Oberon Review

How does motor accident compensation work in Queensland?

An accident can disrupt your life. in Queensland you can claim if you have suffered permanent disability. Photo: Shutterstock

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Any accident, including those in motor vehicles, can disrupt your life.

In Queensland, when you're involved in an accident, you can get motor accident compensation, whether you're a driver or a pedestrian. Talking to an experienced compensation lawyer can assist you greatly.

What to Do if You Have a Motor Accident

Regardless of how safe you're driving or walking, accidents are unavoidable but thankfully, the process of navigating through such an inescapable event is simple in Queensland.

Motor accidents include injuries sustained by bus, bike, train, vehicle, truck, or other motor vehicles.

Am I Eligible for Motor Accident Compensation?

If you've been involved in a motor accident, you may be entitled to compensation. You are also covered if you fall under the following criteria.

  • A pedestrian injured;
  • A cyclist injured;
  • A driver who sustained an injury as a result of a vehicle accident;
  • A passenger who was injured;
  • Any person injured on public transport.

Time limits apply, so you, as the injured party, need to bring forward the case as soon as possible to protect your rights, claim and property.

What can I claim under motor accident compensation?

You are entitled to claim the following in a motor accident compensation:

  • Loss of past and future income.
  • Pain and suffering claims.
  • Hospitalisation and medical expenses.
  • Legal costs (if any).
  • Property damage (where applicable).
  • Any future medical costs, including rehabilitation needed.

Compensation is based on different deciding factors such as age, the extent of injury, pre-injury lifestyle and consideration to any future restrictions developed because of the accident.

For example, someone who is in a motor accident and sustains an injury to such an extent that they are unable to work in the future will receive a larger compensation payout (in instalments) than someone who has short-term injuries.

How can I report a traffic crash?

You can report your crash via Policelink, calling Policelink on 131 444 or at your local police station.

Who can report a motor accident?

In an accident, a driver, passenger, owner of the vehicle (if different from the driver), pedestrian, legal representation or a witness to the incident can report it.

Can a motor accident outside of Queensland be reported to Queensland Police?

No, regardless of if you're outside of Queensland and resident there and have an accident in another state, you can only report a traffic accident that occurs within Queensland.

How to claim for motor accident compensation?

As soon as you're involved in an accident, the following steps must be followed to lodge a compensation claim successfully.

  • Report the accident to the police
  • Whether you are the driver, passenger or third party involved in an accident, you must report the incident to the police by calling 000.
  • Local law requires that a person who intends to obtain an insurance claim for an accident reports it to the police and forwards a report number to the insurance company.
  • A particular criterion is needed for the police to arrive at the accident scene. This "police attendance criteria" is necessary to avoid police showing up at an incident where they are not needed, causing a slowdown in public servant duties required elsewhere.
If you have sustained an injury in a motor accident in Queensland you are entitled to compensation. Photo: Shutterstock

This benchmark includes: -

  • Death or injury of a person involved in the accident requires medical attention from a qualified health professional (ambulance, nurse or doctor).
  • There is a dangerous environment, a hazard to public safety or traffic congestion caused by the motor accident.
  • Additionally, if any fire and emergency services (QFES) or ambulance (QAS), you can call 000. Police attendance is required if:
  • Suspects involved in the accident appears to be intoxicated or have used drugs;
  • The driver, who is at fault, refuses to provide contact details needed for a claim;
  • There is a driver who has a disability that requires police assistance.

If none of the above is met, then you are required to:

  • Exchange personal information (name, address, vehicle registration number and any information needed to identify the vehicle) which is used for insurance claims;
  • Try to move all cars to the side, away from traffic, where possible;
  • Report the crash to the police within 24-hours.
  • Time restrictions must be met

In law, time frames are essential. You must bring your claim:

  • Within three months, if your case has been given to the Nominal Defendant because a motor accident involved is unidentified; or
  • Within nine months after the motor vehicle accident, or where symptoms of injury aren't immediate, as soon as they do become apparent.
  • If you have legal representation managing your claim, you have to bring forward your claim within one month of the first consultation with your lawyer.

If you fail to meet these deadlines, your claim can be rejected because of undue delay in legal proceedings.

Different requirements are available for minors, where claims will not start until the child turns 18 years old.

  • Get the details of the vehicle that caused the accident
  • To lodge a claim, you need the personal information of all the parties involved, including the registration number of the "at-fault" party who caused the accident. Where multiple parties are concerned, you are required to get their information.
  • Any vehicle registered in Queensland will be straightforward to obtain their registration number to find out the insurer being used.
  • Complete your claim form

Once you have obtained all the necessary insurance details of the at-fault party, you can complete an online form that's split into a non-fatal injury form and a fatal injury form. You have to provide an honest account of the accident details.

  • Provide all supporting documents
  • A claim form requires the following documents before being processed and approved. It includes:
  • A medical certificate;
  • Claimant certificate;
  • Proof of identity (if over 15);
  • A law practice certificate (if a lawyer is handling your case).
  • Lodge your form

When all the steps above are completed, you can lodge your claim through the Queensland CTP claim portal.

How the process of claims work in Queensland

Submitting your form within the timeframes.

  • The insurer will advise you within 14 days after receiving your claim if it was correctly submitted and reasonable to be paid for.
  • A liability assessment within six months of receiving your claim will occur.
  • The insurer will assess your records and information to assess the amount of impairment from your assessment to determine appropriate compensation.
  • A negotiation occurs where your claim amount will be settled with the insurer.
  • Finalisation of the settlement and your compensation claim, with steps for payouts following.

Conclusion

While accidents are unfortunate, pursuing a motor accident compensation claim can provide much-needed relief. If you are still uncertain about the way forward, read more information on how to make a car accident claim in QLD here