Free legal help available for people affected by the Sarabah bushfire

HELP: Legal Aid is offering free advice to those affected by the Queensland bushfires.
HELP: Legal Aid is offering free advice to those affected by the Queensland bushfires.

LEGAL Aid Queensland is offering free legal help to residents affected by the bushfires across the state.

Legal Aid Queensland chief executive Anthony Reilly said when catastrophic bushfires happened, people often ended up with urgent legal issues like property or car damage, insurance or tenancy issues, debt, employment and access to electricity and other services damaged by the fire.

"These legal problems create extra stress for families needing to get back on their feet after having gone through a bushfire," he said.

"Our website also contains bushfire legal information and a factsheet to help people with their insurance claims, so that's also a good place for people to start."

Senior Legal Aid consumer protection lawyer Paul Holmes said the organisation had a long history of helping with insurance claims.

"When dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster it sometimes helps to speak with someone not connected to your bank or insurance company," he said.

"We are happy to help and while we can give a lot of advice over the phone, if you feel you can only get your story heard with a face-to-face meeting we can arrange that too.

"The message for everyone is there is no question too silly, so if you are uncertain about anything, ask the question, whether it be of your insurer, your bank, or us."

Mr Holmes said some people were unaware that banks had an obligation to help after a natural disaster, when people could experience loss of income or need extra time off work.

He said people affected by the Sarabah fire could get free legal information and advice from Legal Aid Queensland by calling 1300 004 924 (local call cost if you are calling from a landline) from anywhere in the state.

First Nations people could access the Indigenous Hotline on 1300 650 143.

To find out more information about getting legal help after a bushfire, visit legalaid.qld.gov.au/bushfires.