Car Accident Injury Claims

Car Accident Injury Claims


If you have been injured in a car or motor vehicle accident you may be able to claim damages compensation under Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) system.

Turner Freeman Lawyers are experts in handling car accident compensation claims for all types of injury including whiplash, spinal injury, head injury, fracture, whiplash, soft tissue and eye injury as well as shock, anxiety and depression.

If you receive any kind of injury in an accident caused by the driver of a car or motor vehicle, whether you are another driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist you may be eligible to claim damages compensation for any losses you have suffered because of the injury.

We can also help you investigate whether you can claim through your superannuation such as income protection.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I claim compensation if I was injured in a car accident?

    Probably. There are very few situations that would exclude or deny a claim. Here are some helpful examples:-

    Passenger injured – driver at fault

    If you are a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who caused the accident and you suffered injuries; yes you have a claim.

    Passenger injured – driver of other vehicle at fault

    If you are a passenger in a vehicle being driven by someone else and the driver of another vehicle causes the accident and you suffer injuries; yes you have a claim.

    Driver injured – driver of other vehicle at fault

    If you are the driver of a vehicle and you suffer injuries due to the fault of another driver who caused the accident and you suffer injuries, yes you have a claim.

    Passenger or Driver injured – Driver of other vehicle drunk

    If you are a passenger or the driver of a vehicle and you suffer injuries caused by the driver of other vehicle who is charged with drink driving; yes you have a claim.

    Passenger injured – Driver of your vehicle drunk

    If you are a passenger and the driver of your vehicle is drunk or over the limit and you suffer injuries; yes you have a claim.

    Accident caused by Driver of vehicle which is unregistered

    Regrettably, not everyone pays their registration on time and if you suffer injuries due to a motor vehicle accident caused by the driver of vehicle and if the registration of that vehicle has expired; yes you have a claim.

    However and this is an extremely important notice - very short time limits apply for making such a claim and you should seek legal advice as a matter of absolute urgency to protect your rights as you only have three months from the date of accident/injury to lodge the claim form or one month from your first meeting with a lawyer about the claim (whichever is earlier).

    Hit and Run accident

    If you are run down or hit by another vehicle who then leaves the accident scene and you don't know the registration number of the vehicle; yes you have a claim.

    However and this is an important notice - very short time limits apply for making such as claim and you should seek legal advice as a matter of absolute urgency to protect your rights as you only have three (3) months from the date of accident/injury to lodge the claim form or one (1) month from your first meeting with a lawyer about the claim (whichever is earlier).

    I'm a pedestrian and I was hit by a car on a road

    If you are walking along a road or crossing a road and you are hit by a car; yes you have a claim.

    I have suffered Whiplash and the accident was not my fault. Is a Whiplash injury serious enough to make a claim or see a Lawyer about?

    In our experience, yes and particularly if the symptoms are persisting and ongoing.

    I caused the accident and I've been injured– Do I have any insurance cover?

    Possibly.

    Even if you caused the accident and if you have suffered serious injuries, you may still be able to claim for income protection, partial permanent disablement or PPD or total and permanent disablement or TPD from your superannuation fund or funds if you have multiple policies.

    If you also have trauma insurance you will be able to claim on this as well.

    Turner Freeman Lawyers No Win No Fee policy

    We are happy to assist you and investigate your potential claim on a speculative or No Win – No Fee basis.

    You initial consultation with us is free and obligation free.

    You will also be dealing with a Partner or Senior Lawyer in the firm not a junior lawyer or paralegal.

  • Do I need to see a lawyer?

    If you have suffered injuries from a motor vehicle accident and if you wish to find out if your claim is worthwhile to pursue, the short answer is yes. In reality and from our experience from seeing first hand the bad outcomes that people achieve without lawyers, the answer is absolutely yes.

    How can a Personal Injury lawyer help me with my claim?

    A good lawyer will focus on whether he or she can justify their involvement in the case so that you can be confident that the benefits of using a lawyer will outweigh or far outweigh the legal costs.

  • Time limits for making a claim

    Compensation extends to any injury caused by a motor vehicle accident and includes previous injuries or conditions that have been aggravated by the accident, and psychological conditions (this includes both persons involved in an accident and people who have witnessed it).

    Strict time limits do apply. Please read the following time limits very carefully.

    Time limit to lodge the initial claim forms to the insurer

    Generally speaking, you have 9 months from the date of the motor vehicle accident to have the claim form lodged with the insurer or 1 month from your first meeting with a lawyer (whichever is the earlier) about the claim. If you make the wise decision to seek early legal advice from us, we will take care of preparing the forms for you and make sure they are prepared correctly and lodged on time.

    However, if you were injured by an unidentified vehicle or an unregistered vehicle eg. a hit and run accident or an accident caused by an unregistered vehicle, the time limits are much shorter and are strictly enforced by the insurer which is a Queensland State Government body called the Nominal Defendant. In this type case, you only have 3 months to lodge the claim form with the Nominal Defendant or one month from the date of your first meeting with a lawyer about the claim. If you miss the 3 month time limit, you can still lodge the claim form with the Nominal Defendant along with a reasonable excuse of delay as long as the claim form with the reasonable excuse for delay is lodged within 9 months of the date of the accident. If you miss the deadlines with the Nominal Defendant, especially the 9 month deadline, your claim for damages will be lost forever.

    The benefit of engaging a lawyer to look after you and your claim is that it immediately becomes the responsibility of your lawyer to take care of the time limits and to make sure the documents are lodged or filed on time.


    Time limits summary

    9 months from the date of the accident or 1 month from when you meet with us [whichever is the earlier] if the vehicle at fault is identified and with a current compulsory third party registration or current rego.

    3 months from the date of the accident or 1 month from when you meet with us [whichever is earlier] if the vehicle at fault is unidentified and/or unregistered.

    Commencement Court Proceedings

    You only have three years from the date of injury to commence court proceedings. If you miss this time limit, your rights to pursue damages or proper compensation will be or is most likely to be lost forever.

    The benefit of engaging a lawyer to look after you and your claim is that it immediately becomes the responsibility of your lawyer to take care of the time limits and to make sure the documents are lodged or filed on time.

    Summary of court proceedings

    Court proceedings must be commenced within 3 years of the date of the accident otherwise your rights will be lost forever.

  • I suffered only minor injuries

    If you have a very minor or trivial injury which will largely or completely recover or heal and if your claim has been accepted by the insurer, you may not or probably don't need to see a lawyer. However, your first consultation with us is free so we advise all our clients and potential clients to seek the advice and at the earliest possible time to remove any doubt or worry about your rights or where you stand.

  • How long will my claim take and what will it cost?

    If we advise you that you have reasonable prospects of success and that the claim is economically worthwhile to purse, we will send you a proper written advice and a proposal. Our proposal will set out, in plain English, a realistic estimate of how long we believe your case will take to resolve and the likely cost.

    Generally speaking, most claims are able to be resolved within 6 to 18 months from when the claim starts. If the case goes to trial (which is highly unlikely) this can add a further 6 to 12 months to the time estimate.

    If your case has to go to court, it will cost more than if it settles at an early stage. The more work which is done results in higher fees; however, we are always doing whatever we can to keep costs as low as possible. All of this is explained in our written advice along with realistic and reliable fee estimates.

    Turner Freeman Lawyers costs

    Our final costs are usually lower than our competitors from our past experience.

    This is because our No Win No Fee service means we do not require you to pay the expenses of the matter even if your case loses – for instance for obtaining medical reports or the charges of other experts.

    All firms who offer a No Win No Fee service must ensure that their final fees do not exceed what the client recovers. The guarantee applies to any settlement or judgment. Under the guarantee, statutory refunds and expenses are deducted, and from the net remaining the lawyer's fees can never be more than half. The lawyer's fees are capped. This is especially important for small claims, but it must be remembered that this guarantee does not work as a 'percentage' or 'cut' of any settlement or judgment. It is a cap. If your case settles for $800,000 after refunds and expenses, and your legal fees with us under our rates scale are $60,000, we do not apply the cap. The cap would result in legal fees being $400,000. In these circumstances and naturally, we would charge $60,000.

    The cap applies even if your case does not settle and it proceeds to trial, which is highly unlikely. In our experience 98% to 99% of cases we run are capable of resolution or settlement prior to trial.

  • Medical expenses and rehabilitation costs

    Once your claim form has been submitted to the insurer, we can ask and, if necessary, make or demand that the insurer to take care of your medical expenses and rehabilitation needs straight away. You do not need to wait for the end of your claim to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation.

    If an insurer is being difficult or unreasonable, we can assist and you even apply to the court for assistance.

  • Will my case go to court or will it settle?

    In our experience over the past 60 years, very few cases end up in court. It is only something like 1% to 2% of all of our cases proceed to trial or end up in a court room. This is very small number which is good for everyone, especially our clients.

    Very few motor vehicle accident cases require court supervision and the vast majority of these claims are capable of early resolution. This is what we aim to achieve as it keeps the legal costs down and maximises your 'in hand' outcome.

    Regrettably, not all cases settle and we have a significant amount of court room and trial experience so in the highly unlikely event that your case does go to court, we have the skill, experience and expertise to take the matter all the way if necessary.

  • Our No Win No Fee policy

    After we have investigated your claim at no obligation to you, we will then make a decision about whether we would be prepared to act for you on a No Win – No Fee basis. At that time, we will provide you with a proper written advice regarding your prospects of success and whether we are prepared to act for you on a No Win – No Fee basis.

    Under our usual terms and conditions, No Win – No Fee simply means that we if take your case on, we will only be paid a reasonable fee for the legal work we have done for you at the end of the claim and only if you win.

    In the highly unlikely event that your claim goes to trial and in the even more unlikely event that your case goes all the way to trial and you lose, we will not seek to charge you anything for all of the work we have done for you.

    However, your case goes to court and you lose, while you would not have to pay us anything, it is likely that the court would order to pay the other side's legal costs which could be a substantial sum.

  • My car is written off and the accident wasn't my fault

    We are happy to provide some obligation free advice if you are in this difficult situation.

    We are also happy to prepare a letter of demand for you and send it to the driver at fault to help you get your car back on the road or to help you get a new car.