MAURICE BLACKBURN LAWYERS ROAD ACCIDENT INJURIES SOUTH AUSTRALIA

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1 MAURICE BLACKBURN LAWYERS ROAD ACCIDENT INJURIES SOUTH AUSTRALIA

2 02 MAURICE BLACKBURN YOU RE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. If you are hurt, injured, or are facing an unfair situation, you and your family shouldn t have to suffer. That s why we never stand back when bad things happen to good people. At Maurice Blackburn we believe that the law should serve everyone. Who you are or where you re from, it doesn t matter. You re worth fighting for. Maurice Blackburn was born from one man s belief in making a difference to people s lives. Nearly 100 years on these values remain a powerful influence on everything we do. We exist to fight for your rights. For what you deserve. When life isn t fair we ll help you to fight for everything you re entitled to. Because at Maurice Blackburn, we fight for fair.

3 03 ROAD ACCIDENT INJURIES If you ve suffered an injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you ll understand the stress, pain and loss that accidents cause. At such a difficult time, compensation benefits can help. Easing the pain: Compensation following a motor vehicle accident The motor accidents scheme in South Australia is a complex scheme requiring specialised knowledge of the law in this area. It is critical to obtain independent and expert legal advice as soon as possible following your accident to ensure that: you comply with the time limits in relation to the lodgement of your claim you are aware of the compensation available you are advised of the process of obtaining compensation to ensure your understanding of the claims process evidence is collected when it is still fresh and available to maximise your entitlements, and your lawyer is in the best position to be able to obtain the best possible outcome for you. In South Australia, the Compulsory Third Party Insurer is the Motor Accident Commission (MAC). MAC will not provide you with independent legal advice, nor will they suggest that you seek independent advice when considering settlement offers or denials to pay for ongoing treatment expenses. MAC will not automatically offer to pay you the entirety of your compensation entitlements. It is imperative that you obtain competent and expert legal advice to protect your interests. If you are injured, you should seek legal advice from Maurice Blackburn who can guide you through the claim process. We try to make the process easier for you by providing straight-forward advice. Can I make a claim for compensation? If you have suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident which occurred in South Australia, you may be able to claim compensation. The patience shown, the expertise that shone through and the ongoing support given was tremendous. Maurice Blackburn Client

4 04 MAURICE BLACKBURN What types of accidents are covered? MAC becomes liable to pay claims where injury or death has been caused by the fault of a driver of a vehicle. Negligent driving may include: a driver injured where another vehicle was at fault a passenger injured in an accident with another vehicle a passenger injured in a single vehicle accident a pedestrian hit by a vehicle a cyclist hit by a vehicle or hitting an opening door of a vehicle, or a motorcyclist hit by a vehicle. What can I claim? If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and you can show that the owner or driver of a vehicle (other than you) was partially or completely at fault, you may be entitled to a range of benefits including: Compensation for past and future income. Unfortunately, the insurer is not legally obligated to pay regular weekly payments. In limited circumstances where it can be established that severe financial hardship is being experienced, the insurer may consider an advance payment to assist in meeting ongoing living expenses. An advance payment is at the discretion of the insurer and is not an automatic entitlement. What injuries are covered? All injuries are covered, as long as there is a connection between the injury and the motor vehicle accident. Also covered are: fatal injuries (claims can be made by dependants or estates) pre-existing injuries made worse by the accident, and psychological conditions caused by the accident (including witnesses). Recent changes to the law have significantly increased thresholds to be able to make a claim. You should seek legal advice. How do I make a claim? If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and think a driver may be liable for your injuries, you must notify MAC in writing of your intention to make a claim. The Notice needs to be in a prescribed format and provided to MAC as soon as practicable after the accident, but within 6 months. Contact Maurice Blackburn if you need assistance completing your Notice of Intention to claim. Maurice Blackburn exist to fight for your rights. For what you deserve. When life isn t fair we ll help you to fight for everything you re entitled to.

5 05 ROAD ACCIDENT INJURIES Compensation for past and future medical treatment, rehabilitation and medication expenses. Reasonable medical, treatment and rehabilitation expenses are generally reimbursed by the insurer as they are incurred. Travel to and from medical or rehabilitation appointments can also be claimed. Compensation for non-economic loss (i.e. pain and suffering, impairment and loss of enjoyment of life). Compensation for past and future attendant care (whether provided gratuitously or on a commercial basis), domestic assistance or home modifications. How long will it take? After you have made a claim, MAC must make a decision about whether they accept or deny liability. While each case is different, the average claim generally takes between years to resolve from the date of accident. This may seem like a long time, however, it is important not to finalise a claim too early, because all of your losses may not be assessable at an early stage. Claims may sometimes take longer due to injuries not having stabilised, non-attendance at doctors consultations, difficulty in negotiating a settlement with the insurer or delays in the court process.

6 06 MAURICE BLACKBURN Will I have to go to court? In the majority of cases, claims are resolved without going to court. If a family member dies in an accident, can anyone else make a claim? If a parent, partner or child has been killed as a result of the motor vehicle accident, and you were either totally or partially dependent on them for financial support or domestic assistance, you may be entitled to make a claim if you can prove that someone other than the family member was responsible for the accident. You are also entitled to make a claim for the cost of funeral expenses. If there are no dependants, the deceased s estate can claim for funeral expenses. In some circumstances, where the family member has suffered psychological injury following the death, they may be able to claim for nervous shock. What happens if the vehicle that caused the accident was unregistered or was unable to be identified as it left the scene? Protecting your rights is our business At Maurice Blackburn, we are committed to getting a fair outcome for our clients so you can get on with your life without disadvantage. Our expert lawyers provide a free first consultation and will fight to ensure you receive the best possible outcome because we recognise that the compensation you receive is vital to ensuring quality of life for you and your family. If you would like to make an appointment, please call From the very beginning, we fought for the rights of ordinary people. We continue this tradition today. Critical time frames All claims should be commenced in court or settled within three years from the date of accident. If three years pass from the date of accident without court proceedings being commenced you may lose your rights to compensation. Get advice as soon as possible. Where an unregistered vehicle or a vehicle which cannot be identified has caused an accident, a claim might still proceed successfully against MAC or the nominated defendant. Maurice Blackburn can assist you in complying with your due search and enquiry obligations to attempt to identify any unknown vehicle. Will it cost anything to find out whether I can make a claim? No. We are happy to advise you on your situation during a free first consultation.

7 CONTACT US If you are considering legal action or want to fight for your rights, get in touch and we can assess what you need or arrange for a meeting with one of our lawyers. For most practice areas, your first consultation is free (business hours) mauriceblackburn.com.au Road Accident Injuries WorkCover Medical Negligence Asbestos Diseases Superannuation & Insurance Claims Public Liability Faulty Products Comcare Financial Advice Disputes Class Actions Social Justice Feel free to drop into our Adelaide office: Adelaide (08) King William Street Adelaide SA 5000

8 Maurice Blackburn is a leading Australian law firm certified to the international ISO 9001:2008 quality standard. Information correct at 1 July This brochure is a general guide to dealing with Road Accident Injury claims and is not a substitute for professional advice in this area. Maurice Blackburn is proud to be carbon neutral (see our website for details). This brochure is printed on ecostar Silk. Made with 100% certified post consumer waste fibre, it is produced with a carbon neutral manufacturing process and has been made in a facility that operates under the ISO Environmental Management System. MB4184_SARA 04/15

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