Serious car accidents can cause permanent damage to our lives; according to AIHW’s report, between 2018 and 2019, 63,900 people were hospitalised and 1,400 of them lost their lives. In NSW, Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme covers all roads for potential injuries and fatalities. However, you need to be aware of the legal procedure and time limits to claim what you are entitled to!
Am I eligible to make a common law claim?
If the accident happened not because of your fault and your injuries are not minor, you may be entitled to make a claim for modified common law damages which entitle you to a lump sum payout to take into account your economic loss and also pain and suffering.
What are the common law claim benefits for a car accident?
If your injuries are non-minor and your injuries are not mostly at fault, the compensation benefits may continue beyond the first 26 weeks and enable you to claim compensation for past and future economic loss and pain & suffering.
Is there a time limit on car accident injury claims in Australia?
Yes, each state has its own time limits. The limit to lodge a personal injury benefits form with the greenslip insurer of the at fault vehicle is 28 days from the date of the accident if claiming past lost wages. Otherwise, the time limit is 3 months from the date of the accident. Even though the time limit can be extended in certain and exceptional circumstances, it’s recommended to lodge as soon as possible to claim your entitlements without the risk of not being eligible due to time limits.
How long after a car accident can I claim a loss of earnings?
You need to claim loss of earnings by submitting a personal injury benefit benefits form within 28 days from the date of the accident. That way the insurer will be able to look at your pre-injury average weekly earnings in the preceding 12 months to calculate the income support benefits you are entitled to.
How long after a car accident can I claim common law damages?
You need to have lodged an application with the personal injuries commission within 3 years from the date of the accident otherwise you will be out of time.
If your injuries are less than 11% whole person impairment, you need to a lodge an Application for Common Law Modified Damages 20 months after the accident. If your injuries are 11% whole person impairment or greater than you can lodge an Application for Common Law Modified damages immediately from the determination of your injuries being 11% whole person impairment or greater. You can reach our experienced car accident lawyers to estimate your compensation claim.
How much lump sum payment can I get for car accident injuries?
Each claim is unique and the payment amounts depend on multiple factors including your pre-accident income, medical history, the extent of your injuries and your age. Economic loss which is to take into account your earning capacity is dependent on your specific circumstances pre and post-accident. As for damages to take into account, your pain and suffering is indexed each October of every year. As of 1 October 2021, the maximum for non-economic loss damages is $595,000 as per the Motor Accident Injuries (Indexation) Order 2017 – Reg 5.
What is a non-minor injury?
Briefly, minor injury for physical injuries is mainly soft tissue injuries. Whereas non-minor injuries are more like fractures, nerve injuries, verifiable radiculopathy injuries and injuries that require surgery.
For psychological injuries, minor psychological injuries are more likely less likely to be diagnosable psychiatric injuries whereas non-minor are more likely to be diagnosable injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The insurer within 3 months from the date of receipt of the Personal Injury Benefits Form makes a determination whether your injuries are minor or not. You can apply for internal review within 28 days and if the insurer affirms its original decision you are also entitled to have your injuries assessed by a medical assessor. A medical assessor evaluates the injured person’s impairment and decides whether it is minor or not. This case can be understood better with some examples below:
Minor injury examples
As an example, whiplash injury is one of the most common minor injury types due to a car accident. Not only physical, but also psychological injuries can be subject to minor and non-minor injuries. For example adjustment disorder and acute stress disorder are generally considered as minor injuries.
Non-minor injury examples
Non-minor injuries include nerve damage, fractures, spine injuries, brain injuries, PTSD, scarring and partial rupture of tendons, ligaments or cartilage.
What should I do after getting injured in a car accident?
First of all, you need to exchange contact details and information to lodge a motor vehicle accident. Our experienced personal injury lawyers take pride in representing injured clients in a car accident by collecting evidence in support of our client claims, communicating with the insurer, liaising with doctors and third parties to achieve the maximum compensation benefits for our clients.
What are the most common car accident injuries?
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s data shows that head and neck, trunk, shoulder and arm, and hip and leg injuries are the most common bodily injuries after a car accident. You can read our Car Accident Injuries in Australia blog for further details.