Whether you are a pedestrian, driver, or cyclists, you and others on the road have a “duty of care”. In fact you should act in a reasonable way on the road in order to ensure your own safety and the safety of the others using the road. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid road accidents. Vehicles travelling at high speed don’t help the situation causing injury and even death to individuals involved.
In more recent times, we now have drivers being distracted due to mobile phone usage.
Car accidents are all too common in Australia and many of these result in injuries. In fact, there are thousands of accidents that happen every month. The most important thing is to know what you should do immediately after an accident.
This article provides information on the motor vehicle accident claims procedure in Queensland.
The most important thing is not to panic. Emotions on both sides are usually running high as a result of an accident. It is important that you try to stay as calm as possible during the entire process. Another important thing is NOT to admit fault no matter what has occurred. On the other hand, you also shouldn’t inflame tensions by accusing the other motorist of being at fault. The best thing is to leave it to the law enforcement authorities to decide who is at fault or your lawyer. You don’t have to inform the police unless someone has sustained an injury. You must obtain the name and address of the owner and driver of the vehicle that hit you, and the registration number of that vehicle. Take photographs at the accident scene on your phone if possible and the damage to each vehicle. If applicable, any skid marks on the roadway as well.
If the accident has caused substantial damage to the motor vehicles involved and air bags have deployed, you will need to call the police. If someone is injured and needs medical assistance, an ambulance should be called to check on them and if necessary take them to hospital.
If the police attend they will obtain details of the drivers involved and complete a traffic incident report. This report will be required in order to lodge a claim for damages for compensation against the Insurer of the responsible vehicle. When we talk about an insurer, this has nothing to do with property damage insurance. Every owner of a vehicle on the roadway pays a compulsory contribution to insurance as part of the department of transport registration fee.
Therefore if another vehicle is responsible for hitting your vehicle and causing an injury to you and your passengers, then the Compulsory Third Party Insurer of the responsible vehicle will be potentially liable to pay damages for personal injuries suffered as a result of that driver’s negligence. The traffic incident number for the report completed by the Police will be required to be included on the claim form you serve on the CTP Insurer of the responsible vehicle.
If the Police do not come to the accident site, you can just attend at your local police station after the accident and report the incident. You however must obtain the traffic incident number for insertion on the claim form if you intend to make a claim for damages.
If you are injured, you should attend your local General Practitioner or a Hospital for treatment. A medical certificate will be required to be obtained detailing your injuries and the date you attended for medical treatment. It is important to attend your Doctor as soon as possible after the accident to report all your injuries.
In Queensland, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you must serve a claim form on the CTP Insurer of the vehicle driven by the negligent driver within one month of instructing a lawyer or within 9 months of the date of accident. If you are outside this period, a reasonable excuse can be provided.
In order to serve the claim form, you must report the accident to the police and have your Doctor complete a medical certificate.
The Claim form can be completed by your lawyer, and a search of the registration number of the vehicle responsible needs to be conducted in order to ascertain the full name and address of the registered owner and the CTP Insurer.
The Claim form then needs to be served on the CTP Insurer. The driver of the other vehicle will not be responsible for any damages to you provided the vehicle is registered.
Depending on how the accident occurred, the CTP Insurer, may immediately send a letter offering to pay for your medical and rehabilitation expenses. If the CTP Insurer needs time to investigate the accident, then such offer may be delayed.
The CTP Insurer has six months to determine whether liability will be admitted or not.
In some cases, the CTP Insurer may refuse to provide rehabilitation until the liability issue can be determined. This is why a lawyer can help you in negotiating with the CTP Insurer.
Also early notification to a lawyer, will mean the lawyer can investigate the accident early and speak to witnesses or passengers to obtain liability statements and also assist the police with their investigations. It also helps to speak to witnesses as close to the accident date as possible as people will often forget important facts.
This is very personal and unique to every injured person. It depends on:
1. The injuries sustained? Are they permanent or will you recover?
2. Can you return to work?
3. What medical treatment do you need now and in the future?
4. Do you need someone to care for you whilst recovering?
5. Will you need care in the future?
There are many different components that make up your total damages that can be recovered from the CTP Insurer of the negligent driver. Ring White Jordin for an assessment of your likely damages.
It will be necessary to obtain medical reports on the injuries received by you and the impact those injuries have on your capacity to return to work and or the need for care. White Jordin will fully brief experts on all the appropriate questions and obtain medical evidence to support your claim.