Motor Vehicle Accident Recovery - Car Accident Free Legal Advice | PAICIA (2023)

The 7 Essential Things to Know & Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident in Australia

1. Never admit fault before speaking to your insurance company, because it can invalidate both your insurance and your eligibility for compensation.

2. Get the other driver’s name, phone number, license no. and insurance company details.

3. Take as many pictures of the scene and the damage to the vehicles as you can, preferably before the vehicles are moved. This can help give an idea of what really happened and provide photo evidence.

4. Report the accident to the police ASAP (in some states must be within 24 hours, in others within 28 days). Be aware that a police report is an eligibility requirement for reimbursement of medical costs for various compensation entitlements, whether you are at fault or not, which is why we suggest reporting the accident ASAP.

5. Go to a doctor and get a thorough, written medical assessment of ALL your injuries ASAP (must be within 28 days). Again, this is vitally important for qualifying for help with medical treatment, lost wages, and various compensation in some states.

6. If you are making a claim for personal injury, don’t dilly-dally. Be aware that the time taken to submit an injury claim can cast doubt on your eligibility for financial and medical assistance (was the injury due to the accident or something that happened afterward?).

7. Seriously consider the benefits of legal representation, particularly if you believe you are not at fault in the accident.

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Determining Fault

In any accident you could be completely at fault, partially at fault, or not at fault.

Whatever the case is, it is important to note that we have never met a lawyer who has advised a client to admit fault, even partially, in an accident.

Let the photos, insurance companies and lawyers work this stuff out.

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Not at Fault V‘s At Fault

Be aware that if you are not at fault you are in a much better position than if you were partially or wholly at fault with respect to:

  • the value of and the benefits you are entitled to,
  • the time during which these benefits are available to you.

Time is also a critical factor in eligibility. Why?

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  • Strict eligibility timelines apply, (and these vary from state to state)
  • the longer you wait between being injured and claiming compensation, the more doubt there will be that your injuries were due solely to the accident.

Lastly, you should understand that the various bodies that adjudicate compensation claims and your entitlement to various benefits in Australia can be considered to have a natural conflict of interest. Why? Because they adjudicate on both the validity and the worth of your claim. Ask yourself this. Would you trust someone you were making a claim against to adjudicate on the validity and worth of your claim? This is unusual. In most circumstances one would expect an independent judiciary or committee of some kind be involved to make that kind of decision, to eliminate any conflict of interest. But that is not the case here, the judge and the insurance company are the same entity.

What to Do if You are At Fault

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If you are advised that you are wholly at fault, you should know that there are AT-FAULT accident injury benefit schemes available in all states and territories of Australia. These ‘no-fault’ accident support schemes offer personal injury benefits, medical expenses, and/or vocational rehabilitation programs and income support payments, to people who are at fault in an accident, while they recover. Exact benefits and the time that they are available to at-fault accident victims differ from state to state.

The various at-fault schemes, sometimes called no-fault schemes, may cover:

  • income support (if you were employed at the time of the accident)
  • medical expenses
  • physiotherapy
  • dental and
  • pharmaceutical expenses

It should be noted that the type of compensation and benefits available, their value, and the amount of time that they are available to you, are significantly less in at-fault schemes than is the case if you are found to be not-at-fault.

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At fault or Not at Fault? Did You Know?

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If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, every state has its only rules, if are attempting to make making a claim, some of which include:

  • General medical and surgical costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chirotherapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Any other medical service required for your rehabilitation
  • Lost Wages
  • Replacement Car Rental
  • Vehicle Repair
  • Compensation for injury

Who Can Claim?

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If you are making an injury claim for compensation, you should be aware of who can claim:

  • The ‘Not at Fault and At Fault’ driver in Victoria, “Not at Fault Driver only” in Western Australia
  • A passenger in the ‘at fault’ driver’s vehicle
  • A passenger in the ‘not at fault’ driver’s vehicle
  • A pedestrian
  • A public transport passenger
  • A cyclist

PAICIA is a not for profit organisation that can help you fast track your recovery by ensuring that every single detail required for your recovery is documented and managed in a timely and professional way. Given what we have learned from surveying hundreds of people who have been through this process, we cannot over-emphasise how critical getting the right information is, as soon as possible after an accident, and how important it can be to your chances of making a complete physical, financial, and emotional recovery.

Don’t go it alone. Let PAICIA help.

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Victoria Transport Accident Commission Web: www.tac.vic.gov.au Phone: 1300 654 329 (both)

New South Wales Motor Accidents Authority Web: www.maa.nsw.gov.au Phone: 1300 137 131 (both)

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Western Australia Insurance Commission of Western Australia Web: www.icwa.wa.gov.au
Phone: (08) 9264 3333 (both). From 1 July 2016, all people catastrophically injured in motor vehicle crashes are covered for necessary and reasonable treatment, care and support.

Northern Territory Territory Insurance Office Web: www.tiofi.com.au Phone: 131 TIO (131 846) (both)

Tasmania Motor Accident Insurance Board Web: www.maib.tas.gov.au Phone: 1800 006 224 (both)

Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Commission Web: www.maic.qld.gov.au Phone: 1300 302 (Not-at-Fault)

National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland (NIISQ) provides necessary and reasonable lifetime treatment, care and support to people who sustain eligible serious personal injuries in motor vehicle accidents on Queensland roads; regardless of who was at fault. (At-Fault)

South Australia’s CTP Scheme. Four insurers are approved by the Government to provide CTP insurance. AAMI, Allianz, QBE and SGIC underwrite the Scheme and manage the claims against their policies of insurance. The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure issues CTP insurance renewal notices and provides premium collection services as part of the motor vehicle registration process. (Not-at -Fault)

South AustraliaLifetime Support Scheme (LSS). 1300 880 849The Lifetime Support Authority (LSA) administers the LSS. which is able to support people with very serious injuries, who were at fault in the crash. (At-Fault)

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has four CTP insurers, AAMI,APIA, GIO, and the NRMA. The Motor Accident Injuries Commission is the regulator of the new CTP scheme. and issues CTP insurance renewal notices and provides premium collection services as part of the motor vehicle registration process. For information contact one of the insurers. (Not-at Fault)

Do I Need Legal Representation?

The various State Government entities that provide compensation and benefits are set up in such a way that you don’t need legal representation to make a claim, whether you are at-fault, or not-at-fault, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it.

However, the benefits available to at-fault accident victims are significantly less than those available to not-at-fault victims, which is a reason why you may not feel that the services of a lawyer are affordable, viable, or necessary.

If you are at fault, the biggest factor in assessing if you need legal representation will be the extent of your injuries. If you have significant injuries and you run into any issues that preclude or limit the benefits you are entitled to through a no-fault provider, you might like to explore your options with a legal firm that offers no-win-no-fee services, and a free first meeting.

As previously mentioned, if you are not-at-fault, you don’t need legal representation to make a claim, but you may be entitled to common law benefits like damages and potential loss of earnings, so you have more at stake with your claim and therefore might like to consider the benefit of getting the advice of an experienced legal representative.

When considering this, you should understand that the various bodies that adjudicate your entitlement to not-at-fault benefits in Australia can be considered to have a natural conflict of interest because they adjudicate on both the validity and the worth of your claim. So ask yourself this. Would you trust someone you were making a claim against to adjudicate on the validity and worth of your claim? This is highly unusual. In most circumstances one would expect an independent judiciary or committee of some kind be involved in making that kind of decision, to eliminate any conflict of interest. Be aware that the judge and the insurance company are the same entity.

If the traffic accident scheme you are dealing with decides not to fully fund the cost of your treatment call our no-cost accident recovery service.

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FAQs

Can you claim for emotional distress after car accident? ›

If you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible to claim compensation for all injuries, physical as well as mental. This includes anxiety.

What injuries can you claim for after a car accident? ›

It is possible to claim for any type of injury sustained in a car accident that wasn't your fault. Some of the more common car crash injuries, however, include: Whiplash.
...
Back injuries.
  • Broken bones.
  • Ruptured spleen.
  • Catastrophic personal injuries.
  • Knee injuries.
  • Fatal injuries.

Do I need a solicitor after a car accident? ›

If you want to take legal action to claim compensation for a personal injury, you will need to get advice from a solicitor specialising in these types of cases. This must be done as soon as possible as there are strict time limits on taking legal action.

Can I claim for an accident after 10 years? ›

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim. The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can you claim for depression after a car accident? ›

Depression and anxiety after a car accident is very common but should not be ignored. You could receive compensation for anxiety in a car crash claim if you're able to prove that the injury was caused by another road user's negligence.

Can I claim compensation for depression? ›

Psychological Injuries You Could Claim Compensation For

Psychiatric damage can encompass various forms of suffering. They include but are not limited to, anxiety, distress, depression, embarrassment, panic attacks, and personality disorders.

How long does compensation take after a car accident? ›

How long does a compensation payment take to come through? Once your claim has been settled, your compensation will normally be paid to you quite quickly - usually within 2 weeks to a month. If your case is settled in court, the judge will give a deadline for you to receive your compensation by.

Can I claim for pain and suffering? ›

The basic legal principle behind an award of compensation for pain and suffering is to put the injured person back into the financial position they would have been in had the accident not occurred.

How long after an accident can I claim? ›

Car accident claim time limit: Car accidents and road traffic accidents in general have a three-year limit from the date of the accident. If you were left incapacitated and unable to claim for some time after your accident, you would have a three-year limit from the date of recovery.

What can I claim compensation for? ›

Compensation
  • personal injury.
  • losses from theft or damage to property.
  • losses from fraud.
  • being off work.
  • medical expenses.
  • travel expenses.
  • pain and suffering.
  • loss, damage or injury caused to or by a stolen vehicle.
12 Apr 2022

What are the two types of personal injuries? ›

There are two main types of personal injury compensation damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Who pays for injury claims? ›

Your injury compensation claim is brought against the person or organisation that is to blame (or partially to blame) for causing your injury. In most cases that person or organisation will have insurance – we usually negotiate with their insurer who then pay any compensation you are due.

How do I claim compensation from an accident? ›

Application for grant compensation can be filed before the motor vehicle claims tribunal having jurisdiction of the area/place where accident took place or where the claimant resides or where the owner of the vehicle resides under Section 166 & 140.

What happens if I lose my personal injury claim? ›

If you don't win your claim and receive no compensation, the defendant will seek to recover their costs from you. These, and any other costs payable, would be paid by an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy.

Who is the third party in an accident claim? ›

The term 'third party' refers to a person involved with a car insurance claim who is not you – (the holder of the policy or the driver). So this is usually the other driver involved in an accident.

How does a car accident affect your mental health? ›

In fact, our research has shown that 66% of people feel nervous around the site of their accident. In some instances, people may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their accident, which can present various symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, flashbacks and nightmares.

Can you claim for PTSD after a car accident? ›

Compensation for PTSD after a car accident

Victims of car accidents may be able to claim compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder in the same way that they might be entitled to compensation for a physical injury suffered following a car accident.

Can I claim for psychological injury? ›

A claim for a psychological injury follows the same process as any other injury claim; the victim can claim for the pain and suffering the injury has caused them, as well as any financial losses that may have occurred as a result of the accident.

What is considered a psychological injury? ›

What is a psychological injury? Psychological injury or mental injury includes a range of cognitive, emotional and behavioural symptoms that interfere with a worker's life and can significantly affect how they feel, think, behave and interact with others.

How do you prove psychological trauma? ›

To prove emotional distress as an injury, you need to be able to demonstrate cause and effect. This may mean documenting changes to your regular daily routines, submitting letters from friends, colleagues and your employer, and providing proof of any medical treatment you've sought for your symptoms.

What is severe psychological injury? ›

A psychological injury is the psychological or psychiatric consequence of a traumatic event or physical injury. Such an injury might result from events such as abusive behavior, whistleblower retaliation, bullying, kidnapping, rape, motor vehicular collision or other negligent action.

Should I accept the first compensation offer? ›

Should I accept the first compensation offer? Unless you have taken independent legal advice on the whole value of your claim, you should not accept a first offer from an insurance company.

How long do insurance payouts take? ›

Once an insurance company has admitted liability and agreed to process the claim, they tend to move quickly. Some claimants receive their compensation in a few days. More commonly, the claimant will receive their compensation payment within 2 and 4 weeks.

How long does an insurance company have to investigate a claim? ›

Generally, the insurance company has about 30 days to investigate your auto insurance claim, though the number of days vary by state.

How is injury compensation calculated? ›

Your compensation will be calculated by adding together: General damages - awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA), and; Special damages - awarded for any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

Can I claim for personal injury? ›

Typically, you can make a personal injury claim if you or a loved one has been hurt in any kind of accident in the following circumstances: You were injured within the last three years. The injury resulted in you suffering financially as well as physically. The injury was caused wholly or partly by somebody else.

What is compensation law? ›

A pecuniary remedy that is awarded to an individual who has sustained an injury in order to replace the loss caused by said injury, such as Workers' Compensation. Wages paid to an employee or, generally, fees, salaries, or allowances.

Is there a time limit on claiming on car insurance? ›

Ideally, within 24 hours of the accident taking place. If you're making a claim, you will need to check your insurance policy, but most companies demand you claim within two weeks.

What is motor accident claim? ›

Motor Accident Claims Tribunals [MACT Courts] deal with claims relating to loss of life/property and injury cases resulting from Motor Accidents. The Claims are to be directly filed in the concerned Tribunal. MACT Courts are presided over by Judicial Officers from Delhi Higher Judicial Service.

How many personal injury claims go to court? ›

When people hear that their personal injury case is “going to court” it can often be a scary thought. But in actual fact only around 5% of personal injury cases end up in court. Most are settled out of court. If you were told that your case is going to court, it can often simply mean that your case is in progress.

Can you claim damages for emotional distress? ›

You can claim for the emotional distress the discrimination has caused you - this is called 'injury to feelings'. You'll need to say how the discrimination made you feel. Ask your family, friends, colleagues, medical professionals or support workers if they'll be witnesses to how the discrimination affected you.

What are compensation payments? ›

Typically, compensation refers to monetary payment given to an individual in exchange for their services. In the workplace, compensation is what is earned by employees. It includes salary or wages in addition to commission and any incentives or perks that come with the given employee's position.

Can you claim damages for stress and inconvenience? ›

In general therefore while claims for stress and inconvenience are not common, they can can be pursued in limited circumstances. In most cases such claims are made in conjunction with claims for more conventional financial loss arising from the negligence, so they form one element of a larger claim.

What are special damages in personal injury? ›

What are special damages? Special damages may be awarded to cover the financial losses and actual expenses incurred as a result of an accident or negligent medical treatment. The aim is to put you back in the financial position you would have been had the accident or negligence not occurred.

What is a major personal injury? ›

Major personal injury claims include accidents that resulted in permanent injury, dismemberment, loss of bodily function or even death. Regardless as to whether the injury is minor or major, if you didn't cause it, you shouldn't be forced to bear it!

What are the three types of damages? ›

Home » FAQs » What Are the 3 Types of Damages? There are 3 types of damages in personal injury claims: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages may also be referred to as special and general damages.

How does official injury claim work? ›

Official Injury Claim is a new free and independent service for people injured in a road traffic accident to claim compensation without legal help. This easy-to-use online portal guides you through the process of making a claim, obtaining a medical report, managing that claim and receiving compensation.

Do I need a solicitor for a personal injury claim? ›

There is no legal requirement to instruct a solicitor to handle your claim. Legally you are perfectly entitled to act on your own behalf and pursue your claim without the assistance of a solicitor.

What is a PI claim? ›

A personal injury is a legal term to describe physical or phycological harm to your person, as opposed to your property. People may claim compensation if they are injured as a result of an accident which was not their fault – this is referred to as a personal injury claim.

How is compensation calculated in motor accident claims? ›

An addition of 50% of actual salary to the deceased's income relative to future prospects, where the deceased had a permanent job and was under 40 years old. The addition should be 30% if the age of the deceased was between 40 and 50 years. If the deceased was between the age of 50 and 60, the addition must be 15%.

How do courts decide compensation? ›

In order to be awarded with the damages, the injured party must show that the breach of duty or some other form of negligence has occurred and caused some type of mental or physical injury.

What is the procedure of accident case? ›

Step 1: Inform your insurance company about the accident and the extent of the damages to your vehicle. Step 2: File a First Information Report (FIR) at the local police station. Step 3: Submit required documents with the insurance company.

What happens if I lose a no win no fee case? ›

What happens if I lose a No Win No Fee compensation claim? A No Win No Fee agreement covers you from having to pay your legal fees should you lose your case. This means in the event that you did lose your case, you wouldn't be charged any legal fees.

Is it worth doing no win no fee? ›

Is no win no fee a good idea? The short answer is yes. No win no fee allows you to fund your claim without needing to front up the costs involved with legal advice and may also cover the cost of extra medical opinion, barristers fees, other solicitor fees that may otherwise occur outside of no win no fee cases.

Can I make a personal injury claim after 3 years? ›

The 3-year time limit for making claims

Generally speaking, the standard time limit for making a claim is 3 years. This means you have 3 years to issue your claim at court. This time limit usually applies from the date of the accident when you got injured.

What happens if no one admits liability? ›

If the defendant's side denies liability, this means that they do not accept that the defendant was responsible for your accident. If the defendant fails to accept liability, the next most likely step in your case is to get supporting evidence to present to the defendant.

What can I claim for in car accident not my fault? ›

Examples of what you could claim for include: Medical costs, which could include prescription costs, physiotherapy and private treatment. Loss of earnings if, for instance, you need time off work to recover from the injury. Loss of future earnings.

Who recovers my car after an accident? ›

Anyone who has been involved in a road accident has the right to choose who repairs their vehicle. If you were responsible for the accident you were involved in, the company that insures your vehicle would normally deal with your accident claim.

How much compensation do you get for emotional distress UK? ›

An award of over £1,500 and up to around £5,000 is appropriate where the mistakes cause sustained distress, potentially affecting someone's health, or severe disruption to daily life typically lasting more than a year.

Can I sue my insurance company for emotional distress? ›

You can sue your insurer for bad faith, negligence, emotional distress, breach of contract, or even fraud.

How do you prove psychological trauma? ›

To prove emotional distress as an injury, you need to be able to demonstrate cause and effect. This may mean documenting changes to your regular daily routines, submitting letters from friends, colleagues and your employer, and providing proof of any medical treatment you've sought for your symptoms.

Can you claim for PTSD after a car accident? ›

Compensation for PTSD after a car accident

Victims of car accidents may be able to claim compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder in the same way that they might be entitled to compensation for a physical injury suffered following a car accident.

How much compensation will I get for PTSD after a car accident UK? ›

PTSD After Car Accident Compensation Amounts Guide

£23,150 to £59,860 compensation for moderately severe PTSD. £8,180 to £23,150 compensation for moderate PTSD. £3,950 to £8,180 for less severe PTSD.

What is a serious psychological injury? ›

Psychological injury may include such disorders as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Job stress is commonly used to describe physical and emotional symptoms which arise in response to work situations but it is not in itself a disorder or a psychological injury.

Can I claim for psychological injury? ›

A claim for a psychological injury follows the same process as any other injury claim; the victim can claim for the pain and suffering the injury has caused them, as well as any financial losses that may have occurred as a result of the accident.

What are examples of emotional distress? ›

Common warning signs of emotional distress include:
  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little.
  • Pulling away from people and things.
  • Having low or no energy.
  • Having unexplained aches and pains, such as constant stomachaches or headaches.
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless.
16 May 2022

What is considered mental anguish? ›

mental anguish. n. mental suffering which includes fright, feelings of distress, anxiety, depression, grief and/or psychosomatic physical symptoms.

What is emotional suffering? ›

Primary tabs. Mental suffering as an emotional response to an experience that arises from the effect or memory of a particular event, occurrence, pattern of events or condition. Emotional distress can usually be discerned from its symptoms (ex. Anxiety, depression, loss of ability to perform tasks, or physical illness) ...

How do you prove PTSD in court? ›

To prove PTSD, a plaintiff must have proper expert testimony. Jurors will want to hear from a treating psychiatrist or psychologist and to see that the victim has undergone a significant course of treatment. An opinion from a specially retained expert is often not as convincing as the opinion from a treating physician.

Can you sue someone for causing stress? ›

When you sue someone for stress, this kind of lawsuit is known as an emotional distress lawsuit. Emotional distress is when someone causes you emotional pain or distress due to their negligent or intentional actions.

What constitutes severe emotional distress? ›

Severe emotional distress is that which is substantial or enduring. It has also been defined as a kind of distress no reasonable person is expected to endure. It may consist of any highly unpleasant reaction such as fright, grief, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, or worry.

How much money do you get for PTSD? ›

Depending on the severity, a veteran's diagnosis of PTSD is eligible for VA disability rating of 100% ($3,332.06/month), 70% ($1,529.95/month), 50% ($958.44/month), 30% ($467.39/month), 10% ($152.64/month), or 0% (no payment).
...
VA Disability Ratings for PTSD.
RatingMonthly amount
10%$152.64
0%None
4 more rows
12 Oct 2021

How much is a PTSD claim worth? ›

How Much Is A PTSD Claim Worth? In our experience the average PTSD settlement is between $50,000.00 and $120,000.00 when government employees did not also suffer a physical injury.

How long does trauma last after accident? ›

How Long Does PTSD Last After a Car Accident? Every case of post-traumatic stress disorder is different. One person may be affected for days while another person suffers for years. If you experience PTSD, there's really no way to know how long it will last.

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