Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Gold Coast
An accident on the road should never be taken lightly. Even a minor fender bender can bring significant stress, anxiety and frustration to the people involved.
But what happens when the consequences of these accidents become more severe and result in serious injuries, psychological damage or even death?
It is important for people to know their legal rights if they have ever been victim to a motor vehicle accident.
What is the Gold Coast law that governs a road accident?
You may be entitled to make a claim under The Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 if you have been injured in any motor vehicle accident involving:
- a Motorcycle Accident
- a Truck Accident
- a Car Accident
- a Train Accident
- a Tram Accident
- a Bicycle Accident
- a Pedestrian Accident
Who do I claim compensation from?
In most circumstances, it will be the compulsory third party insurance company of the at-fault driver who you will pursue for a damages claim. By law, all registered vehicles in Queensland must have insurance from a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer.
If the accident involves an unidentified vehicle (e.g. hit and run accident, improperly identified car, etc.), then the injured party can be compensated by the nominal defendant government insurance scheme.
What kind of road accident injuries can I claim compensation for?
The most common injuries that occur after a road accident are whiplash injuries. This can cause pain, discomfort and ongoing difficulties to the neck, shoulders, back and other areas. However, there are many other serious injuries that can also occur from a motor vehicle accident including:
- Head Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Spinal Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Shrapnel Impalement
- Soft Tissue Injuries
It is also important to know that injuries sustained in a road accident are not always physical. Mental injuries can also occur such as stress, anxiety, depression and fear of driving. The injuries sustained in a road accident can cause people to lose enjoyment in their daily lives and affect their relationships with their friends, family and workplace. Such mental and emotional injuries should not be ignored when determining your compensation.
How much will I receive in compensation?
This is a very difficult question to answer because each individual responds to accidents and injuries very differently. For example, younger people may heal from their injuries faster than the elderly.
Do not be fooled by a “personal injury assessment” that tries to give you a monetary value shortly after your accident. Settlement of a claim should not typically happen until your injuries have stabilized or you run the risk of undervaluing your claim for compensation.
As a general rule of thumb, the more serious your injuries and the more heads of damages you fall under (e.g. loss of income, general damages, etc.), the higher your compensation will be.
The courts will also take into account your age, recreational interests and overall health when deciding your compensation.
How much will I have to pay?
Most firms operate on a no win no fee basis guarantee.
For more information, it is important that you speak with an accredited specialist in personal injury over specific terms on this agreement.
What damages can I claim?
You may be able to claim the following as part of your compensation:
- Past and future wages that were lost due to the accident, as well as any other income or superannuation
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Household, personal care, attendant care or other assistance provided by a friend, relative or other person for free.
- Paid services for housekeeping or other domestic assistance.
- Past & future out of pocket expenses for medical bills and rehabilitation.
If the accident arose because you were traveling for work purposes, then you may also be compensated through the WorkCover Queensland insurance scheme for rehabilitation and medical costs, as well as lost wages after the accident.
How much time do I have?
You generally have 3 years from the accident date to file a claim. However, there are exceptions such as if you’re pursuing a nominal defendant claim.
It is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so you do not risk missing the limitation period.
The risks of compromising your legal rights to compensation are significant compared to the relative ease of taking this small first step in speaking with a lawyer.
Is my compensation taxable?
Generally speaking, your settlement is not taxable. However, if you put an amount in a term deposit, the interest on that amount would be taxable.
Client Entry: I was injured in a car accident in Fortitude Valley, Gold Coast as a passenger. However, the negligent driver is my best friend. If I pursue a claim, how will I affect them?
It is natural to feel anxious about pursuing a claim where the at-fault driver is a loved one or close acquaintance. This may also apply if the registered vehicle is owned by a friend or family member because their insurance may also be involved.
To put you more at ease, it is important to consider that the claim is made against the CTP (compulsory third party) insurer that insured the vehicle. The claim is not made directly against the owner or the driver of the motor vehicle.
In this way, your friend is protected from personal liability because the compensation will come from that CTP insurer instead of out of their own pocket.
That being said, it is important that you speak to a Specialist in Personal Injury regarding your injury in order to be fully informed of your rights. An accident involving a friend may result in lapses of judgment that make it difficult to make an informed decision that can adversely affect your claim if you make a significant delay.
If you would like more information on how East Coast Injury Lawyers can assist you in this process, please contact our Gold Coast Motor vehicle accident lawyers for a free consultation.