What to do if you or a loved one has been in a motor vehicle accident

  1. The number one thing to do if you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident is to seek medical attention immediately.
  2. You should also advise the police as soon as possible. If you are unable to report the accident immediately and the police did not attend the accident scene, you should do so as soon as you are able to.
  3. Seek legal advice regarding your rights. We can be contacted on 1800 007 277 for an obligation free assessment of your claim. We are experts in claims arising from personal injury.
  4. Be aware of the strict time limits that apply when seeking compensation for an injury (whether you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian) resulting from a motor vehicle accident. You have three years from the date of the accident to go to court, otherwise you could lose your rights forever and be prevented from claiming.
  5. A lot of the information you’ll have to provide can be quite daunting. Ask your legal advisor about the Motor Accident Insurance Act (MAIA), which assists those who are asked to act or advise on MAIA claims.
  6. In Queensland, registered vehicles are required to have ‘compulsory third party insurance’ (CTP). A ‘Notice of Accident Claim Form’ must be given to the CTP insurer of the vehicle(s) at fault. Generally this must be done within nine months of the accident or within one month of retaining the services of a solicitor. Legal advice should be sought in relation to CTP insurance as they also take steps to learn more about the accident and any further complications as they often pay for treatment.
  7. Medico-legal reports are important in all personal injuries claims including motor vehicle accidents. Appropriate medical specialists (e.g. orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, psychiatrist etc.) will carry our examinations and provide a report provide. These examinations can only occur once an injury has ‘stabilised’ (i.e. symptoms not getting any better or worse) and this is generally anywhere from 6-12 months following an injury.
  8. If you are going through the MAIA process, the parties must attempt to resolve the matter out-of-court through negotiation. This process involves holding a compulsory conference and exchanging offers. Very rarely do these matters go to court, even if they do they usually are negotiated before going to trial.
  9. You have a duty to ‘mitigate’ your loss. This may involve medical treatment, return to work programs, rehabilitation or training programs in order to treat their injuries and reduce your loss.
  10. You should seek legal advice regarding what obligations you have to co-operate with the insurer. Time limits and procedures under the legislation are complex and can be fatal to a claim if not complied with. It is best not to delay. Protect the rights of yourself and your family and contact the team at Sinnamon Lawyers by filling in our enquiry form or call Toll Free on 1800 007 277 for an obligation free assessment or contact us through our website.

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