MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
If you suffer injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to claim damages. You may be the driver, rider, passenger, or pedestrian. Time limits do apply, so if you have been involved in an accident, you should contact us as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and discuss your entitlements.
What is a motor vehicle claim?
If you suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident (i.e. a car, motorbike, lorry, train, boat, truck or any other motor vehicle) that was caused by another person or where you were only partially responsible, you have a right to claim. This is known as a Motor Accident Claim. It is compulsory for all vehicles registered in Queensland to have third party insurance so the claim will proceed against the CTP insurer of the vehicle at fault. If however, as mentioned above, the accident involves an unidentified vehicle (e.g. a “hit and run” or an unregistered vehicle), there is an insurer against whom the claim will be made; i.e. the Nominal Defendant, the Government insurer.
The claim’s process
The claim is brought against the compulsory third party insurer of the “at fault” vehicle. All vehicles in Queensland are required to have a policy of third party insurance attached to the vehicle registration. Where there is no registration of the “at fault” vehicle, a special Government body, known as the Nominal Defendant, will take the place of the third party insurer.
You must lodge your claim within nine (9) months of the date of the accident, or within one (1) month of consulting a solicitor. If you do not, you can still lodge a claim, but you will have to reasonably explain the delay. Further, if you do not commence Court proceedings within three (3) years from the date of accident, then you will forever lose your right to claim.
It is important to note that if you cannot identify the “at fault” car, you should contact us immediately. Where a car cannot be identified or where its registration has lapsed, there is only three (3) months from the date of accident to lodge the claim forms.
What can I claim for?
You can claim for the following:
- loss of past income;
- loss of future income;
- pain and suffering;
- out of pocket expenses (e.g. medications, hospitalisation, physiotherapy, surgery, chiropractic treatment); and
- any necessary care or assistance you have required or will require in the future.
After your claim forms are lodged and we have been advised by the insurance company that they are liable for the accident, we can obtain reasonable funding for rehabilitation expenses from them. This means less financial strain on yourself at a time when you are already under significant financial pressure.
Who can claim?
You are entitled to claim for damages as long as you are either not at fault, or if the accident was only partially your fault. You can also claim if you were a passenger in a car or on a motorcycle. You can claim if you were a pedestrian or on a bicycle and were hit by a car, truck, motorcycle, or any other registered motor vehicle. You can even claim if you were the driver or passenger and the crash happened because of a defect in your vehicle. Obviously, there are many circumstances in which you may bring a claim; it is important you contact us for an initial consultation so we can discuss your rights.
How long will it take?
At this stage, it is impossible to provide an estimate of how long your claim will take. The simple answer is that it depends on your, injuries and how long it takes for them to resolve. It is important not to finalise a claim prior to your injuries being fully recovered from. If you make a quick recovery, your claim may take only a relatively short period of time.
How much will I get?
The worth or “quantum” of your claim depends on how the accident has impacted on your life, and importantly, your work and earning capacity. If the impact is minimal and you make a quick and complete recovery from your injuries, then your claim is likely to be modest. If however the injuries affect your ability to perform your work, or even require that you need to change your employment, your claim is necessarily likely to be much more significant. There are of course many different factors that affect how much money you will receive, as there are many “heads of damage” that are worth claiming for. Queensland Law Group are experts in this field and are able to properly appraise you of all the possible routes of obtaining compensation. This is why getting legal advice is so important.
You need to talk to us as soon as possible. It is very important that you speak to a lawyer before signing any documentation from the other party or their insurance company. This could affect your right to make a claim. Of course, strict time limits do apply to bringing a motor accident claim, so we recommend that you speak with one of our experienced injury lawyers as soon as possible after the accident. They will be able to appraise you of your right to claim and the process for doing so. If you wish to speak to our Managing Solicitor at the Brisbane office, Glenn Brown, please contact him on (07) 3221 8000 and he will be pleased to assist with any questions you may have relating to the commencement of a claim.
We would be very pleased to speak to you over the telephone, or even if you want to drop into our Brisbane office. If you have difficulties travelling to our office, call us and we can visit you. We can instantly assess your eligibility for damages, and provide you with advice on how to make a motor vehicle accident claim and receive damages accordingly.
You are entitled by law to receive damages for the injuries brought about by the negligence of another person, so contact us toll free on 1300 753 529 for a discussion concerning your claim, or contact us by email.
Most of our compensation claims can be run under our “No Win/No Fee” policy. In other words, you will only need to pay our professional fees if there is a judgement or settlement in your favour.
What to do Next?
If you are making a genuine enquiry, please call 1300 QLD LAW or complete the form below to confirm this and access more detailed information about our personal injury services.