Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Injured in a motor vehicle accident and made a claim?
If you have been injured in a car, motorcycle or bicycle accident, whether as a pedestrian, driver or passenger, due to another person’s negligent driving of a motor vehicle or motorcycle or negligent riding of a bicycle, our personal injuries lawyers may be able to help you to receive compensation for your injuries and loss.
In respect of claims involving a car or motorcycle, claims are generally made against the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (“ICWA”) if the injury is caused by a motor vehicle or motorcycle. Claims are started by notifying ICWA of your intention to claim.
ICWA sometimes pays medical bills and sometimes will assist you with loss of earnings if you are unable to work. However, generally compensation for your injuries is paid by ICWA as a final lump sum payment at the conclusion of the claim. Your personal injuries lawyer will finalise your claim when your medical condition is stable. Usually claims are resolved at a settlement conference with your personal injuries lawyer negotiating on your behalf with either officers of ICWA or solicitors appointed by ICWA.
It is our job to take the stress of coping with your claim from you whilst you recover from your injuries, whether serious or minor. Most claims are resolved without the need to go to Court but should this be necessary, we are fully geared to take your claim all the way to a trial before a Judge. In some circumstances you may be partly to blame for the accident. You may still be eligible to receive a lump sum settlement, compensation and payment for medical expenses. We will take care of all matters necessary to bring your claim to negotiation of a successful lump sum settlement. If settlements are negotiated without the need to go to Court and if the liability for the other driver’s negligence is partly or wholly admitted we will not send you any bills for our fees until the claim is resolved and we will meet the costs of medical reports and the like. If legal proceedings are commenced before a matter goes to trial there must be a compulsory pre-trial conference at the District Court of Western Australia. At that pre-trial conference you will have the option of proceeding to Court if the offer of settlement is inadequate or finalising your claim. Should you decide to proceed to Court we may then request that you make a contribution towards the costs of proceeding to Court.
In Western Australia, motor vehicle accident claims are governed by the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act. This Act places some restrictions on bringing a claim. For example, a claim for pain and suffering, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life has a maximum which can be claimed which increases each year from 1 July and also a threshold which applies if you suffer a minor injury. This threshold ceases when your claim is determined to be more than 20% of a worst-case scenario.
You will not be charged for the initial consultation if you do not wish to proceed. We recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible after the accident and before signing any statement or giving an interview to an investigator dealing with the circumstances of the accident. We also recommend that if ICWA makes an offer of settlement to you that you seek legal advice from a personal injury law firm as to whether the settlement is adequate.
There is a three-year limitation period in which you may commence legal proceedings for all accidents occurring after 15 November 2005. In addition ICWA needs to be notified of your accident as soon as possible after the accident. If you fail to commence legal proceedings within the three year period, you may lose the right to do so. Limitation periods vary for minors and you should seek advice from a personal injury solicitor as to the relevant limitation period for children under 18.
Please contact our office on 9289 9888 For further help and advice.
FIRST CONSULTATION FREE IF YOU DO NOT PROCEED