We’ve put together a quick FAQ on the critical points everyone should understand when considering a personal injury claim in Queensland.
What’s the Time Limit for Applying for a Claim?
When applying for a personal injury claim, there are time limits that you must abide by. If you try to make a claim outside of your time limit, you may lose your ability to receive compensation.
Claims for personal injuries must generally be commenced within three years from the date the injuries were sustained.
However, the first notice of your intent to claim must be given to the person who caused your injury 9 months from the date you sustained the injury, or 1 month from when you instructed a lawyer.
Once you provide notice to the respondent, they one month to respond. If the respondent disputes that they caused the injury, they must give you information to enable you to identify the appropriate respondent.
If the respondent does not respond to your Part 1 Notice within one month, they are presumed to have accepted the notice.
A second notice must then be given to the respondent within two months of them accepting the notice.
Can I Apply after the Time Limit?
If you fail to provide the appropriate notices on time, you can still make a claim but you must provide a reasonable explanation for your delay.
In considering whether an excuse is reasonable, the court will consider, among other things, the extent and nature of your injuries, the length of the delay, and the reasons you gave.
Even if you are unable to provide a reasonable excuse for your delay, if you are within the three-year limitation period you may still be able to pursue a claim. This would be done by applying for leave to the court or by seeking the agreement of the other side to allow an extension of time.
If I Have Totally Recovered from My Injury Can I Still Make an Injury Compensation Claim?
If you have totally recovered from your accident you can still make a claim for your medical costs, gratuitous services, paid services and economic loss (such as loss of wages). It is unlikely that you will receive any money for ‘general damages’ .
What Should I Ask My Lawyer?
Make sure you find a lawyer that has specialist experience in your area of personal injury. For example, a traffic accidents lawyer will be experienced in motor vehicle accident claims.
Before deciding to hire a solicitor for a personal injury action, you also want to be clear about fundamental information. It is advisable to ask the personal injury lawyer:
- Do I have a strong case?
- How much am I likely to get if I win?
- How much is it likely to cost me?
- How long is it likely to take?
- How the lawyer’s fees will be calculated?
- Am I expected to pay for anything during your case or only at the end?
- What costs will I be responsible for if the case is not successful?
Each case is unique, so while we can’t give you precise answers, we should be able to give you a range of likely outcomes. You can use this knowledge to weigh up and decide whether it is worth going ahead with the claim.
How Much Can I Claim?
On their own, many people who have been injured would limit their claim to obvious things like medical bills.
It’s important to consider all damages caused by the injury. ‘Damages’ refers to the amount of money you ask for to compensate you for your injuries.
In general, injury damages claimable include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of amenities of life
- Loss of expectation of life
The amount of general damages awarded depends on the seriousness of the injury and is capped by law at $250,000.
Other types of damages include loss of earnings or earning capacity, and exemplary, punitive or aggravated damages (in which the act that caused the injury was an unlawful act done with intent to cause personal injury, or an unlawful sexual assault or other unlawful sexual misconduct.)
Note: An injured person has a duty to minimise their loss and damage by taking reasonable steps to mitigate damage. Failure to do so may result in damages being reduced.
If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, you can learn more about the different types of claims and personal injury services we offer here:
- Public Liability claims: http://brisbaneinjury.com.au/services/public-liability/
- Medical Negligence: http://brisbaneinjury.com.au/services/medical-negligence/
- Work-related Injury: http://brisbaneinjury.com.au/services/work-related-injury/
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: http://brisbaneinjury.com.au/services/motor-vehicle-accident/
- Our frequently asked questions: http://brisbaneinjury.com.au/faqs/
Brisbane Injury Lawyers
If you’ve been injured, speak to one our experienced personal injury lawyers to get an assessment of your claim.
For more information, get in contact with one of our personal injury law experts at email@example.com or via phone on (07) 3009 8444.