Injured in a Car Accident in Queensland: What Are My Rights?

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Being involved in a car accident is stressful and confusing. Understanding your rights if injured can help you make informed choices about getting the compensation you deserve.

Queensland's Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance Scheme

All registered vehicles in Queensland must have CTP insurance. This scheme offers protection if you're injured in an accident caused by another driver. It is necessary to establish the other person’s negligence caused the motor vehicle accident in order to succeed in a claim against the CTP insurer. Your rights under CTP may include:

  • Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses: The CTP insurer of the at-fault driver may cover reasonable costs related to your treatment and rehabilitation, like hospital bills, physical therapy, and medications (if it accepts the accident was not your fault).
  • Lump-Sum Compensation via a Common Law Claim: A motor vehicle accident lawyer such as Smith’s Lawyers can run a compensation claim (‘common law’ claim) via the CTP insurer of the at-fault driver to claim for damages such as lost earnings including future loss of earnings, medical costs, pain and suffering and so on. The aim is to negotiate a lump-sum settlement. 

In addition to your CTP rights, you may be entitled to Income Protection Insurance Payments: If you miss work due to the injury, you may be eligible for income replacement benefits if you hold income protection insurance via private insurance policies or polices attached to your superannuation insurance.

How To Make A CTP Insurance Claim

You have two main options when pursuing a CTP claim:

  1. Self-manage with the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC): You can make a claim directly with MAIC, the regulatory body overseeing CTP insurance in Queensland. MAIC has resources to help navigate the process (https://maic.qld.gov.au/).
  2. Enlist a Personal Injury Law Firm for a Personal Injury Claim: Specialised personal injury lawyers can manage your entire claim; they will handle the paperwork, negotiate with insurers, and ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Using a Personal Injury Law Firm

Personal injury claims for motor vehicle accidents are designed to help the injured person get maximum fair compensation by making a claim against the driver at fault via their CTP insurance company (the at-fault driver themselves is not financially impacted at all). 

Personal injury lawyers running car accident claims will lodge CTP Notice of Accident Claim Form within the applicable time limits, liaise with the police, including ensuring appropriate notice of the accident has been given and gathering evidence such as police reports and traffic crash reports relating to your accident. 

Your lawyers will then gather and draft accident scene witness statements, request medical and other records and build a case by calculating your past and future predicted losses.

Common law damages aim to compensate for:

  • Pain, suffering or disfigurement due to your injuries
  • Loss of enjoyment of life due to physical or psychological injuries
  • Past and future medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident 
  • Gratuitous services, care and assistance that have been provided to you (either by a paid professional or a family member caring for you whilst you recovered from your injuries)
  • Loss of servitium 
  • Past economic loss for loss of earnings since the accident 
  • Future economic loss for future predicted losses as a result of your injuries
  • Superannuation loss
  • Interest

Personal injury lawyers also have an in-depth knowledge of relevant legislation and cases required to establish liability, build a strong case, and prepare your common law claim for damages.

Self-Managing vs. Lawyers: Risks and Rewards

  • Self-Managing CTP Claims: This option often leads to quicker payouts and may avoid legal fees. However, CTP insurers sometimes offer very low settlements. Insurers are seeking to minimise their payouts, and knowing you don’t have the ability to pursue a claim all the way to court if needed, they can lowball their offers.
  • Lawyers and Common Law Rights: Personal injury lawyers offer expertise for fighting for maximum compensation, especially for complex common law claims. It is important to be aware that while a lawyer offers the greatest chance of maximising your settlement, this route typically takes longer, and you will have legal fees to pay from your settlement payment. However, the amount you actually end up with in your bank account is typically much higher than from self-managed claims. 

The team at Smith’s Lawyers  will also ensure you do not miss any important steps or time limits which could result in you losing the right to make a claim; for example, a failure to report the accident to the police or missing a limitation period date to file your claim, or take certain steps throughout the claim. Learn more about car and road accident compensation, including the typical claims process.

Risk-Free Representation – No Upfront Costs

Many personal injury firms, including Smith's Lawyers, handle claims on a 'no win, no fee' basis. This means you pay no upfront legal costs, and fees are only paid from your settlement if you win your case. Typically you may be liable for the other side's legal costs if the claim goes to court and you lose. Smith’s Lawyers adds a risk-free promise, No Win, No Fee, No Catch®, which means you cannot be left out of pocket.

Don't Delay: Seek Legal Guidance Early

Time limits apply to CTP claims and particularly to common law claims. To protect your rights and explore all possibilities, seek legal advice from a personal injury specialist as soon as possible after your accident.

Important Resources

Last updated:
February 27, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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