Queensland’s roads are getting busier and busier as more people move to the state, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Pedestrians injured when struck by a car are often unsure of their rights when it comes to making a compensation claim but in fact, they are entitled to make a claim against a drivers compulsory third party (CTP) insurer just like any other road user.
This article provides more detail on the process of making a compensation claim if you’re hit by a car as a pedestrian in Queensland, outlining the key steps and considerations involved.
So you’ve been hit by a car – what should you do next?
There are a number of steps a pedestrian should follow if they’ve been injured in a road accident with a motorist, depending on the extent and severity of their injuries.
Seek medical attention immediately: The first and most critical step after being hit by a car as a pedestrian is to seek prompt medical attention. Even if injuries seem minor, some conditions may only become obvious later. Documenting your injuries and receiving appropriate medical care not only ensures your wellbeing but also creates a crucial record that will be essential in support of your compensation claim.
Report the incident: It is essential to report the accident to the police as soon as possible. The police report will document important details about the incident, such as the time, location, and parties involved. This report becomes a vital piece of evidence when making a claim.
Gather information at the scene: If possible, an injured pedestrian should try to collect information as soon as possible after the accident such as driver’s contact and insurance details, vehicle information, and any potential witnesses’ names and contact information. This information will likely prove crucial to establishing the driver’s fault for the accident in support of the claim against their CTP insurer.
Preserve evidence: Protect any evidence related to the accident such as photographs of the scene, your injuries, and any damaged personal belongings. If there are surveillance cameras in the vicinity, check if they captured the accident and make note of their locations.
Keep all documents related to medical treatment: It’s important to keep all receipts for medical treatment of the injury, including diagnoses, treatment plans, medical bills, and the costs of transport to and from appointments. These records will be essential when calculating the final compensation amount.
Making a claim
A pedestrian is entitled to make a claim against the CTP insurer of the driver who caused the accident which resulted in injury under Queensland’s Motor Accident Compensation Act 1994 (‘the Act’). The claim can be made for damages to compensate an injured pedestrian for:
- past and future lost income;
- past and future superannuation loss;
- medical expenses and treatment costs;
- rehabilitation expenses;
- return to work services;
- travel costs related to your injury.
A number of factors will be assessed in determining the compensation an injured pedestrian is entitled to. The severity of the pedestrian’s injuries; their loss of enjoyment of life (pain and suffering); the time needed off work; out-of-pocket expenses; medical care needed for rehabilitation and recovery; and whether the injury is temporary or permanent, will all be considered.
If should be noted it may be possible for a pedestrian to make claims beyond just a CTP claim, including TPD, public liability and common law claims.
It’s important to be aware that strict time limits apply to certain compensation claims or the opportunity to seek redress may be lost. For most claims, legal proceedings must be commenced within three years of the date of the accident that caused the injury. Other deadlines also apply in dealings with CTP insurers, reinforcing the need for expert legal guidance.
Engage expert legal representation
Discussing your case with an expert compensation lawyer such as ROC Legal, with wide experience of pedestrian accident claims, can help streamline the complexities of the claims process and reduce your stress by negotiating with insurers on your behalf with a view of an out-of-court settlement. Contact our professional team for an initial consultation as soon as possible if the information in this article applies to your situation.