Australian’s generally like to travel interstate for holidays and it is not uncommon for NSW residents to be involved in car accidents in South Australia.
In circumstances where car accidents do occur, NSW residents need to be able to contact solicitors in NSW who have experience in dealing with insurance companies in South Australia. We have a good working knowledge and understanding of the applicable laws in South Australia.
Of course, it is essential in all claims to ensure that a claim for compensation is the result of injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident is made straightaway and that the relevant claim form is completed. Strict time limits apply and it is for that reason that you should immediately contact Gerard Malouf & Partners to advise you accordingly.
Usually when motor vehicle accidents occur, a claim can only be made if you sustained injuries and it is important to either see a doctor straightaway or attend to hospital, whether that is in Adelaide or immediately thereafter.
It is also mandatory to ensure that the accident has been reported to the Police especially when injury has occurred. All injuries that occur in Australia require the reporting of an accident to Police and South Australia is no different. Even if the Police to not attend and you have been conveyed by ambulance to hospital, you should ensure that you contact the nearest Police Station to report the accident. It is important to ensure that these procedural aspects are attended to as soon as possible and it is for that reason that we ask our clients to contact us as soon as possible so as we can guide them and manage their claim for them.
In South Australia the assessment for pain and suffering is determined by Section 52 of the Civil Liability Act which makes reference to pain and suffering under the category non-economic loss. The persons entitled to seek compensation for non-economic loss, if they have had an injury which effects their ability to lead a normal life and which has caused an ongoing impairment, unlike other jurisdictions in South Australia, they place a numeric value to the injuries on a scale of 0-60 where 60 is considered to be the most gravest conceivable injury. You are then entitled to receive damages for economic loss, that is for the time off you have from work, loss of overtime, loss of benefits and these calculations will be done from the date of accident up until the date of assessment. In some individual cases where the injury is significant, there will also be a claim for future economic loss on the basis of an actual loss or a reduction in the individual’s capacity to earn income. Again in such instances you need the specialised advice that Gerard Malouf & Partners can provide to their accredited specialists.
Gerard Malouf & Partners have a fast track claim management policy whereby once the injuries have stabilised we look to organise our own doctors to examine our clients for the purposes of obtaining a report dealing with the history of the injury, the current symptoms and addressing any ongoing difficulties. These reports are of a specialist nature which in particular concentrate on future disabilities, future economic loss and the need for future care or treatment. Once we have obtained those reports, which are no upfront cost to our clients, we then prepare detailed submissions for the purposes of engaging the insurers in South Australia to participate in a settlement conference.
Our experience is that 80% of the claims settle at these settlement conferences without the need to commence Court proceedings. In relation to the balance of the matters where we do commence Court proceedings, these inevitably also settle with only a very small percentage actually going to Hearing. The matters that actually do go to Hearing are ones where the insurer has denied liability or there is a significant issue of contributory negligence. Even in such cases we are able to manage the claim with minimal headache to our clients we are usually able to resolve claims at the ‘foot of the Court’.
If you have been involved in an accident in South Australia and you reside in NSW you need to contact Gerard Malouf & Partners to guide you through and ensure your rights are protected.