After you’ve been involved in a car accident, you have enough on your plate without worrying about the legality of it all. However, it’s still important for you as the victim to get the compensation you deserve. Being in a motor vehicle accident can be an extremely overwhelming experience, but you can be compensated through the government’s compulsory insurance scheme for drivers. This can help pay for hospital visits and car repairs.
Note that each state manages car insurance independently, so depending on where your accident occurred, the rules may vary. This is why it can be helpful to have a legal team on your side to guide you through the process of achieving the maximum payout. Let’s learn more about how to get started.
How to file a car accident compensation claim
It’s not uncommon to be shaken after a motor vehicle accident. It can be overwhelming to even consider taking the next steps to file a claim, but it’s important to gather the information and documents required to get the appropriate payout. Sometimes this can be a complex process that needs to be completed within 28 days, so getting started as soon as possible is important. The more comprehensive the information provided is, the better your chances are to receive motor vehicle accident compensation.
Keep in mind that if you are unable to make a claim yourself because you are in the hospital, there are certain situations and exceptions where someone else can prepare the forms for you. This could help you get the process started and ensure negotiations with the insurer of the responsible party do not take too long to begin.
In order to file a claim, you should start from the beginning and keep all receipts when possible. Here are some examples of items that you should keep track of in order to prepare the claim:
- The accident event number: You can get the event number from the police report that is created. It’s important to have this number because it’s the best way to prove that a collision actually did happen. It will prevent any questions on the reality of the situation and it will convince insurers to use other details such as scene photos or news reports.
- The vehicle registration number: Keep track of the license plate number of the car that caused the accident. State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) indicates that you can learn the number from the police if you failed to collect it at the site.
- Medical records: In most cases, insurers will need the information contained in medical files, as it’s essential in determining how much you are eligible for.
- Proof of economic loss: Things like pay stubs and other economic documents that prove you lost money or work as a result of the vehicle accident.
Both the insurers and the claims office will need this information in order to proceed. If you need assistance with gathering these documents, a car accident lawyer can help you to put everything together.
How to maximise your compensation amount
Now that you’ve collected the most important information, you are well on your way to getting the most amount of compensation as a result of your vehicle accident. This kind of proof is an important component to increase the payout, but there are other things that are valuable to note.
Another factor that can assist you in determining the end compensation amount is adhering to the timeline set by the courts in your state. It’s possible to file a personal injury benefits claim as the result of a car accident up to three months after the incident has occurred in NSW. However, the most important deadline to know about is to report the accident up to 28 days after it happens to the insurer. Here is the breakdown of the deadlines state, by state:
- NSW: Three months.
- Victoria: Six years.
- ACT: 30 days.
- Queensland: Nine months.
- Northern Territory: Six months.
- Western Australia: Three years.
Note that you can still have the right to compensation even if you were at fault or if the car was uninsured or unidentified. Additionally, it’s important to know that people who were not injured in the motor vehicle accident are not necessarily excluded from making compensation claims.
Types of Compensation
There are several different types of compensation that you can file, depending on what you qualify for. You need to make sure that you are eligible before getting started, which is something that a legal professional can help you with. Here are some examples:
If you have lost wages or have a reduction in income-earning capacity, you could qualify for economic loss compensation. You will need to bring proof of wage loss, which could include previous pay stubs or medical bills.
You can claim damages for pain and suffering, which is known as non-economic loss. If you can prove that the accident caused damage to the quality of your life, you can get compensation to help deal with the results. These damages are part of a category known as common law claims, or lump-sum compensation.
There is a chance that if you have been injured as a result of a car accident, you can get personal injury compensation to help you pay the bills. Statutory benefits are payments of weekly compensation and medical expenses after a motor vehicle accident, and the time period that these benefits stretch for varies in each state. When you receive a payout here, the money can help you with costs like ambulances and other ongoing medical care.
In the terrible instance that someone passes away as the result of a car accident, the family could receive help paying for the funeral expenses. These are things like a funeral service, a casket and other funeral-related costs.
Other financial support
The loss of a family member can be an extremely difficult situation for anyone, but especially for people who relied on the deceased person financially. When you file a claim to get compensated for the loss of someone who supported the family, there is a chance that the family will still be able to be supported in that way.
Real-life successful compensation claims
The professionals at Gerard Malouf & Partners have lots of experience representing people who are seeking a successful compensation claim for a motor vehicle accident. Let’s look at one real example:
Our client was a front-seat passenger that got into an accident because the vehicle slid on a wet road and collided with a tree. Due to the crash, our client sustained an L2 compression fracture, injury to the left leg resulting in paresthesia, several abrasions and bruises to the lower abdomen, scarring in the upper lumbar region and whiplash.
We were able to work with the client to gather the medical evidence that proved that she would have to retire early as a result of the motor vehicle accident. GMP was able to reach an agreement and settled her claim for $590,000.
Seeking legal advice
To help cope with the aftermath of a car accident, it can be so valuable to work with a knowledgeable legal team to get your documents in order to make a successful claim. But where do you even start when seeking legal advice?
Finding the right personal injury lawyer is a big step in the right direction and can be a benefit in the long run. Begin by asking for a consultation where the claim can be evaluated and give you some perspective. Lawyers will be able to give you the right information and insight depending on your particular situation. Here are some helpful questions to ask:
- Do you think I am entitled to compensation?
- How long will the process take?
- What will my legal costs be?
Why Gerard Malouf & Partners
Gerard Malouf & Partners is a No Win No Fee law firm which means that if we aren’t successful, you don’t have to pay anything. We are unique in Australia, with a 90-day complimentary free trial, and a satisfaction guarantee and our staff are dedicated to our triple “C” service – to provide compassion, commitment and competence for all our clients.
After you have been in a serious car accident, there are a lot of emotions to deal with, let alone the insurance companies and the legal system. It can be extremely comforting to have a knowledgeable professional on your side to guide you through the process. They can answer any questions that you might have regarding your potential compensation or how to file a car accident claim.
If you’ve been hurt and feel you’re entitled to motor accident compensation, call Gerard Malouf & Partners at 1800 004 878 or send an email inquiry to learn how to best pursue your motor vehicle accident claim today.