What will MyCarAccidentLawyer do for me?
We understand that when you suffer a personal injury in a car accident, the last thing you want to be doing is paperwork and dealing with an insurance company.
My Car Accident Lawyer will handle all the legal work in a compensation claim for personal injuries you suffer in a car accident or motor vehicle accident.
This is often called a “CTP claim” because the claim is against the Compulsory Third Party insurer of the vehicle at fault.
What is the limitation period?
3 year limitation. The most important time limit is the 3 year limitation period. You must start Court proceedings within 3 years of your motor vehicle accident, otherwise you will lose your legal right to compensation.
There are limited situations where a Court may extend this period, but it is very important to get legal advice well before then.
Before you can start any Court action, generally you must follow what are called pre-Court steps. Insured vehicle If you have details of the vehicle at fault and it is insured, then a Notice of Accident Claim Form must be lodged with the CTP insurer either within 1 month of you first consulting a lawyer or 9 months from the date of the accident, whichever comes first. If this is not done, you must then provide a reasonable excuse for delay. It is best to get legal advice about this.
Uninsured or unknown vehicle If the vehicle at fault was not insured or is unknown (e.g. hit & run), then a Notice of Accident Claim Form must be lodged with the Nominal Defendant. Claims against the Nominal Defendant have different limitation periods:
- A Notice of Accident Claim form must be lodged within 3 months of the date of the motor vehicle accident;
- If a Notice of Accident Claim form is lodged after 3 months of the date of the motor vehicle accident, then a reasonable excuse for delay must be provided;
- If a Notice of Accident Claim form is not lodged within 9 months of the date of the motor vehicle accident, you will forever lose your legal right to claim compensation for personal injuries against the Nominal Defendant.
When should I start a claim?
The sooner the better. Benefits of starting your claim soon include:
- We can organize for the insurance company to pay for your treatment and rehabilitation expenses. E.g. physiotherapy, medication, specialist appointments etc.
- Protect your interests, because there are important limitation periods in compensation claims for a car accident.
- To avoid possible arguments by the insurer that a delay in starting your claim is evidence that your injuries are minor.
- The sooner you start your claim, the sooner My Car Accident Lawyer can push your claim to settlement negotiations.
Also, the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 requires certain steps called “Pre-Court steps” to be followed before you can start any Court action.”
How long with the injury claim process take?
Every CTP claim for personal injuries after a road accident is different. The length of the claim will depend on many things including:
- How long Police investigations take;
- How long the CTP insurer takes to investigate the accident;
- What injuries you have suffered
- How long your treatment and rehabilitation will take; and
- How the CTP insurer deals with your claim.
Generally the compensation claim process will take between 12 months – 24 months. Serious accidents, multiple car accidents or significant injuries (e.g. paraplegia, brain injury) can sometimes take longer.
My Car Accident Lawyer will keep you up to date throughout the compensation claim process and we will work with you to move the claim along quickly.
Can I claim workers' compensation?
If you are injured in a car accident or road accident on the way to work, or on the way home from work, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits with WorkCover Queensland or your employer, if they are self-insured.
It is best to contact My Car Accident Lawyer to obtain further advice particular to your situation, as this could affect the CTP claim for personal injuries.
How much compensation can I claim for my injuries?
My Car Accident Lawyer will assist you to obtain full compensation for personal injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. This may include:
If you have to take time of work after your injury to recover, you will be able to claim for the wages you lost while you were away from work.
Loss of future wages
Unfortunately an injury may cause you long term difficulties, which can then affect your ability to return to work to the same level as before the accident. A claim can be made for your future loss of income.
Loss of superannuation
If you take time away from work after a motor vehicle accident because of your injuries, and you lose wages, then you can also claim for superannuation that should have been paid to you. Future superannuation can also be claimed if you have a claim for future loss of wages.
Out of pocket expenses
After a motor vehicle accident you might pay for medication (e.g. Panadol, Nurofen etc) or treatment (e.g. GP, massage, physiotherapy, x-rays etc). You can claim those expenses back from the CTP insurer.
Future medical expenses
If the doctor recommends you should have some treatment or take some medication in the future because of your injuries from the accident, then you can claim these future medical expenses.
Pain and suffering
You can claim a limited amount of compensation for the pain, suffering and impact of an injury on your life. Unfortunately, this is now strictly limited by law, so it is best to talk to a lawyer.
There can in some cases be other costs that you can claim including equipment (e.g. wheelchair, exercise balls, TENS machine, catheters etc), paid care and assistance (e.g. lawn mowing or gardening services, Blue Care etc) and sometimes even the time that family and friends provide you with care and assistance.
What is a property damage and demurrage claim?
A property damage claim is made to recover money for damage done to your property by a motor vehicle. For example, if another car rear-ends your car, then you would consider making a claim for property damage to your car against the other driver.
It could also include if a car hits a bicycle or motorbike. Or even a motorbike hitting a car. Basically, if your property is damaged by a motor vehicle you may have a property damage claim against the driver who caused the car accident.
If your property is a commercial use property (e.g. a taxi, courier bike, courier van etc…) then you can also claim demurrage. This is a claim for a loss of income because you are unable to use your vehicle while it is being repaired or a new one purchased if the original is a write-off.
What is the general process for a property damage & demurrage claim?
My Car Accident Lawyer recommends the first step in the process is to get some legal advice. Please contact MyCarAccidentLawyer for free initial advice.
Next it is a good idea to take photos of the property damage as soon as possible after the motor vehicle accident, so that there is proof for the property damage and demurrage claim.
Generally, some information is obtained about the accident – how it happened, when, where, details of all the vehicles and people involved and any Police Report details.
Then the damaged property should be examined and the damage valued. For example, if the property damage is to your car, then a repairer would have to examine it, determine whether or not it is a write-off and either value the car or determine the repair costs.
Further information or documentation may be necessary, especially if a demurrage claim is also made. MyCarAccidentLawyer can advise on this.
When all the information and documents are gathered, a demand is made for payment from the at fault driver (the driver who caused the car accident). Unfortunately, not everyone has property damage insurance, so this can affect how the claim runs. If there is an insurer, then hopefully a resolution can be negotiated.
What is Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)?
TPD is a type of insurance. It covers you if you cannot work because of illness or injury. It commonly comes as part of your superannuation.
How does Total and Permanent Disability insurance work?
When you have a superannuation account, your superannuation fund will buy TPD insurance from an insurer. This is called group insurance cover. The insurance will then apply to some or all of the super fund members, like you.
The TPD insurance policy is a very important document, because it determines whether or not you are eligible for TPD cover and what you have to prove to successfully claim TPD benefits.
Am I eligible for Total and Permanent Disability benefits?
The most important advice that MyCarAccidentLawyer can give is that there are many different definitions of Total and Permanent Disability, so carefully looking at the insurance policy is necessary. Generally, you may be eligible for TPD benefits if one of the following applies to you:
- You cannot return to your job or any other job for which you are educated, trained or experienced, because of an illness or injury; or
- You have lost the use of certain body parts, such as arms or both legs; or
- You weren’t working at the time of your illness or injury, but were doing home duties, then after your illness or injury you cannot return to doing certain activities of daily living, e.g. dressing
This is not comprehensive advice, but a general guide for the most common situations where you might be eligible TPD benefits.
Is there a waiting period to access Total and Permanent Disability insurance?
Yes. Most TPD insurance policies have a waiting period of between 3 months – 6 months. You must show that you have been unable to undertake work or your ordinary home duties for between 3 months – 6 months, before you can claim TPD benefits.
How long does it take to make a total and permanent disability claim?
Each TPD claim length is different and requires different evidence to prove the claim. The time it takes to run a claim depends on factors like;
- The superannuation funds attitude to your claim;
- What evidence is necessary to prove your claim;
- How long does it takes to gather all the evidence;
- Whether the superannuation fund wants to have you examined by their own specialist
- Whether the superannuation fund requires any other evidence to prove your claim.
Depending on these factors it can take anywhere between 6-18 months for finalise a TPD claim.