If the Defendant in the class action you are involved in is found to have negligently started the fire that caused your loss and damage, you are entitled to recover a sum of money that will put you back into the position in which you would have been, had the fire not occurred - so far as money can do so.
You can be financially compensated for your time spent fighting the fire on your property, clean up associated with the bushfire, losses of vehicles, plant, machinery, fences, places of residence, buildings (sheds, workshops, garages, children's cubby houses, etc), contents of residences or other buildings, trees, gardens and loss of income.
You should register your interest here. This will immediately transfer your name and contact details to our database. We will then correspond with you and forward you a Data Workbook, which will enable you to summarise details of your losses, for return to us.
No. We offer a conditional costs contract (otherwise known as a 'no win, no fee' arrangement). We bear all out of pocket expenses associated with the legal proceedings and in the event of an unsuccessful outcome, no fire victim receives a bill of costs from us.
It is unlikely you were fully insured. The items that are able to be claimed under law are often different to the items claimable under a policy of insurance. For instance, you can be financially compensated for tree and garden loss, or for the time that you, or other volunteers spent to clean up and restore property, provided the Class Action is successful. Those issues are not usually covered by insurance. Even when insurance recovery is available, most fire victims find that their insurance recovery is far less than is required to fully cover what they lost.
Maddens Lawyers are Australia's experts in bushfire litigation. We have successfully acted for hundreds of bushfire victims following the 1983 Ash Wednesday Bushfires, and have also represented hundreds of victims of four separate Black Saturday Bushfires, which burnt across Victoria on 7 February 2009. Maddens Lawyers was the first legal team to successfully settle any Class Action following the Black Saturday bushfires, and has since settled, and commenced other bushfire Class Actions on behalf of hundreds of other victims of fires across Victoria and New South Wales. We are experienced, knowledgeable and understand not only the legal processes required to conduct this action. We also have a first-hand understanding - and appreciation of - the impact of these proceedings and the unique needs of bushfire victims seeking restitution for what they suffered in a fire.
In the event of a successful class action, the Defendant is likely to be required to pay a significant proportion of our legal costs. We have provided detailed costs estimates in our Cost Disclosure Notice. We do not calculate costs as a percentage of damages recovered for each client. Any shortfall on legal costs actually incurred and the costs recovered from the defendant will be divided across the group. Your costs contribution will be calculated on a rateable proportion of the sum you recover as a fraction of the total damages recovered in the class action.
A Directions Hearing is an opportunity for the lawyers to discuss, and the Court to hear, various details of the case in preparation for the trial down the track. It is effectively preparation for the pending trial. Some of the topics covered in a Directions Hearing include witness statements, dates that certain documents are due to be provided to the Court, and the expert witnesses each party expects to call. Directions Hearings are an important part of the process, but if you are considering coming along for a look, it may be worth knowing they are no the most interesting part of the process, either.
Data Workbooks are due to be returned to Maddens Lawyers by 14 August 2015. If you have any queries or concerns regarding your Workbook, and completing it by the due date, please phone our office on 1800 815 228.