Free immediate legal help for bushfire victims

 

Free immediate legal assistance is available to people who have been affected by bushfires that have been burning throughout the State.

An Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Plan, developed by representatives of the Legal Services Commission, Law Society of SA, Attorney-General’s Department, JusticeNet SA, and Central Community Legal Service, has been activated in the wake of the Sampson Flat bushfire and other fires that have destroyed land and property.

The Law Society is maintaining a register of lawyers who can provide free immediate legal help to bushfire victims to help get them off the ground, while the Legal Services Commission is running a free advice line for bushfire victims.

“People will be confronted with a number of problems when their property is damaged or destroyed, especially if they evacuate with few personal belongings,” Law Society President Rocco Perrotta said.

“One of the most pressing problems that may arise is the loss of personal identification documents” Mr Perrotta said. “It can be difficult, for example, to access bushfire relief funds if you cannot prove who you are.”

“Personal identification documents may also be required when seeking alternative accommodation and making insurance claims. Other complications may arise if important legal documents, such as wills, birth certificates and certificates of title, are destroyed by a natural disaster. These issues can compound what already is a traumatic time for victims.”

The Legal Services Commission is offering free advice over the phone via their Legal Helpline 1300 366 424

To be referred to a lawyer who can provide free immediate assistance, contact the Law Society on (08) 8229 0200 or disaster.planning@lawsocietysa.asn.au.

Further information and links fact sheets for bushfire victims can be accessed here.

Law Society Members can be added to the Disaster Relief Assistance Register here.