Motor Vehicle Accidents

Have you been injured in a motor vehicle accident?

If you have been injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Your injuries could be caused by a car, bus, motorcycle or truck. Compensation is available for passengers, pedestrians, bike riders, motor bike riders or drivers.

Who is entitled to compensation?

You are entitled to claim compensation where another driver is at fault, or partially at fault for the accident. If you suffered catastrophic injuries, you may have entitlements under the Lifetime Support Scheme even if you were at fault for the accident or where no one is to blame.

What are you entitled to claim?

You may be entitled to claim the following:

  • Pain and suffering (non-economic loss).
  • Loss of income.
  • Loss of superannuation.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Care and assistance around the home and garden.
  • Voluntary services.

Thresholds and discounts apply to a number of these entitlements, so it is important to get legal advice on what you are entitled to claim in your particular circumstances.

Who is responsible for paying the compensation?

All registered motor vehicles have, as part of the registration fee, CTP (compulsory third party) insurance which is intended to provide compensation for injuries arising from the use of a motor vehicle. Any entitlement to compensation under the CTP insurance scheme is paid by the insurer of the vehicle that is at fault for the accident, not by the driver of the at fault vehicle.

South Australia has four CTP insurers - AAMI, SGIC, Allianz and QBE. To find out which insurer is responsible, you need to know the registration number of the vehicle at fault.

What time limits apply?

It is important to be aware of the relevant time limits that apply for making a motor vehicle accident claim in South Australia. Generally it is a good idea to seek advice as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and preserve evidence.

A claim form should be lodged with the appropriate insurance company within six months of the accident. If the claim has not been resolved within three years, legal proceedings must be lodged in Court to protect your entitlements to compensation.  

If the claim involves a child who is under 18 at the time of the accident, the 3 year time limit begins once the child turns 18 and they therefore have until they are 21 years of age to lodge the claim in Court. However, even in such circumstances the claim form should be lodged within 6 months of the accident.

There are a number of pre-action steps that must be taken prior to issuing proceedings. It is therefore important to see a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to avoid any penalties which may apply for non-compliance with the pre-action steps.

When should I see a lawyer?

It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after you have seen a doctor. A lawyer can assist in completing the claim form and advise you on how to proceed with a claim.

You should not accept any offer of settlement from the insurer without first obtaining advice on the offer from a lawyer.

Legal Fees

When you contact us, we will offer you a free no obligation thirty minute telephone or in person meeting to discuss your claim and the process involved.

For most motor accident claims, we offer either a deferred payment arrangement or no win no fee arrangement depending on the circumstances. Either way, we do not charge you any legal fees until the conclusion of your claim. For most claims, the insurer will pay a significant contribution towards your legal fees.

You may be responsible for paying for the cost of out of pocket expenses referred to as disbursements, such as medical reports. However, in many cases we can negotiate with the insurer in advance to pay the cost of medical reports. Where the insurer will not pay for the report, there are other avenues to assist with funding for these expenses, or arrangements can be made for instalment payments, which our lawyers can advise you on.  

Think you have a claim? Contact Andersons Solicitors for free initial consultation. 

Awards

Leading Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation Law Firms (Plaintiff) – South Australia, 2021

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