by Pania Watt
If you have been injured in a car accident, read on for the five things to know about making a compensation claim in Queensland.
1. The system in Queensland is different to the system in New South Wales.
This seems like it’s obvious, but people are often surprised by it.
Even if you’re from New South Wales, your car is registered in New South Wales, and the car at fault is registered in New South Wales – if the accident happened in Queensland, the law of Queensland will apply to any claim for compensation you need to make.
In Queensland, the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) is the regulatory authority responsible for managing the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme in Queensland.
In New South Wales, SIRA is the regulatory authority responsible for managing the CTP scheme in New South Wales.
2. Time limits apply.
If you don’t know the details of the vehicle that caused the accident, you must lodge your claim form within three months of the date of the accident.
In all other situations, whichever of the following dates is earlier:
– Within nine (9) months of the date of the accident, or, if symptoms of the injury or injuries aren’t immediately apparent, within nine (9) months of the first appearance of symptoms;
– If you engage a solicitor to manage your claim, within one (1) month of your first consultation with the solicitor.
3. The insurer has rights in relation to the conduct of your claim.
Once you make a claim, the insurer has a number of rights, which include:
– Using the authority that you sign in the notice of accident claim form to obtain documents from your current and past doctors, the hospital/s that you attended for treatment, the police and Centrelink and your current and past employers. If you state in your notice of accident claim form that you have had previous significant injuries, the insurer can also obtain documents relating to those injuries.
– Appoint an investigator to investigate the factual basis of your claim. These investigators might take statements from witnesses, or conduct video surveillance of you.
– Require you to provide information regarding the circumstances of the accident and the amount of loss and damage you are claiming. Generally, this information will be required to be provided in a statutory declaration, which involves you swearing that the information contained in that declaration is correct.
– Require you to undergo independent medical examinations.
4. Rehabilitation costs may be paid by the insurer, but not always.
Rehabilitation costs for treatment like physiotherapy treatment, chiropractic treatment, counselling or even surgery costs are all commonly required to assist with your recovery in the immediate aftermath of an accident.
Unfortunately, the insurer is under no obligation to meet the cost of any rehabilitation expenses you might incur unless, and until, they admit liability. The insurer has six (6) months in which to investigate the circumstances of the accident and either accept or deny liability. During this period of time, the insurer may agree to pay for some rehabilitation costs on your behalf.
5. If you settle your motor accident claim, you will have to pay refunds.
If you are successful in a common law claim for damages and receive a payment of compensation, any payments made to you, or on your behalf, in relation to your injury by:
– Centrelink; and/or
– Medicare Australia; and/or
– Your private health insurer,
must be repaid to these agencies from any compensation agreed with the insurer, or awarded by a court. These payments will generally be paid by the insurer direct to these agencies, before your settlement funds are paid to you.
If your case is resolved without statements of the amounts paid by these agencies for the insurer to make payment upon, those agencies will seek reimbursement from you direct. That is why we always ensure we have up to date statements of the amounts paid by these agencies prior to the conclusion of your case.
The information in this blog is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be taken as such. If you have any queries, contact us now on 1300 15 15 45 to discuss your specific circumstances.
All initial consults with our firm are free of charge and all of our services are No Win, No Pay, with the exception of NSW workers compensation claims, which are funded by WIRO and therefore free to all non-exempt workers covered by the NSW workers compensation scheme.