For anyone who has suffered a personal injury due to a car accident or knows someone who has, you understand how stressful the situation can be outside of being hurt. There are legal and car insurance matters to deal with after the fact, not to mention hospital bills. If the auto accident was not your fault, you deserve to get the right amount of compensation. Let’s take a look at some of the basics when it comes to filing an insurance claim as a result of a personal injury car accident.
Who should file a claim
You may be unsure if you even qualify for compensation, but there are definite ways to tell. If you are someone who has been in a car accident due to no fault of your own, chances are that you can get some kind of compensation. Filing a claim is just the first step, and law professionals can help guide you in the right direction.
A personal injury lawyer has the knowledge and the experience to help you file a claim that gives you the greatest chance of receiving the fair compensation you deserve. Keep in mind that if the motor vehicle accident was your own fault, there is a low likelihood that the claim will move forward. However, if it was only partly your fault, there is some chance that there is compensation to be had.
While this may sound complicated, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can navigate the process with relative ease. Gerard Malouf & Partners are accredited specialists in Personal Injury Law. With a 98% success rate and over 35 years of experience, we have the proficiency necessary to help you.
The extent of your bodily injury will inform how much you receive in a payout, but the physical injury is not the only harm that you can file for. The psychological damage of a car accident can also be enough, if proven, for compensation.
What to know about personal injury claims
There are two kinds of claims that you can file as the result of a car accident: personal injury claims and property damage claims. Here, we are examining personal injury car accident claims. A personal injury claim can cover more than physical bodily injuries. It extends to pain and suffering, lost wages and other harm that happened after the accident. Keep in mind that your compensation will depend on the severity of the injuries.
These claims are broken down into minor and non-minor accidents. Let’s look at some examples:
- Injuries like bruises, soreness and muscle injuries are usually considered minor injuries, according to insurance companies.
- On the other hand, broken bones, organ damage or brain injury is large enough injuries to be considered non-minor accidents and will likely be eligible for more compensation.
How much compensation can I get?
There is a significant chance that you are entitled to compensation after a car accident, even if you are unsure of the result yourself. In some cases, you might be able to get a payout even if you were not in the car or motorcycle when the accident occurred. Compensation can also be given to passengers who may have been injured in the accident as well as pedestrians who were hurt while crossing the road.
You may be unsure if you can get compensation if the motor vehicle that caused the accident to happen was uninsured, unregistered or unidentified. However, there may be a case for you to receive a payout. Our car accident lawyers manage motor vehicle accident claims for clients across New South Wales, the ACT, Queensland and Victoria to assist them in their quest to be rightly compensated.
Let’s look at a real-life compensation claim from a client working with Gerard Malouf & Partners. In this case, the accident victim was a pedestrian that was injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident. They received $425,000 in compensation after being hit by a motor vehicle. “As a result of her severe injuries, we wrote to the insurance company, on Mrs. T’s behalf, advising that we believed her injuries would exceed the 10% whole person impairment threshold required for her to receive damages for pain and suffering. The insurer agreed with us, and Mrs. T was then entitled to damages for pain and suffering.”
The importance of evidence
In any personal injury case, evidence is absolutely essential for many reasons. First, you want to be able to prove without a doubt that you are injured as a result of the car accident. One of the smartest things that you can do after you first get into an accident is to call the police. The report will act as a valuable piece of evidence later. The claim number that will be on the police report can be used later for insurance company payouts.
Throughout the evidence collection process, it is important to make sure that you do not give any indication that the accident was your fault. Remain neutral if possible, as the auto insurance company will ultimately decide who is to blame. It is not common for personal injury car accident cases to make it to court, but if it does, you as the plaintiff will be responsible for collecting the evidence. This is called the “burden of proof.” Your car accident lawyer will be able to help you in this process. Some of these pieces of proof include your version of the events leading up to the road accident, the claim of bodily injury and the claim of economic loss. Here are some helpful examples:
- Medical bills.
- Medical reports.
- Witness testimonies.
- Photo documentation of the accident.
- Accident interrogatories.
- Recorded interviews from the deposition testimony.
These are just a few examples of evidence that can help your case. Your personal injury lawyer can help you make sure that you have all the necessary pieces of evidence from the police, witnesses or the health care system.
The claim process
The process of filing a personal injury car accident claim can vary depending on each specific scenario. However, there is a general procedure that must be followed every time. Here is a short explanation, which your personal injury lawyer will be able to provide more in-depth options:
- Report the car crash to the police.
- Meet the timeframe for your claim.
- Get the registration number of the vehicle that caused the accident.
- Complete your claim form.
- Gather supporting evidence.
- Lodge your claim.
This is a typical claim process, which can have variable results. The reason that the accident occurred can also have an impact on the resolution. For example, distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving and reckless driving all have different levels of severity.
While this may seem confusing, a lawyer can help you navigate the complications. Working with a professional can make a big difference in how quickly your claim is resolved. Let’s take a look at more time restraints when it comes to filing a personal injury car accident.
Even when the car accident injury claim is filed correctly and with all the important details in place, time is of the essence. The applicant begins with a Defined Benefits Application, which must be made within 13 weeks of when the car accident happened. In this section of the claim, the applicant may include income replacement, cost of treatment or funeral benefits if necessary, if there was a wrongful death.
The next step is to submit a Quality of Life Benefit Application once 26 weeks have passed. Keep in mind that this application can not be submitted later than 4 years and 6 months from the date of the car accident. The benefits that result from this could be a one-time lump sum payment for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.
Many of the deadlines and time periods that you must adhere to as a person filing a personal injury car accident case depend on which state in which you live. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and help you meet the deadlines that are required in your state. We are professionals and experts in car accidents claims, with the knowledge necessary to ensure you are up-to-date on the laws in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and Victoria.
Finding a personal injury lawyer
When you have a reliable and knowledgeable accident lawyer on your side to represent you, the claims process can be much smoother. We know that you or your loved one has most likely just gone through a traumatising car accident, and the law landscape can seem overwhelming. Gerard Malouf & Partners want you to get the maximum compensation.
There are many laws and requirements that you may not know, but a personal injury lawyer with many years of experience will. When you work with a professional, they can help you get the most amount of money for your specific circumstance. The time between the claim and the resolution can also be sped up because the lawyer can help you understand what should be included.
An accident compensation lawyer from Gerard Malouf & Partners specialises in car accident compensation, and is the largest in the field in Australia. Contact us for no-obligation legal advice about your car accident compensation claim.