needs to do, and that’s what this industry is for,” it says.
Topics:law-crime-and-justice,accidents,law-education,accident-and/or-accidents-law,canberra-2600,act,australiaContact Sarah Gartland