Unfortunately, the number of road traffic accidents occurring each year continues to grow- and these accidents can result in serious injuries for the people involved. If you have recently been involved in a car accident, it may be an appropriate time to ask yourself: Do I need a lawyer? Personal injury lawyers are experienced professionals who are experts at dealing with motor vehicle and car accident injury claims.
If you have recently suffered injuries from a car accident due to the negligent actions of another, then you may have grounds to make a motor vehicle accident claim. Read on to find out more about the car accident claims process- and whether you should engage a lawyer to handle your case.
Am I Eligible for a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?
A lawyer can help determine if you are eligible to make a car accident claim and receive compensation. Generally, if you have been injured in a car accident as a driver, passenger or pedestrian then you may be entitled to make a car accident claim according to the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme.
Who do I Submit my Car Accident Claim to?
As the CTP insurance scheme mandates that all car owners in New South Wales are required to have CTP insurance, a motor vehicle accident claim is made against the insurer of the negligent driver. A lawyer can help you make this claim by obtaining the negligent driver’s details, finding the details of the relevant CTP insurer, help you complete and serve the correct claim form and negotiating the best possible settlement offer.
What Type of Motor Vehicle Accident Claim Should I Lodge?
A lawyer will help determine which type of car accident claim is most appropriate for your circumstances, and therefore the most likely to succeed. Different types of car accident claims include:
- Accident notification claim: This claim must be lodged with the CTP insurer of the negligent driver and if successful, you can receive up to $5000 in compensation for expenses incurred up to 6 months after the car accident occurred.
- Personal injury claim: This claim must be also be lodged with the CTP insurer of the negligent driver, and is for when the injured party expects their expenses to amount more than $5000 or that their recovery time will exceed 6 months.
- Nominal defendant claim: In some circumstances, such as during a hit and run, it may not be possible to identify the details of the other car driver. In this case, the injured party should consider filing a claim under the New South Wales’ Nominal Defendant scheme.
- Fatal car accident claim: Family members who have lost a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle accident will be entitled to claim compensation by lodging a fatal car accident claim.
Are There Time Limits in Making a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?
A motor vehicle accident claim is subject to strict time limits- and you can lose your chance at compensation if you don’t act within the prescribed time period. Lawyers are well aware of any time limits that need to be adhered to- and can help to ensure you are not time-barred and therefore prevented in making a claim. Depending on the type of car accident claim you are making, the time limits can range from as little as 28 days up to a period of 6 months.
Can These Time Limits be Extended?
If a car accident claim is not lodged within the specified time period, a lawyer may be able to assist you in applying for an extension. However, only where you can provide a reasonable explanation will an extension be granted. When deciding whether an extension will be allowed, the insurers will consider the following:
- The length of the delay in bringing forth a claim
- The reasons for the delay in bringing forth a claim
- The nature and extent of the injury
A lawyer can draft and lodge an application to the insurer, clearly outlining your case and why you should be granted an extension. However, it is solely at the insurer’s discretion as to whether an extension should be granted and injured parties should not rely upon obtaining an extension.
For more information on car accident insurance claims, get in touch with Schreuder Partners today.