Everyone hopes to make it through the day safely and arrive home in one piece. However, when car accidents happen, if you’re injured, the injuries can have a huge impact on your life. It can lead to pain, the need for costly and ongoing treatment and it can interfere with your ability to work and your future options.
A motor vehicle accident claim assists people who are injured in road accidents to access compensation, rehabilitation and treatment. It can also provide a lump sum damages payout to compensate you for the impact the injury has had on your life.
In Queensland, we have a terrific compensation regime for victims of motor vehicle accidents. It is the best system in the country.
You are eligible to bring a Queensland motor vehicle claim if:
You might also be eligible for additional workers compensation benefits if your accident occurred between work and home, or on a lunch or smoko break.
Being injured is distressing enough. Trying to find money to pay for lawyers to protect your rights can also seem impossible for most. But don’t feel like you have to take action alone. The statistics from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission reveal that the insurers pay much less to people who don’t have lawyers. This is because gathering enough evidence to prove your case is complex and insurers are not likely to tell you what you should be claiming for. In short, if you go it alone, you could actually end up worse off.
We acknowledge that many injured people cannot afford to pay for a lawyer or for experts to provide medico-legal reports. So, to improve access to justice, we offer No Win No Fee cost arrangements.
This means that if we do not get you a compensation pay out for your personal injury claim, then you don’t need to pay our professional fees. Therefore, you can obtain legal advice and commence a claim without the worry of trying to pay for it while you are recovering from your accident, injury or illness.
Also, unlike some other law firms who act for injured people, we do not charge an extra “uplift” on our fees. When speaking to law firms, you should check if they intend to charge an uplift on their fees. We don’t. What we charge is clear at the start of your claim. So you don’t have to worry if the fees are going to jump by up to 25% due to an “uplift”.
We offer a no obligation initial consultation to find out if you have a valid claim for compensation.
Telling stories is at the heart of what we do. We tell YOUR story. A good lawyer knows the law well, but a great lawyer will be able to convey the story behind the facts. Our training, systems and processes are specifically designed to develop your story and communicate it to the other side. We don’t just tell the other side the facts about what happened in a clinical fashion. We get them to know you – how the accident impacted you – your work – your family – your hopes, dreams and aspirations. We help the insurer get a better understanding of why they ought to assist you with a compensation payment. We want the insurer to be engaged with your story and use techniques to encourage that engagement.
Record as much detail as possible at the scene of the accident, if possible (for example, date and time of the accident, registration numbers and details of the vehicles, name and contact details of the driver who caused the accident and any witnesses, and photographs of the damage).
Report the accident to Police (we can help you do this, so you don’t need to go into the Station).
Obtain a CTP Medical Certificate from your doctor or hospital.
Be very careful and wary of people calling you to encourage you to lodge Motor Vehicle Accident Claims or pretending to be from an insurer or telling you they will organise rehabilitation. It is likely to be a “claims farmer” which is unlawful in Queensland. Record the numbers and names of the people who call you as you may need to put these details on the claim form documentation.
Complete, sign and lodge the Notice of Accident Claim Form with the CTP insurer of the vehicle at fault (we can help you complete this form and identify the correct insurer).
Arrange treatment to help you recover. We can liaise with the insurer to fund this treatment for you. Keep all receipts and a record of any treatment or medication or paid assistance you receive post-accident.
Gather all other relevant documentation and evidence to prove your loss and the impact of the injury on you.
Once your injury has stabilised and you have recovered as much as you can, we arrange for an independent medical examination with a specialist who will provide expert opinion evidence about the impact the injury has had on your life (now and into the future). The insurer also has the right to have you assessed by their expert witnesses.
Once all the evidence has been gathered, negotiations commence with the insurer to settle your damages claim for a lump sum amount. This includes amounts for pain and suffering, treatment expenses (including future expenses), loss of income, future loss of earning capacity, future treatment and care costs.
If the matter does not settle, a court process begins.
Attend a mediation to attempt to resolve your claim. If it does not settle at mediation, it can progress towards a trial. Very few matters get to a trial. But if it does, a court will assess a claim based on the evidence, expert reports and legal submissions.
In Queensland, the general deadline to file proceedings in court for a damages claim is 3 years from the date of the accident. There are also some exceptions to this rule (or ways to get it extended). However, it is important to carefully diarise the 3 year deadline and get prompt advice on how to protect your rights.
There is also a very important deadline to lodge the claim form. It must be lodged within the earlier of 1 month of consulting a lawyer or nine months from the date of accident.
If the car is unidentified, and you don’t lodge your claim form within 9 months of the accident, your claim rights will be over. If the car is able to be identified, then the claim can be lodged after the 9 months deadline, but a reasonable excuse for the delay must be provided.
Yes! We have a great system in Queensland where you can still bring a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim even if you are unable to identify the car registration, or it is unregistered. However strict time limits apply. You will need to lodge your claim within 9 months of the date of accident if the car cannot be identified.
Yes! If your accident happened while working, between home and work or on your lunch break, you might be entitled to weekly benefits and treatment from WorkCover. This can often be a huge help, also particularly if you need time off work to recover. We typically recommend exploring this option, together with your car accident claim as it can make a big difference to your recovery and getting you back on your feet.
A common law damages claim is designed to provide a sum of money to you to place you back in the position you should have been had the incident not occurred. This can include sums for pain and suffering, loss of income or earning capacity, medical treatments and rehabilitation needs and domestic care needs.
Part of our role as your solicitor, is to gather and present evidence that proves the impact the injury has had on you. At Evolve Legal, we focus on telling your story so the insurer can best understand how the injury has affected you. During the claim we will be requesting information and documents from you and various other bodies. This could include your treatment providers, your employers, insurance companies, Medicare, Australian Tax office, Centrelink, and any other body we think is relevant. We may also obtain statements from family, friends, co-workers to help paint the picture of your life with an injury. We also obtain expert reports from independent experts.
If you caused the accident, you won’t be able to bring a traditional CTP claim. However, most CTP insurance policies will have a lump sum payment for drivers who cause accidents and suffer serious injuries. You should get advice or speak to the CTP insurer to see if you qualify.