Cairns Injury Lawyers | Injury Lawyers
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Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers Cairns

If you’ve never needed to make a claim for compensation, you won’t be sure how it works or what to expect.  This unfamiliarity can make an already involved process even more daunting. 

We’ve compiled the most frequent questions asked by our clients and done our best to answer them for you.  We recommend starting at the top and reading each section in order.  Our hope is that by the time you reach the bottom, your questions will have been answered. 

If you still have questions or if you would like to talk to us about making a claim, please contact our expert legal team on 4052 0700 and ask for Tim or Meegan. 

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call us now for a free over the phone or face to face claim assessment

Do I Have A Claim?

Do I have a motor vehicle accident compensation claim?

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident as a driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian, odds are you are entitled to claim for compensation.

In Queensland, all vehicles must be registered and carry compulsory third party (CTP) insurance by law. This insurance covers compensation for people injured in a motor vehicle accident.

The only time you are not entitled to compensation is if it is proven you were solely or predominantly at fault for causing the accident.

Unfortunately, the determination of who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident (in a legal sense at least) is quite complicated for compensation claims. This is where an expert lawyer can work ror you - ultimately, in order to properly demonstrate that someone is at fault for the CTP process, you need to do more than simply describe the accident, but rather you need to be able to explain in legal sense (known as particularising) precisely why the other driver’s conduct amounted to negligence.

Provided your lawyer can properly do this to the CTP insurer or a Court’s satisfaction, you will be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

How Much Can I Claim?

How much compensation do I receive?

The amount of compensation you are entitled to will vary, depending on:

• the nature and extent of the injuries that you have suffered from the accident;
• the impact that the injuries have had upon your financial circumstances;
• your age and occupation; and
• any pre-existing medical conditions you may have.

Your lawyers, the CTP insurers, and ultimately the Court must have regard to the nature and extent of your injury and its impact upon your life,  financial and work circumstances in determining the appropriate amount of compensation you are entitled to for each of the heads of damages detailed below.

Who pays me my compensation?

In Queensland, compensation is payable by either the CTP insurer of the vehicle involved in your accident or if you cannot identify the vehicle or it is uninsured, the Nominal Defendant.

How do I make a claim?

Where do I start with my motor vehicle accident compensation claim?

We strongly recommend that the first step you take is to speak to your lawyer. This should be done as a matter of urgency as:

  • There are time limits on when you can make a compensation claim (usually only 9 months from the date of the accident). Delaying the claims process can permanently strip you of rights to compensation.
  • The Process for claiming compensation in Queensland requires the navigation of a strict and somewhat complicated legal process which can ultimately result in you having to go to court.

The compensation claims process

The process for claiming compensation involves two distinct phases being:

  • the pre-proceedings phase; and
  • the proceedings phase.

Your Cairns-based lawyers will help you - each phase has several steps.  

How long does a claim take & cost?

How long does the compensation process take?

The length of the compensation process varies depending upon:

  • the number, nature and severity of the injuries that you have suffered;
  • the time it takes you to fully recover from your injuries (or least make the maximum possible recovery); and
  • whether you can negotiate a settlement with the CTP insurer at an early stage or whether you need to commence formal legal proceedings and or go to Court.

As a general rule, most compensation claims are finalised by negotiation with the CTP insurer within 9 – 18 months of a notice of claim being delivered to the insurer.

How much will my claim cost me?

Like many lawyers, our Cairns legal team works for injured people on a no win no fee basis. This means there are no upfront fees or monthly bills for claims to worry about. We only charge you if we are successful in getting you compensation.

The amount of fees that are payable from your compensation claim will vary depending upon:

  • How long it takes to negotiating a settlement (the earlier this occurs the less our legal fees will be).

We also pay for any medical reports, barrister’s fees, expert witnesses, and/or investigators we require to help prepare and present your case. You only pay these costs if we are successful in getting you compensation. If you don’t win, you don’t pay.

In most cases our lawyers will be able to give you an accurate fee estimate on a stage by stage basis once we understand enough about the circumstances of your accident.

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