So you’re trying to make a personal injury claim on a visa? Generally, your visa status, whether permanent or temporary, does NOT affect your right to pursue a personal injury claim in QLD.
In Australia, we have a long and proud history of providing legal remedies and access justice where people are injured because someone else was negligent. This means that, generally speaking, you are entitled to compensation regardless of your immigration status. This may include items such as your out-of-pocket expenses, lost income, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs.
What types of personal injury claims am I entitled to?
If you are injured the type of claim you can make will depend on the circumstances of your injury. For example:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in QLD, you can claim against the Compulsory Third Party (‘CTP’) insurer of the vehicle that caused the crash. You can still make the claim even if you were partially responsible for the crash, this will only reduce your compensation amount. However, if you caused the accident, your option are more limited.
- Injuries at Workplace: In QLD, if you injure yourself while working, you may be able to claim workers’ compensation payments from WorkCover QLD or Comcare. These schemes are regulated by State or Federal Government legislation and are designed to provide benefits for injured workers.
- Injuries on your way to or from work or on a break: If your accident happened on your way to or from work, or on your break, you may have entitlements under the QLD worker compensation scheme. This is called a journey claim. You may be entitled to treatment, income payments and lump sum compensation. However, these claims generally must be lodged within 6 months from the date of accident and your employer must be covered by the Queensland workers compensation scheme.
- Public Liability & Product Liability: If you are injured due to some one else’s negligence, you may have rights to a common law settlement. This can include injuries at public places, private homes business premises, and injuries due to defective goods, etc.
- Superannuation Insurance claims: Sometimes people have insurance policies attached to their superannuation accounts (e.g. Total Permanent Disablement (‘TPD’) policies or income protection policies). You may have rights to a payment if you meet the definition under the policies.
Do I need to notify the Department of Home Affairs?
If you are in Australia on a Visa, it is also an important consideration to ensure that you comply with the specific conditions on your visa. A breach of these conditions may result in cancellation of your visa if this is not dealt with correctly.
For example, if you are on a student visa, you are required to be enrolled in a full-time registered course and must maintain enrolment in that course. If you are unable to meet this requirement due to a serious injury or illness, it is important that you take the necessary steps to ensure your visa does not get cancelled as a result. You may be able to defer or temporarily suspend your studies through a formal agreement with your education provider. Education providers will allow such exceptions under certain circumstances.
There is also an ongoing obligation to notify the Department of Home Affairs of the substantial change of circumstances while you are on a visa. For example, if you are unable to comply due to an injury as outlined above, you should notify the Department. This notification is usually actioned once you have reached the agreement with your education provider (if the provider has not notified the Department directly) to ensure that your visa does not get cancelled unnecessarily.
Medical treatments in Australia are so expensive, should I consider going back to my country?
It may not be necessary for you go back to your country to receive medical treatments for a few reasons. The insurer may agree to fund your medical costs. For example, in QLD, WorkCover and the CTP insurers are obliged to pay for your surgery, rehabilitation, and any associated travel expenses.
Seeking assistance from a legal professional should be your first step when navigating your options about leaving Australia.
What am I going to be compensated for?
The common law damages settlement for each person will depend on their own unique circumstances. Usually, you will be compensated for your out-of-pocket expenses, lost income, and medical costs.
If you cannot work in the future due to the injury, you may also claim the likely amount of the lost future income. This requires special knowledge in assessing the amount because incomes vary between different countries. You may be able to have your compensation calculated based on higher Australian wage, even if you are forced to return to your home country where wages are lower.
Seeking a specialist legal advice before you make a compensation claim can help you understand your entitlements and how to protect them. There are strict deadlines for some claims so injured people should not delay getting advice.
Do you want to know more?
If you have been injured or require assistance with assessing your eligibility for a personal injury claim, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of personal injury lawyers who can provide you with assistance on a NO-WIN-NO-FEE basis.
If you are also seeking assistance in relation to your visa status and your pathway to a permanent residency or a citizenship, contact our experienced team of immigration lawyers who can provide you with assistance.
Evolve Legal assists individuals with tailored legal advice to fit their individual needs – including a personal injury claim when on a visa!
Posted in: Personal Injury
February 12 2021