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Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible to lodge a compensation claim if you were not at fault for the incident. Whether you were a driver, a passenger or a pedestrian – ROC Legal specialist legal team can assist you with your claim and provide quality advice on what options are available to you.

Motor vehicle claims can include any type of motor vehicle including cars, buses, trucks and motorbikes. There are several options available when you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in QLD.

  • CTP Claim (Compulsory Third Party)
    Every motor vehicle owner has CTP insurance included in registration expenses
  • NIIS
    Provides reasonable, necessary lifetime support, treatment and care to individuals who have sustained person injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident
  • Common Law action
    Under common law you may have the right to sue an individual if their actions contributed to the injury you have sustained

What our expert legal team can assist with:

  • Understanding your available options
  • Assessing the best option to proceed with your claim
  • Claim lodgement
  • Negotiation with insurers
  • Representation in mediation or court hearings
  • Negotiation of your settlement claim

Motor Vehicle Claim Process

In the majority of cases, the courts decide on the level of compensation you are entitled to, taking into account factors including severity of injuries, what income you have lost, how this injury impacts on your future, what expenses have been allocated for rehabilitation and if you need future assistance with day to day tasks or domestic chores.

Our boutique firm means that you will always get personalised, one-on-one service from people who know your concerns and who are happy to help. Our motor vehicle accident lawyers are on hand to answer your questions and will work with you to offer support and guidance for your situation, standing by your side during what can be a potentially difficult time. 

ROC Legal

If you have been injured during a motor vehicle accident, it can be helpful to know that there may be compensation available to alleviate some of the potential suffering – both financial and physical.

Get in touch with our legal team today to find out more about how to get started with your motor vehicle accident claims. 

The ROC Legal Point of Difference

We specialise in compensation law, and we’d love to help you with your compensation claim and get your life back on track. Working through a compensation claim can be tough, but when you have ROC Legal on your side, the whole process is smooth. We’re a boutique firm who treat every client with respect, courtesy and care, but we’re big enough to be able to handle even the most complex of claims and compensation issues. 

We’re compensation legal experts, and we’re waiting to take your call. Get in touch with the legal professionals who care at ROC Legal on 1300 196 219

Get the Care and Attention You Need with ROC Legal

If you are curious about the process involved in motor vehicle incident claims or would like some more information on how best to proceed with a compensation claim, we can help. 

Our boutique firm means that you will always get personalised, one-on-one service from people who know your concerns and who are happy to help. Our motor vehicle accident lawyers are on hand to answer your questions and will work with you to offer support and guidance for your particular situation, standing by your side during what can be a potentially difficult time. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Claims

The Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld) (“MAIA”) provides for a compulsory third-party insurance scheme covering liability for personal injury arising out of motor vehicle accidents. All vehicles on Queensland roads have a CTP Policy of Insurance attached to their registration. This is to cover personal injury and not property damage.

A claim for damages based on a liability (fault) for personal injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident and, for a fatal injury, including a claim on behalf of the deceased’s dependants or estate: section 4 MAIA.

A ‘claimant’ is a person who makes a claim. They are also referred to as an ‘injured person’ or ‘plaintiff’. Normally, a ‘claimant’ is referred to as a ‘plaintiff’ once Court proceedings are commenced.

If you have suffered personal injury caused by, through or in connection with a motor vehicle if the injury—

  • is a result of—
    • the driving of the motor vehicle; or
    • a collision, or action taken to avoid a collision, with the motor vehicle; or
    • the motor vehicle running out of control; or
    • a defect in the motor vehicle causing loss of control of the vehicle while it is being driven; and
  • is caused, wholly or partly, by a wrongful act or omission in respect of the motor vehicle by a person other than the injured person: section (5)(1) MAIA.

It means a vehicle for which registration is required under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2010 and includes a trailer.

The MAIA only applies if the motor vehicle accident out of which the personal injury arises happens on a road or in a public place: section 5(2) MAIA.

If personal injury is caused by, through or in connection with a motor vehicle, the insurer for the statutory insurance scheme:-

  • if the motor vehicle is not insured and a self-insurer is not the registered owner—the Nominal Defendant is the insurer: section 31(1)(c) MAIA
  • if the motor vehicle, or insurer under its CTP insurance policy, cannot be identified—the Nominal Defendant is the insurer: section 31(1)(d) MAIA.

The MAIA does not apply to personal injury caused by, through or in connection with:

  • a tractor, backhoe, bulldozer, end-loader, forklift, industrial crane or hoist, or other mobile machinery, other than an agricultural machine; or
  • an agricultural machine; or
  • a motor vehicle adapted to run on rail or tram tracks; or
  • an amphibious vehicle; or
  • a motor vehicle of a class prescribed by regulation;

Unless the motor vehicle accident out of which the injury arises happens on a road: section 5(3) MAIA.

A person who proposes to make a claim (including a person acting in a representative capacity) must ensure that appropriate notice of the accident has been given to a police officer: section 34(1) MAIA.

Before bringing an action in a court for damages for personal injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident, a claimant must give written notice of claim to the insurer: section 37(1) MAIA.

Yes.  It is crucial to obtain legal advice as soon as possible.  For example, if a motor vehicle cannot be identified and the notice is not given to the Nominal Defendant within 9 months after the motor vehicle accident, the claim against the Nominal Defendant is barred: section 37(3) MAIA.

When making a claim, the CTP insurer stands in the shoes of the ‘at fault’ driver.  As a result, if a claim is made against an ‘insured person’, the insurer—

  • must undertake the conduct and control of negotiations and legal proceedings related to the claim; and
  • may compromise or settle the claim or legal proceedings related to the claim and act for the insured person in any other way in relation to the claim: section 44(1) MAIA.

If a person who suffered harm was intoxicated at the time of the breach of duty giving rise to a claim for damages and contributory negligence is alleged by the insurer, then contributory negligence will be presumed. The person may only rebut the presumption by establishing on the balance of probabilities—

  • that the intoxication did not contribute to the breach of duty; or
  • that the intoxication was not self-induced: section 47 Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) (“CLA”).

You may have your damages reduced by 25% or more depending on the circumstances so it is important to obtain legal advice if this applies to you.

If you relied on the care and skill of a person who was intoxicated at the time of the breach of duty (driver) and were aware, or ought reasonably to have been aware, that the driver was intoxicated you may have your damages reduced: section 48 CLA. 

You may rebut the presumption if established, on the balance of probabilities, that—

  • the driver’s intoxication did not contribute to the breach of duty; or
  • you could not reasonably be expected to have avoided relying on the driver’s care and skill: section 48 CLA.

Once liability has been admitted, it is the duty of the insurer to make payments to or for the claimant for private hospital, medical and pharmaceutical expenses reasonably and appropriately incurred because of the injury: section 42(1) MAIA.

Once liability has been admitted on a claim, or the insurer has agreed to fund rehabilitation services without making an admission of liability, the insurer must, at the claimant’s request, ensure that reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation services are made available to them: section 51(3) MAIA.

In deciding liability for breach of a duty, the plaintiff (injured person) always bears the onus of proving, on the balance of probabilities, any fact relevant to the issue of causation: section 12 CLA.

Within 6 months after an insurer receives a compliant notice of claim, the insurer must—

  • take reasonable steps to inform itself of the circumstances of the motor vehicle accident out of which the claim arises; and
  • give a written notice stating—
    • whether liability is admitted or denied; and
    • if contributory negligence is claimed—the degree of the contributory negligence expressed as a percentage; and
    • if the claimant is not a participant in the injury insurance scheme but the insurer considers the claimant may be an eligible person—that the claimant may be an eligible person; and
  • if the claimant made an offer of settlement in the notice of claim, inform the claimant whether the insurer accepts or rejects the offer or, if the claimant did not make an offer of settlement in the notice, invite the claimant to make a written offer of settlement: section 41(1) MAIA.

A claimant must provide the insurer with copies of reports and other documentary material (including written statements made by the claimant or by witnesses) in the claimant’s possession about the circumstances of the accident or the claimant’s medical condition or prospects of rehabilitation: section 45(1)(a) MAIA.

A claimant must give information reasonably requested by the insurer about—

  • the circumstances of the accident out of which the claim arose; and
  • the nature of the injuries resulting from the accident and of any consequent disabilities and financial loss; and
  • if applicable—the medical treatment and rehabilitation services the claimant has sought or obtained; and
  • the claimant’s medical history (as far as it is relevant to the claim), and any other claims for compensation for personal injury made by the claimant: section 45(1) MAIA.

If a claim is not settled at the compulsory conference, each party must (unless the court has dispensed with this obligation) exchange written final offers: section 51C MAIA.

An action for damages should then be started in the Court within 60 days after the conclusion of the compulsory conference: section 51D MAIA.

  1. These are damages for:-

    • pain and suffering; or
    • loss of amenities of life; or
    • loss of expectation of life; or
    • disfigurement: section 51 CLA.
  1. If general damages are to be awarded by a Court in relation to an injury arising after 1 December 2002, the Court must assess an injury scale value.  The injured person’s total general damages must be assigned a numerical value (injury scale value) on a scale running from 0 to 100 based on the severity of the injury. An injury which is not severe enough to justify any award of general damages will attract an ISV of 0.  Whereas an injury of the worst possible kind will attract an ISV of 100: section 61 CLA.

  1. The court may only award damages if it is satisfied that the person has suffered or will suffer loss having regard to the person’s age, work history, actual loss of earnings, any permanent impairment and any other relevant matters: section 55 CLA.

  1. Yes.  Your lost income is calculated.  Then, the ‘relevant percentage’ is then applied to your lost income to determine the loss of superannuation.   The ‘relevant percentage’ is the percentage of earnings that is the minimum percentage required by a written law to be paid on the employee’s behalf as employer superannuation contributions: section 56 CLA.

  1. Damages for gratuitous services provided to a claimant are not to be awarded unless—

    • the services are necessary; and
    • the need for the services arises solely out of the injury in relation to which damages are awarded; and
    • the services are provided, or are to be provided—
      • for at least 6 hours per week; and
      • for at least 6 months: section 59 CLA.
  1. A court cannot order the payment of interest on—

    • an award for general damages; or
    • an award of damages for gratuitous services provided to an injured person.

    Interest awarded on damages compensating past monetary loss must not be more than interest at the appropriate rate: Section 60 CLA.

  1. The purpose of the National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Act 2016 (“NIISQ”) is to ensure that persons who suffer particular serious personal injuries as a result of a motor accident in Queensland receive necessary and reasonable treatment, care and support, regardless of fault: section 3(1) NIISQ.

    • medical or pharmaceutical treatment;
    • dental treatment;
    • rehabilitation;
    • ambulance transportation;
    • respite care;
    • attendant care and support services;
    • aids and appliances, other than ordinary personal or household items;
    • prosthesis;
    • education or vocational training;
    • home or transport modification: section 8 NIISQ.
    • A person is eligible to participate in the scheme in relation to a ‘serious personal injury’ suffered by the person if the Act applies in relation to the injury (section 4 NIISQ) and the injury meets the criteria (the eligibility criteria) for the injury prescribed by regulation: section 12(1) NIISQ.

    • What is a ‘serious personal injury’ for the purposes of the National Injury Insurance Scheme?

      • a permanent spinal cord injury resulting in a permanent neurological deficit; or
      • a traumatic brain injury resulting in a permanent impairment of cognitive, physical or psychosocial function; or
      • a forequarter amputation or shoulder disarticulation amputation; or
      • the amputation of a leg through or above the femur; or
      • the amputation of more than 1 limb or parts of different limbs; or
      • a permanent injury to the brachial plexus resulting in an impairment equivalent to a shoulder disarticulation amputation; or
      • a full thickness burn to all or part of the body; or
      • an inhalation burn resulting in a permanent respiratory impairment; or
      • permanent blindness caused by a trauma: Schedule 1 NIISQ.
      • The court may award treatment, care and support damages if:-

        • personal injury resulted from a motor accident; and
        • the person suffering the personal injury is a lifetime participant in the insurance scheme in relation to a serious personal injury resulting from the motor accident; and
        • the person is not guilty of contributory negligence in relation to the claim or
        • the person is guilty of contributory negligence in relation to the claim and the damages that the person would be entitled to in the absence of contributory negligence are to be reduced, because of the contributory negligence, by less than 50%; and
        • the insurance agency is liable, under the National Injury Act, section 42, to contribute towards the insurer’s liability on the claim for treatment, care and support damages: section 52C CLA.

        The participant must give a notice to the agency and the insurer stating whether or not the participant wants to preserve any right the participant may have to be awarded treatment, care and support damages under a final judgment of a court or a binding settlement: section 41 NIISQ.

      • If a death is caused by a wrongful act or omission and the act or omission would, if death had not resulted, have entitled the deceased person to recover damages in a proceeding for personal injury then a court may award to the members of the deceased person’s family damages.  The compensation the Court awards must be proportional to the damage to them resulting from the death: section 64 Civil Proceedings Act 2011 (Qld) (“CPA”).

      • The proceeding may be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person, or by any 1 or more of the members of the deceased’s family who suffered damage because of the death, for the benefit of the members of the deceased’s family who suffered damage because of the death: section 65 CPA.

        • monetary benefits
        • other material benefits having a monetary value, including, for example, domestic services
        • funeral expenses
        • If a spouse has entered into a new relationship since the deceased person’s death but before settlement of the claim, the court may take into account any financial benefits that the spouse has received, and any financial benefits that the spouse is likely to receive, as a result of the new relationship: section 67 CPA.

          However, the court must not take into account any financial benefits that the spouse may receive as a result of a new relationship that the spouse may enter into after settlement of the claim section 67 CPA.

In assessing damages in relation to a wrongful death claim, the following are not be taken into account to reduce the damages:-

  • an amount paid or payable on the death of the deceased person under a contract of insurance;
  • an amount paid or payable on the deceased’s death under a contract, other than a contract of insurance, made with a friendly society or other benefit society, or association or trade union;
  • an amount paid or payable on the deceased’s death out of a superannuation, provident or similar fund;
  • a gratuity in whatever form received or receivable on the deceased’s death.
  • an amount paid or payable on the deceased’s death by way of pension, benefit or allowance under a law of—
    • the Commonwealth; or
    • any State; or
    • another country: section 70 CPA.

Yes. Damages are recoverable only for injury constituted by a recognisable psychiatric condition and not for emotional distress, alarm, fear, anxiety, annoyance or upset: Tame v New South Wales (2002) 211 CLR 317, at [7], [44], [194].

Contact us for a no obligation consultation to discuss your options.

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