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Frequently Asked questions
1. I have been in a motor vehicle accident; can I claim compensation for my injuries?
If you were the driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident and the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, then you may be entitled to claim compensation for either the physical or psychological injuries you have received.
As of 1st July 2013, new South Australian legislation came into effect regarding the compensation awarded to injuries sustained from a motor vehicle accident. Your claim is against the negligent driver’s compulsory third party insurer and there are particular thresholds that need to be met to ensure a successful claim.
Motor vehicle accidents can involve disagreements about the injuries sustained. Therefore, it is important to seek legal advice in the early stages.
2. What do I need to do to lodge a claim?
A claim is made by lodging a claim with the compulsory third party insurer. We can assist you in doing this whereby you will receive a claim number where all approved medical treatment will be billed to.
If you decide you would like us to represent you in your claim, we will take full responsibility in assuming the conduct of your claim.
3. How long do I have to make a claim?
There is a general limitation that a claim for injuries sustained from a motor vehicle accident must be negotiated or have court proceedings issued within 3 years from the date of the accident.
If the accident occurred after 1st July 2013, you must give formal notice of the accident and fill out an ‘Injury Claim Form’ within 6 months of the accident.
If the injured person is a minor (under 18 years of age), there are further provisions which will be explained to you.
4. Will I be out of pocket if I make a claim?
We work on a no win, no fee agreement. During the course of your claim, we will liaise with you, the medical staff and insurance company to accurately assess your compensation to receive the best outcome.
In short, you will not need to pay anything until your claim is resolved. We aim to act in your best interests and ensure that you are not left with a considerable legal bill.
5. Are there any factors that may limit my claim therefore reducing compensation?
If you contributed to the motor vehicle accident and you have sustained injuries, then compensation is reduced according to the percentage of your contribution.
The factors below may limit your claim for compensation:
• You partially contributed to the motor vehicle accident;
• You were intoxicated either by alcohol or drugs;
• You did not wear a seatbelt or helmet;
These reductions and any others that apply to your claim will be discussed and explained, ensuring you understand how it will affect your claim.
6. What compensation may I be entitled to?
Depending on the circumstances of your claim, your entitlements will vary. Compensation is awarded under particular headings known as damages and is assessed on the supporting evidence such as medical reports and tax returns.
Below is a list of the entitlements which may extend to you:
• Non-economic loss (pain and suffering)
• Past and future loss of earning capacity
• Past and future loss of superannuation
• Services performed by others, particularly family members
• Domestic assistance
• Medical expenses
• Travel expenses
• Legal fees
7. There are a lot of medical reports involved. What is an Injury Scale Value (ISV) Medical Assessment and why is it so important to my claim?
When you seek treatment by a doctor regarding a motor vehicle accident, it is called a medico-legal examination. They will subsequently produce a written report which is used as evidence in a claim.
Injuries sustained on or after 1st July 2013 require an ISV medical assessment. It determines the claimant’s entitlements to compensation in the form of a score out of 100. For example, to receive compensation for pain and suffering, the injury must exceed 10 points on the scale which is considered high.
A court will critically consider this score in determining whether compensation thresholds have been met and if you can claim particular heads of damage.
8. Can I make a claim even if I don’t know who the other driver is?
Yes, you can. If the negligent driver involved in the accident is unknown or uninsured, you may have a claim against the Nominal Defendant Scheme. Certain criteria must be met to be entitled for compensation under this scheme and will be discussed with you.