If you are injured due to the fault or partial fault of the driver of a motor vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. You can pursue a claim if you were another driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist.
If your injuries are catastrophic you may be able to access the National Injury Insurance Scheme irrespective of fault. The Scheme provides care and support for people who have sustained certain serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
Compensation claims for injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident are lodged with the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the at-fault vehicle.
Insurers are large corporations that are legally represented or have their own in-house legal team. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you have the right to engage your own lawyer to help pursue your rights and obtain fair compensation on your behalf.
Making a motor vehicle accident claim
A Notice of Accident Claim must be served on the CTP insurer within nine months of the accident or within one month of first consulting your lawyer, whichever is the earlier.
If the at-fault vehicle is unregistered or unknown then you can claim through the Nominal Defendant a Government insurance fund established to compensate those injured who cannot claim through standard CTP. Claims on the Nominal Defendant for unknown vehicles must be lodged within three months of the accident, or nine months if you have a reasonable excuse for delay – or your claim is barred.
Motor vehicle accidents that result in injury must be reported to the police. You will need the accident report reference number to include in your claim. If the police did not attend the accident, you can report it at your local station.
At your first consultation, our lawyers will confirm the applicable timeframes and gather the information necessary to prepare your claim. Your doctor will need to complete a medical certificate forming part of the claim.
What happens after my claim is lodged?
Once your claim is lodged you may be able to access early treatment and rehabilitation through the insurer to assist your recovery.
The insurer must respond to the claim within 14 days. If it is satisfied that the claim has been properly made, the insurer will issue a complying notice and advise on its decision to pay (without admission of liability) your reasonable rehabilitation expenses.
The insurer must make a decision on liability within six months of issuing the complying notice. During this stage, the insurer may request additional information to determine liability and to assess your injuries. You may be asked to provide financial information to support loss of income and further medical information. You will usually need to attend a medical examination with a doctor appointed by the insurer.
What can I claim?
Any compensation awarded will depend on the gravity of injuries sustained and your personal circumstances, and may include:
- if your injuries are significant, general damages for pain and suffering;
- financial loss for time off work;
- out of pocket expenses for hospital and medical treatment;
- rehabilitation costs such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and counselling;
- pharmaceutical costs;
- expenses outlaid for care and support services.
Settling your claim
The quick resolution of motor accident claims is promoted by the relevant legislation. The parties must attend a compulsory settlement conference and should cooperate in negotiating and reaching a settlement.
Once your injuries have stabilised a settlement offer is usually made by the insurer. The offer should set out the basis upon which it is made. Our lawyers will review the offer and recommend whether or not it is fair in the circumstances.
Most motor accident claims settle during the compulsory conference stage. However, if your matter cannot be finalised it may be in your interests to start Court proceedings. Court proceedings will have several implications and our experienced lawyers will assist you in making an informed decision. Proceedings in Court must be commenced within three years of the date of accident.
We have assisted many people in pursuing their right to be compensated for injures received in a motor vehicle accident. We will take care of the legal case while you are recuperating. Our experienced lawyers can help alleviate your financial pressures by getting you the compensation you deserve and giving you time to heal while having the insurer fund your rehabilitation treatment (if liability is admitted or a without prejudice funding offer is obtained).
How much will it cost to make a motor accident claim?
We offer a No Win, No Fee* arrangement for motor accident claims so you have access to legal representation, no matter your financial circumstances.
This means you don’t have to pay our legal fees unless your claim is successful. Legal costs will depend on the amount of work required to resolve your claim.
For more information on our No Win, No Fee* guarantee, contact our expert lawyers for a confidential and obligation-free consultation.
Due to legislation which restricts advertising of personal injury related services in Queensland, please contact us if you wish to discuss these services further.