The Motor Accident Compensation Act (1999) provides that if a person is injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident and the accident was the fault of another then the injured person may have rights to claim compensation for their injuries.

Start a claim

This is, most unfortunately, a very complex area of the law. It has been complicated by reason of changes to the law made by consecutive governments in New South Wales over many years.

The position is that we now have the most restrictive legislation that has ever been in place in New South Wales limiting the amount of compensation available to injured persons. The fact of the matter is green slip premiums are not excessive but restrictions in the level of compensation payable to injured motorists or pedestrians means that insurance companies are now making record profits.

In the event you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident there are a number of things that need to be done to bring the claim.

Making a Claim

The accident must be reported to the police within 28 days of having occurred. If the police did not attend upon the accident then it is imperative that the injured person attend a local police station and report same.

The law requires that there be a claim form completed and lodged with the insurer for the vehicle at fault within six months of the accident. In fact it is also open to the injured motorist or pedestrian to lodge an accident notification form with the insurer within 28 days of the accident which will entitle the injured person to claim immediate benefits for medical treatment and wage loss.

Any proceedings brought by the injured motorist or pedestrian must be brought within three years of the date of the accident otherwise the claim will be statute barred. However within that three-year period there are quite a number of procedural matters which require attention before any proceedings can be brought.

What happens next?

Once a claim is lodged with the CTP insurer the insurer will investigate the matter. In most cases the insurer will admit liability on the part of its insured driver for the accident. That is, they will admit fault. Once fault has been admitted the matter will proceed as an assessment only. The only issue to be determined is the assessment of compensation to which the injured motorist or pedestrian is entitled.

The insurer may arrange for the injured person to undergo medico-legal examination. They will also seek particulars of the claim including any documentary evidence in support of any wage loss claim.

 

What can I claim?

Although the scheme has been modified over the years to restrict the level of compensation available Brydens Lawyers are experts in motor accident claims and will ensure that their clients receive every cent of compensation to which they are entitled. Compensation can be claimed under a number of different headings. They are:

  1. General damages or non-economic loss.

These are damages paid for the pain and suffering endured or to be endured by the injured motorist or pedestrian. Regrettably it is this area that has received the most attention by respective governments. The legislation currently provides that only those persons who are seriously if not horrendously injured are entitled to any compensation for their pain and suffering. For the injured motorist or pedestrian to be entitled to any compensation for their pain and suffering they must establish that their injuries have resulted in a whole person impairment of greater than 10%. Anecdotal evidence suggests that only one person in every 10 injured in a motor accident will achieve this threshold. That is, insurance companies are able to keep for themselves compensation that would otherwise have been paid to injured persons for their pain and suffering in 90% of cases.

  1. Medical expenses.

The injured person is entitled to claim for the cost of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment expenses. In addition a claim can be made for future treatment expenses.

  1. Domestic assistance.

The injured person is entitled to make a claim for the value of domestic assistance or attendant care that is provided either gratuitously by family members or friends or alternatively on a commercial basis. If however the care is provided gratuitously by family members or friends then there are thresholds which must be achieved so far as the level of care is concerned before any claim in this regard can be made. That is, the care provided on a gratuitous basis must be for at least six months and for at least six hours per week.

  1. Economic loss.

This covers a wide area of damages for which the injured motorist or pedestrian can claim. It includes past wage loss for periods of absence from work. It includes loss of business profits. It includes damages for loss of earning capacity in the future. It includes loss of superannuation benefits.

Legal costs are also claimable from the insurance company. Regrettably the amount payable by the insurance company by way of costs is, by virtue of the legislation, nominal compared to the actual costs incurred in the prosecution of these claims. Again this has been a deliberate policy decision on the part of successive governments so as to ensure that injured persons are penalised when it comes to legal costs, again for the benefit of insurance companies.

 

The role of Brydens Lawyers

Brydens Lawyers has for over 40 years been expertly prosecuting claims on behalf of injured motorists and pedestrians. Brydens Lawyers are experts in ensuring that the injured person receives the maximum compensation to which they are entitled. Brydens Lawyers does not act for insurance companies and therefore does not suffer with any conflict of interest. The role of Brydens Lawyers is to ensure that claims are prosecuted efficiently and quickly so as to ensure the recovery of all entitlements by the injured motorist or pedestrian as soon as possible.

The prosecution of a motor accident claim can be a difficult and complex process. It need not be. The engagement of Brydens Lawyers as your legal representatives will ensure that your claim proceeds smoothly and efficiently at an affordable cost.

Brydens Lawyers, experts in the field of motor accident claims.

Brydens Lawyers – protecting your future.

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