Accidents happen and you may find yourself injured after an event that was not your fault. The person who was responsible for the accident should be required to pay for your recovery, medical expenses and loss payments from work. A personal injury claim can help you take the steps necessary to legally hold this person accountable for their actions and the bills that followed. Let’s walk you through what personal injury claims are and how to file a claim to win the benefits you need.
What is a personal injury claim?
There are laws and regulations in place that keep people safe from harm as long as everyone abides by the rules. Sometimes, however, there is a party who neglects these laws and someone else gets hurt as a result. The injured party is entitled to file a personal injury claim and hold someone liable for the injuries incurred.
Depending on the severity of the injury, you could be entitled to a lump sum amount to cover the medical bills and any lost wages from being out of work. More serious injuries, like a lost limb or brain damage, require more compensation for a longer amount of time — if not for life.
The goal of a personal injury claim is to help the injured party financially while they recover from the accident. The responsible party’s insurance will pay for the bills, pain and suffering, and other medical expenses. While this process is typically handled between insurers, you may not get the coverage you need for your ongoing pain and injuries; or, the insurer denies you compensation entirely. This is where a personal injury lawyer from Gerard Malouf & Partners can step in to support your claim.
For more serious claims or if you feel like the insurance companies are not assisting you to the level you need, your lawyer can help you elevate the claim to a civil court proceeding or an informal settlement.
Types of personal injury compensation
The legal term for injury is “damages” and the amount of damages is discussed by both parties or is decided by a judge. At the end of the discussion, you will receive a “payout” for the statutory benefits.
Your benefits may cover:
- Future and lost wages.
- Permanent impairment or pain and suffering.
- Medical and care expenses.
- Time off from work.
Injury payouts are not typically paid in full until your injuries are fully realised. This means you need to seek medical attention as soon as an event has occurred, and regularly get checkups and medical advice as you move through the phases of the injury.
Keeping records of seeking help and medical support throughout your road to recovery can give insurers a clear view of the severity of the damage and your commitment to seeking recovery solutions.
Types of personal injury claims
If you believe you have been involved in an accident, you should seek medical attention and reach out to a personal injury lawyer. Knowing the types of personal injury claims you can make can help prepare you for such an event. Here are a few types of compensation payouts you should be aware of:
- Workplace injury: If you get injured on the job, you can apply for a worker’s compensation payout whether or not it was your fault for the injury.
- Motor vehicle accident: If you get hurt in a car accident, you could earn compensation whether you’re a passenger, driver, pedestrian or even a biker hit by a car. If you are at fault, some states like New South Wales could still award you compensation based on your injuries.
- Medical negligence: If a medical professional neglects their duty while you are under their care, you could earn compensation if this negligence ends in injury, death or a worsened condition.
- Public liability: If you get injured in a public place such as a restaurant in a slip and fall accident, you can file for a public liability compensation claim.
- TPD: TPD stands for temporary partial disability and is a payout given to injured persons who cannot return to work due to their injuries or an illness and is given in a lump sum through superannuation insurance.
You could apply for special damages which cover you for any losses (lost wages, quality of life, psychological suffering) as a result of the responsible party’s negligence. This type of damages payout must be proven with specificity.
Additionally, anyone who is injured due to another party’s negligence can file for personal injury compensation. If you’ve been hurt on the job or are suffering illness because of your employer, this will also qualify you for damages payouts. You should speak with a compensation lawyer about your injuries and the event that lead to them so we can make a plan on how to file a claim.
Claiming for personal injury
Following these steps of filing compensation claims can help you earn the maximum benefits amount and help boost your road to recovery through the compensation law process.
1. Report your injury
After the accident has occurred, make sure to notify the responsible party about the injury. This could be your supervisor at work, an employee at the restaurant, a medical professional at the facility, etc. If your injury was sustained in a motor vehicle accident, call the police right away.
2. Seek medical attention
Looking for professional medical attention can help you understand the level at which you are injured. This can also help support your claim by showing the amount of compensation you will need to cover medical expenses or lost wages. If you were injured due to medical negligence, seeking help from a different facility could help in your recovery.
3. Lodge your claim
You should lodge a claim as soon as you are physically able so insurance professionals can start gathering information for your personal injury case. It’s important to notify your insurer of the injury and send as much information as you can, such as the police report number, medical bills and photos of the accident site.
- In NSW, you have up to 28 days to lodge a claim and up to three months to have the claim resolved in a payout.
- In South Australia and ACT, you have up to three years to file a claim and still get insurance commission.
- In Victoria, you have up to three years after the discovery of the injury or up to 12 years after the event.
- In Queensland, you have up to nine months after the injury to file or one month after consulting a lawyer.
4. Speak with a lawyer
After lodging a claim, speak with a compensation lawyer to get support. There is a lot of paperwork involved in filing a personal injury claim, and a personal injury lawyer can help compile the necessary documents and notify the proper authorities of the motion. You and your lawyer will go over your rights and entitlements to filing a personal injury claim and what the road ahead will look like.
It will typically take between a week and 28 days for your claim to be accepted or denied by insurance. Based on the information you provided, your claim will cover one or all of the following:
- Weekly wages.
- Repayment for medical expenses.
- Referrals for more treatment and rehabilitation providers.
- Any out-of-pocket expenses.
If the claim is rejected, this is when you will go over your options with your lawyer. If the insurer will not award you the compensation you need, this conflict could end in a settlement with the right evidence and support.
Reach out to a Gerard Malouf & Partners compensation specialist for more information in a no-obligation consultation. We are the leading Australian no-win, no-fee law firm and can help you get the payout you need to recover.