Personal Injury Compensation

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1 Personal Injury Compensation

2 Claiming Compensation for Accidents What you should do when making a claim 1. Seek medical advice as soon as possible. 2. Obtain a written report from your doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor or psychologist. 3. Put in writing your recollection of events. 4. Draw a map or diagram of the location and incident. 5. Take photos of the area. 6. Take photos of your injuries after one day, one week, one month, three months and one year. 7. Obtain contact details of any witnesses and the other party involved. Depending on the extent and nature of your injuries you may be eligible for compensation including: Payment of medical expenses Lump sum compensation for pain and suffering Rehabilitation Long term care Loss of income Loss of enjoyment and amenities of life Provision of care by a friend or family member 8. Keep a diary of all medical appointments and also a record of pain and suffering, monetary expenses and any non-paid assistance from family or friends. Time Deadlines 1 month In the case of motor vehicle accidents and public liability accidents, if you have consulted a lawyer about lodging a claim you have one month to serve your initial notice of claim. 3 months In the case of motor vehicle accidents, if you cannot locate the negligent party you have three months to serve an initial notice on the Nominal Defendant, however the sooner the notice is served the better. 9 months In the case of motor vehicle accidents and public liability accidents, you have nine months from the date of the incident, or from the first date you notice signs of injury, to serve an initial notice, provided no other shorter timeframes apply (as above). 2

3 Workplace Injury Workers Compensation Claims (No Fault) (for injury sustained while going to or from work or while doing your job) If you are injured at work you may be able to claim workers compensation under the Workers Compensation & Rehabilitation Act All employers in Queensland must have workers compensation insurance for their workers. Even if you are at fault, you may still be able to make a claim. Workers compensation may cover your wages, reimbursement for medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses and other losses or expenses related to your injury. Your compensation comes from the insurer, not the employer. You generally have six months from the date of the incident to make a claim. Lump Sum Payments If you have sustained permanent injury you may be eligible for a lump sum payment. The insurer will have your injury assessed and then issue you with a Notice of Assessment and possibly an offer for a lump sum payment. Examples of permanent injury include: Loss of an appendage Head injury Dislocations Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) Note: Once you have signed or accepted any lump sum payment offer you may forfeit all future rights to the claim. It is vital that you consult a lawyer to ensure you get the full amount that you are entitled to. Common Law Claims (When the employer is at fault) If your injuries are a result of your employer s negligence, then you may be able to make a common law claim. This is separate from workers compensation cases and you will require a lawyer. Common law claims are much more serious and take into account not only your current losses but also future losses to income and quality of life. To ensure that you can make a claim you must ensure that you follow proper procedures: Report the incident to your employer so they can claim through WorkCover Queensland. Seek medical attention and get an immediate assessment of your injury. It is important to document all information related to your claim. If you are successful in your Common Law Claim you must refund all Workers Compensation payments as well as any refund due to statutory authorities such as Medicare and Centrelink. 3

4 Motor Vehicle Accidents Slip and Fall Accidents Motor Vehicle Accidents What you must do to claim compensation Slip and Fall Accidents Where someone falls over and injures themselves To claim compensation if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Queensland, you must be able to prove that there was another party involved who was negligent or at least partially responsible for your accident occurring. Even if you are partially at fault you may still be able to make a claim but for a lesser amount. If you were dependent on a person who was fatally injured in an accident you may also be able to make a claim through the compulsory third party insurance on the negligent vehicle. Time limits apply for making injury claims. If you can identify another negligent party you have nine months from the time of the incident to make a claim or nine months from the first appearance of any symptoms of injury sustained from the accident that may not have been initially apparent. If you have consulted a lawyer about a potential claim, then you have one month from the initial consultation to serve your claim. If you are unable to locate the negligent party you have three months from the time of the accident to serve a Nominal Defendant claim. You may make a claim if you fall in a private residence, a yard, a public place or a shopping centre and the fall was caused by the owner or occupant of the premises failing to take adequate care for the safety of the public. Examples of slip and fall accidents include: Falls as a result of food or liquids spilt on floors Slippery floor finishings Tripping over ropes or cables Accidents resulting from faulty equipment in sporting facilities or play grounds Falling down stairs because of faulty steps or a lack of hand rails Rubbish left where someone may fall Hole in the ground and no signage Uneven surface Manhole cover missing and no signage If you do not comply with these deadlines you risk having your claim rejected. 4

5 Total and Permanent Disability Claims Total and Permanent Disability claims Total and Permanent Disability claims (also known as TPD or super claims) are an insurance benefit available under a superannuation fund. It does not matter who is/was negligent or at fault. Your can make a TPD claim even if you are receiving benefit from organisations such as WorkCover or Centrelink. TPD payments can also be made alongside a personal injury claim. You may be eligible to apply if you are unable to work because of illness or injury, and if you have an active life insurance policy or superannuation policy with TPD cover. Various types of disability insurance benefits that you may be eligible for, include: Income Protection If you are unable to work and have income protection insurance, you may be entitled to a benefit of up to 75% of your gross income, for a set period of time. Death Family members, nominated by a deceased person s life insurance policy, such as a spouse or child, may receive a lump sum, paid upon the person s death. TPD and super claims are subject to strict time limits. It is important that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) If you haven t worked for at least six months and you are sick or injured (for example, spinal injury from a workplace accident, mental illness or brain injury), you may be entitled to a TPD insurance benefit. For example, spinal injury from a workplace accident, mental illness or brain injury. Trauma Regardless of whether you are working or not working, you may be eligible to receive a lump sum if you suffer a specific ailment or have been diagnosed with a defined medical condition. For example, cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, heart attack, asbestos, stroke or chronic fatigue syndrome. 5

6 Brisbane Level 2, 102 Adelaide Street Brisbane Tel (07) Fax (07) Gold Coast Level 1, 2406 Gold Coast Highway Mermaid Beach Tel (07) Fax (07) Beenleigh 99 George Street Beenleigh Tel (07) Fax (07) Ipswich 55 Limestone Street Ipswich Tel (07) Fax (07) Caboolture 25 King Street Caboolture Tel (07) Fax (07) Cleveland 141 Shore Street West Cleveland Tel (07) Fax (07) Jimboomba Shop 1, 689 Cusack Lane Jimboomba Tel (07) Fax (07) Individual liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation. This is general advice only. You should seek specific advice for your particular circumstances. 6

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