You’ve crashed! What now?!
Have you or a loved one recently been in a motor vehicle accident? It is normal for you to feel concerned as to what comes next and the options available to you.
If you have been left injured in a motor vehicle crash in Queensland that was the fault (completely or partially) of another vehicle owner or driver, you may have a claim to make against the insurer of the vehicle that caused the crash for any injuries and economic loss that you have suffered because of those injuries.
The insurer in a Motor Vehicle compensation claim is usually the Compulsory Third Party (CTP), which will cover a driver’s financial liability for the injuries of people hurt in an accident involving their vehicle.
In instances where the driver who caused your accident is unidentifiable, you are not out of luck, as there are ways to still bring a successful personal injury claim for your crash.
Generally, you have nine months after the motor vehicle crash, or from the date of the first appearance of any symptoms, to make your claim.
If you are under 18 years of age at the time of the crash, your nine-month time to lodge your claim commences upon your 18th birthday.
However, if you engage a lawyer to manage your claim during this nine-month period, you will have to provide lodgement within one month of the beginning of engaging with that lawyer.
It is important to be aware of these timeframes as your claim could be rejected if it is lodged outside these timeframes. The early lodgement of your claim will assist you being granted access to relevant treatment plans and rehabilitation sooner.
Before you see a lawyer
Immediately after your accident, to best help your prospective claim, you should report the incident to the police by filling out a Report of traffic incident to police form and attend your regular GP to generally assess the nature and extent of your injuries and how they may affect your ability to work in the future.
How strong is my claim?
Prior to initiating a claim, it important that you are aware of the strength of your claim. A favourable motor vehicle claim has the following features:
- There has been a car accident with two or more parties.
- The accident was due to the fault of another driver.
- The accident has left you with serious injuries.
- You have calculatable losses because of your injuries, both financially and / or for your pain and suffering.
Nevertheless, just because you have been in an accident does not mean that you are entitled to compensation. For example, if you were totally at fault or no-one was at fault. If your vehicle was damaged but you have not suffered any injuries, then this would simply be a matter for your insurer to handle, rather than bringing a personal injury claim through a lawyer.
What compensation will I receive?
If you believe that you may have a claim, it is important to note that each motor vehicle claim is assessed individually. Therefore, the amount of compensation you will receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and as to how much the other driver involved was at fault. So, just because a friend or family member had a successful outcome or received so much compensation, does not mean that you will automatically obtain a similar result.
Generally, the compensation that you receive can cover:
- Your out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment, such as doctor visits, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Loss of income (past and estimated future).
- Loss of super.
- And pain and suffering, among other things.
However, as mentioned, a number of factors can affect how much compensation to which you may be entitled.
If you have been injured in an accident recently, knowing where to start can be an overwhelming task. Navigating the requisite timeframes, organising relevant documents, and managing your claim is complex.
Engaging Salerno Law to handle your claim will provide you with trusted advice and peace of mind. So, if you or a loved one have been in a motor vehicle accident and believe that you might have a personal injury claim, pick up the phone and touch base with us to help you through this tough time.
Author: Samuel Kerr