Car accidents occur far too frequently. First, there’s that dreaded crashing and scraping sound. You experience shock and confusion before you feel the pain. You realize you have been injured in a car accident and look around.
Eventually, you get your thoughts together and start wondering what to do.
Getting down critical details is an excellent place to start (if you can). This includes the other person’s full name, telephone, and car registration number.
Can I make a compensation claim?
You might be entitled to claim compensation if you suffered injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in Queensland caused by someone else’s negligence.
If you were partly to blame or at fault, you would still be able to claim, although your compensation claim may be reduced.
It is prudent to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer early in the process of making a claim for a car accident injury. They will advise you of your rights and facilitate the matter, ensuring everything goes smoothly.
A motor vehicle refers to a car, truck, motorcycle, bike, bus, train, or another type of motor vehicle.
The scenario may also be quite different from the one above.
You may be a passenger in a car or a passenger using public transport. You may be a cyclist on a bike, hit by a truck, or a pedestrian injured by a passing vehicle.
What can I claim in case of a motor vehicle Injury?
This will depend on the specific facts of your case, like the circumstances of the accident, your personal situation, and the type of injuries you sustained. You can potentially claim for the following:
- Loss of past and future income
- Reasonable rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Personal expenses like medication, hospitalisation, physiotherapy, and equipment.
- Care or assistance
Is there a time limit to claim for a motor vehicle injury?
Yes, there are strict time limits that apply for you to give notice that you are making a claim. If you don’t, your claim could be rejected.
You must give notice:
- Within nine months of the date of the motor vehicle accident or
- Within one month of your first consultation with a solicitor, if you did so, whichever is earlier.
- At the time of the first appearance of symptoms if symptoms only appear later.
- Within three months, if your claim is against the Nominal Defendant.
- If you are under 18, timeframes only start when you turn 18.
Against whom do I claim?
A claim for a car accident injury is made against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the vehicle at fault. Registered motor vehicles in Queensland must have CTP insurance as the owners of the cars are liable for personal injury claims made by other road users.
If the vehicle at fault cannot for a good reason be identified, or if it is unregistered, you can claim a government entity called the Nominal Defendant.
How much can I claim?
Once again, this will depend on the circumstances of your case: your work situation and whether your injuries were moderate or severe. After a consultation with an expert personal injury lawyer, they can give you a much better indication of the amount you would be able to claim.
For example, you may have suffered a whiplash injury, one of the most common injuries. Very often, the full implication of such an injury only becomes apparent after a while.
What are the steps involved in the claims process?
Initially, you would have reported the accident to the police and obtained the vehicle’s registration number at fault. If you perhaps didn’t get the insurer’s name, there are ways to get hold of it.
- Fully and timeously complete the correct claim form for your injury or injuries. Fill in all the information.
- Attach the supporting documents that are available at this stage:
- Your medical doctor completes the medical certificate.
- The claimant certificate filled out by yourself
- Proof of your identity
- The law practice certificate if you are using a lawyer
- Lodge your claim form by sending it to the CTP insurer of the at-fault vehicle and ensuring it has been sent.
- The insurer notifies you within 14 days after receiving your form whether it has been correctly done and all is in order.
- Keep in close contact with the person (administrator) at the insurer and notify them of any changes in your particulars or condition. Seek approval for interim rehabilitation.
- The insurer indicates whether they will pay for your reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation.
- You make use of the rehabilitation and treatment recommended by the insurer.
- The insurer obtains more information and records of your injuries. They may require that you visit a specialist of their choice.
- The insurer does a liability assessment and notifies you within six months of receiving your claim about their decision on liability. It could be sooner.
- Once your injury has healed or stabilized, you start negotiating the settlement of your claim with the insurer.
- If you settle the claim and amounts, the insurer finalizes your claim and arranges for payout.
- You can go to court if you are unsatisfied with the insurer’s amount. Then you have to enlist the services of a personal injury lawyer.
A claim for a motor vehicle injury involves a lot of paperwork and patience. Fortunately, you can obtain the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer, and you don’t have to pay any fees upfront.
You only pay when you get paid yourself. An expert lawyer can file a No Win, No Fee, No-Risk claim on your behalf and handle everything from A to Z.
You also get a free first consultation and someone who empathizes with and assists you during such an unfortunate time of your life as they understand what you are going through. Now isn’t that comforting to know?