For the past 13 years, our senior associate James Goddard has been committed to supporting clients in regional Queensland who have been injured on the road and injured at work, particularly within the mining industry.
James' most recent role involves overseeing our visiting office in Mount Isa, situated out west. Embracing the chance to lead operations from the local offices of the Australian Workers' Union in the heart of Mount Isa, James continues our nearly decade-long presence in the local community.
With a focus on regional work, James reflects on the importance of representing regional clients. While the work is rewarding and important, it also presents challenges arising mainly from the remoteness of the clients he represents:
“The clients I represent are often victims of serious injuries. In regional towns, injuries tend to be more severe due to accidents occurring on longer and faster stretches of road or in workplaces where employers, taking advantage of their remote locations, sometimes neglect safety standards,” says James.
“This environment often leads to a disregard for workplace health and safety.”
For his clients - who have experienced devastating injuries - James becomes a significant part of their lives. In what is a very vulnerable time for them, James uses his legal expertise to help clients access compensation to relieve the financial burden caused by their injuries. This includes covering the costs of rehabilitation or accessing income protection insurance through superannuation.
“This work is both a privilege and a substantial responsibility,” he says.
Severe accidents often involve multiple parties. In Mount Isa, a common scenario is an injury caused by a mining accident, with multiple defendants.
“Clients must usually pursue claims against major national and international corporations that aggressively defend the claims or attempt to convince workers to drop them,” says James.
“This puts immense pressure on the injured person, especially when their employer is one of the largest and most influential in town.”
This is why having the backing of Australia’s top plaintiff law firm is so important for James’ clients - we have the necessary resources, size, strength, and expertise to take on this pressure.
Living in remote areas also comes with additional challenges to litigation. Things like Wi-Fi, access to quality medical treatment and services, and a defendants' reluctance to travel to regional centres for negotiations pose obstacles.
“Access to services and treatment is crucial for individuals injured in regional towns,” says James.
“The work we do at Maurice Blackburn underscores the firm's commitment to reaching clients, near or far, to ensure justice and fair compensation.”
James firmly believes people injured in remote regions should not face disadvantages due to their geographical location. He advocates that with technological advancements and improved travel options, efforts should be made to provide fair opportunities for people living in remote areas.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.