Have you been hurt in a road accident in ACT and were you wondering whether you should instruct a Canberra car accident solicitor to act on your behalf? Understand that you are not alone in this respect since thousands of people are injured in motor vehicle accidents in Canberra every year which also sustains several fatalities each and every month. Perhaps getting some information about the motor vehicle accident compensation claim process can help you to decide whether it is the right thing for you to do. Personal injury obviously includes physical damage to your body but it also includes emotional damage to your mind including stress related illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder and other long term issues of mental trauma. If you have suffered physically or mentally as a result of a motor vehicle accident that wasn't your fault, it may be a good idea to speak with a Canberra car accident solicitor with a view to making a personal injury claim.
There are two common misconceptions about making a personal injury compensation claim as a result of a motor vehicle collision. Since most motor accident compensation claims are made against negligent drivers in other vehicles, many people wrongly believe that a claim cannot be made against the negligent driver of a car in which they were a passenger. It is possible to take legal action against a negligent driver in a car in which you were a passenger even if the driver is closely related to you including a spouse, parent or child. The second misconception is that no Canberra car accident compensation claim solicitor will take your personal injury case unless you pay money up front for them to get started. Again, this is not correct. Our Canberra car accident solicitors specialise in personal injury cases arising as a result of motor vehicle collisions and we do not ask clients to pay upfront or to put their personal finances at risk as a condition of taking their case. Our Canberra car accident compensation claim solicitors offer the no win no fee scheme, win or lose there is no charge whatsoever and compensation is paid in full with no deductions.
As an injured driver, you may claim compensation from the insurer of the owner/driver of the 'at-fault' vehicle (if negligence can be established). If you were partly at fault, the compensation you are entitled to may be reduced. Factors affecting liability include driver error, driver fatigue, reckless and dangerous driving, and drug and alcohol use.
As an injured passenger you have the right to claim compensation for a personal injury. You can claim full entitlements to compensation if you weren't to blame for the accident. If however you weren't wearing a seatbelt, you can still claim compensation, but at a reduced amount.
Most accidents involving cyclists are caused by the cyclist or the driver of the motor vehicle failing to observe the other. Another common cause is a failure to observe traffic signals or road signs. Our solicitors can advise on all aspects of liability involving cyclist road accidents.
The most severe injuries to motorcycle riders are head injuries, followed by upper torso and leg injuries. Un-helmeted riders are more likely to suffer from severe brain damage than helmeted riders.
Most studies show that alcohol is involved in a greater extent in motorcycle accidents than in car crashes. Alcohol can greatly impact the motorcyclist's balance, coordination and concentration.
Poor road maintenance can also contribute to an accident. Examples of road hazards include potholes, loose gravel and uncovered drainage pits.
Free legal advice is available to victims of motorcycle accidents. Contact our legal team to find out more.
Accidents often occur when a pedestrian attempts to cross a road when the crossing signal is red, or where a pedestrian crosses the road through moving traffic. Sometimes it is as simple as misjudging the moving traffic or being unable to see sudden lane changes by cars. Accidents can also occur when a pedestrian is standing at a crossing or footpath and is hit by an out of control car.
The topic of negligent behaviour of a driver, relating to a road traffic accident, can be a difficult subject however our Canberra car accident solicitors know all about the complexities of proving negligence. Our ACT lawyers understand that there are several initiatives that make up the whole definition of what negligence means in the context of a motor vehicle collision. Proving negligence to support a personal injury compensation claim requires demonstration of the following items :
Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance is personal injury insurance that is compulsory for all registered motor vehicles in Australia. This insurance scheme pays for personal injuries suffered by other road users including drivers, passengers, motorbike riders and cyclists. CTP insurance covers personal injury claims only. If you have comprehensive or third party property insurance, this will cover any damage to property or other vehicles.
Motor accidents that involve an ACT registered vehicle are handled by a third party insurer, the NRMA. Any claim brought against a driver of an ACT registered vehicle will ultimately be a claim against the NRMA. Our lawyers are highly experienced in preparing and lodging compensation claims on behalf of injured road crash victims.
Whether the accident was your fault, partially your fault, or the fault of a third party, you should seek legal advice. You could lodge a claim with the insurance company on your own; however we believe that every injured person should at least speak with an independent solicitor before accepting an offer of settlement from an insurance company.
In fact, it is better to have an independent solicitor acting for you right from the start, as they will ensure that your case is put forward in the best way possible in order to maximise your compensation entitlements.
To claim compensation, you must complete a Motor Accident Notification Form. This form should be completed as soon as possible. You will be asked to provide information regarding the circumstances of the accident. If you need legal assistance in completing the form, you should contact a motor accident lawyer. Our lawyers can provide you with free advice and No Win No Fee representation.
A medical report will also be needed from your doctor. This report, and the accident notification form, must be provided to the CTP insurer. The CTP insurer will then review your documentation and determine if further information is needed. The insurer may decide to send you for a medical examination to be conducted by a doctor of their choice. The purpose of the examination is to assess the extent of your injuries and disabilities, and your requirements for medical treatment and rehabilitation.
The insurer will also assess whether the accident has caused you any loss of income and whether you require any domestic assistance as a result of the accident. The insurer will pay for medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of income, and the cost of domestic services. Once maximum medical recovery has been reached, the insurer will settle your claim.
Dependants of a person killed as a result of a road accident in the ACT, can also claim compensation under the CTP scheme.
If you are involved in a hit and run accident and therefore are unable to identify the at fault vehicle, or if the at fault vehicle does not have CTP insurance, you can still claim compensation from the Nominal Defendant.
An award of compensation is intended to restore a victim back to the condition they were in before the accident which is of course clearly impossible. In a personal injury compensation claim damages awards include a sum for pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of wages, loss of lifestyle, disadvantage on the job marker, loss of congenial employment, medical expenses, general expenses and any other losses that are thought to be reasonable by the presiding judge. Special damages represent compensation for items that can be calculated accurately and general damages represents compensation that must be assessed by a judge. Interest may be added at different rates to both special damages and to general damages. Awards for pain and suffering are based on the extent of the injury, recovery time and whether there are any long term disabilities.
A personal injury claim must be settled or proceedings must be issued in a court of law within the time limit of the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. In Australia the limitation period for a personal injury compensation claim is generally three years however there are exceptions to the rule for minors in which case time does not start to run until the 18th birthday and for those with mental illness where time doers not start to run until full capacity is regained. ACT judges also have a wide, but rarely exercised discretion to alter and amend time limits, if it is just and equitable to do so.
Evidence is crucial in proving the negligence of the driver and determining the compensation you should be awarded. Naturally, there is no way to know ahead of time that an accident will happen. But if you are an unfortunate victim of a negligent driver, make every effort to document as much information as you possibly can. Write down everything you can remember about the accident as soon as possible. Take photographs of the scene, the damaged vehicles and your injuries. Exchange contact information with the other drivers and witnesses to the accident. Always go to the hospital or your own doctor immediately after an accident and keep all relevant receipts. Remember, any evidence you can provide helps you to get the compensation you deserve to get your life back on track.
If you choose to instruct our lawyers to represent you, they will collate details of your claim, obtain medical and other reports, and thoroughly assess all aspects of liability and damage. Our Canberra Car Accident Solicitors will negotiate with the CTP insurer on your behalf to ensure that you receive maximum compensation. If the insurer is being unreasonable in denying your claim or in discounting the value of your compensation, our No Win No Fee lawyers can bring court proceedings on your behalf.LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here