Are you out of time to lodge a claim? Don’t despair. You may still have rights

Published 22 Oct 2013

We received instructions to act on behalf of Ms P in January 2011. Her accident had occurred in May 2010 and pursuant to the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999, Ms P had six months from the date of the accident that is to November 2010, to lodge a personal injury claim form. Ms P did not know what her rights were and as a consequence she lodged her claim form outside the six month period. NRMA Insurance rejected the claim on the basis of it being late and on the basis of the form being served outside the six month period. A statutory declaration was provided to NRMA explaining the delay however NRMA maintain their rejection of the claim.

A claim form was lodged with the claim assessment resolution service requesting a special assessment of the matter on the basis that the parties had reached the deadlock and could not resolve the issues on their own and required some assistance within dimension of an assessor to make a decision on this issue. An assessor was allocated by the claims assessment resolution service and there was a three way teleconference between the assessor, the insurer and our firm to discuss the issues in the case. The assessor was very supportive and bought to our attention the need to lodge further evidence on Ms P’s behalf. In accordance with the suggestions made by the assessor, we prepared and lodged further statutory declarations explaining certain unexplained periods. As a result, the insurer accepted Ms P’s explanation for the delay as being full and the only issue that remained outstanding was whether or not Ms P’s explanation was satisfactory.

The assessor decided to list the matter for a face to face conference so that Ms P could be asked questions about her explanation.

Ms P was represented by our firm and a competent and experience barrister who appeared on her behalf. At the assessment conference the assessor suggested to the insurer that the parties attempt to resolve the matter prior to the assessment hearing without the need to determine the issue of late claim. The insurer obtained approval from their managers and after extensive negotiations, the insurer agreed to the resolve the matter in the sum of $65,000.00.

The assessor was not required to make a decision on the issue of whether of Ms P could proceed with her late claim as the matter had resolved between the parties.

It is therefore evident that if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and you have not lodged a claim form for various reasons, you may still be entitled to do so provided that you are able to give a full on satisfactory explanation for the delay in making the claim. Ms P was delayed in making her claim and she was able to resolve her matter with the insurer despite the fact that it was a delayed claim.

If you have been involved in motor vehicle accident and you are not sure whether or not you can claim, then we may be able to provide you with advice particularly if you have not claimed within the six month period. Please feel free to contact us on our toll free number 1800 004 878.