If you are injured in a car accident in WA, the not-at-fault parties may be entitled to claim personal injury benefits as well as property damage for the damaged car. To make a claim for personal injury benefits in Western Australia, you need to make a claim with a CTP insurer. The Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) is the only CTP insurer in WA for WA registered cars. To make a car insurance claim for car’s damage, please contact your car insurance company. In this article, we discuss how and when to make a motor vehicle accident claim in WA.
Table of Contents
- How long after a car accident can you claim car insurance?
- Is there a time limit on car insurance claims in Australia?
- What will happen after a car accident?
- What should you do immediately after a car accident?
- What do you do in a minor car accident?
- What should I collect after a car accident?
- How much should I settle for after a car accident?
- How do I claim compensation after a car accident?
- Legal assistant for a motor injury claim
How long after an accident can you claim car insurance?
If you are injured in a car accident and intent to make a claim in WA, the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act 1943 requires you to make a claim as soon as practicable following the motor vehicle accident.
If your car is damaged, and you have a valid insurance policy, you should contact your insurance company as soon as practicable.
Is there a time limit on car insurance claims in Australia?
The time limit or limitation period for commencing legal proceedings for a personal injury claim in Western Australia is 3 years, but longer periods are allowed for people under the age of 18 and there are various exceptions that do not often occur.
The time limit or limitation period for making a car insurance claim is generally 6 years. The following section explains the limitation period in more detail.
CTP Insurance Claim – Minor injuries & Serious Injuries
Section 14(1) of the Limitation Act 2005 states that an injured person can not seek damages for personal injury if three years have elapsed from the date of the person is aware of the injury. In most cases, injured people are aware of the injury immediately after the accident.
There are several provisions to the three-year statutory time limit:
- Under 15 – If the injured person is under the age of 15 at the date of the accident, the injured person has six years to commence legal action
- Between 15 to 18 – If the injured person is between 15 and 18 at the date of the accident, the injured person can commence legal proceedings until they turn 21.
- If the at-fault driver or defendant is closely related to the injured person who is under 18 at the date of the accident, the injured person can commence legal action until they turn 25
- Mentally Disabled – If the injured person has a mental disability but is without a guardian, the injured person has twelve years to commence legal proceedings.
- If the at-fault driver or defendant is closely related to the mentally disabled person, the injured person has three years to commence legal proceedings from when the close relationship ceases.
When managing time limits involving children and individuals with mental disabilities, it is important to note the following:
- the Court may extend the limitation period for an injured person under 18 or mentally disabled individuals
- there are some circumstances where you must engage a lawyer to assist with the injury compensation claim for example claims regarding children.
CTP Insurance Claim – Fatal Accident Claim
The Fatal Accident Act 1959 states that the dependents of the fatally injured (i.e, people who died due to a car accident) can not commence a legal proceeding more than three years from the date of death. However, the Court may grant an extension even though the limitation period has passed.
Car Insurance Claim
Generally speaking, the time limit to commence a legal proceeding for property damage in car accidents is 6 years. Please refer to the specific section of the act for more information.
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What will happen after a car accident?
After a car accident, most people will need to deal with personal injury and/or car damage caused by a car accident.
All vehicles are covered by CTP insurance, so injured road users who are not at fault in WA can claim motor injury compensation. Motor vehicle damage is not covered by the CTP insurance, it is only applicable to a valid insurance policyholder.
Managing insurance claims can be stressful, it typically involves your time, knowledge of the law, and negotiation between parties. Insurance companies have a panel of lawyers on their side, if you don’t have dedicated legal support on your side, you are at risk of missing out on the compensation you deserve, especially if you are claiming lost wages, income support, and lumpsum payments when the other driver is not easy to identify (e.g., hit and run accident).
The best way to cope with what will happen after a car accident is to engage a good lawyer to assist you.
What should you do immediately after a car accident?
Immediately after a car accident, you should not leave the accident scene and do the following:
- Stop the car and stay calm
- Exchange details with the other driver
- Call the police and retain the police report number
- Take photos of the accident scene
- Collection of the contact details of any witnesses
- Seek medical treatment if you are injured
- File an online crash report if you want to make a claim for personal injury benefits
- Report to your insurance company if you want to make claim for repair costs or claim a free hire car while your motor vehicle is being repaired or assessed
Some people who are seriously injured also contact personal injury lawyers immediately after their injury to find out what to do in order to preserve their right to claim injury compensation.
No Win, No Fee Lawyers
Under the No Win, No Fee arrangement, you won’t need to pay Foyle Legal’s Legal fees (the fees that we charge for the work we do on your claim), unless we get you a settlement amount.
Your lawyer will take you through this arrangement in more detail including any terms and conditions in your obligation free first initial consultation.
For quick information on our No Win, No Fee terms and disbursements, please visit our No Win No Fee Lawyers Page
What do you do in a minor car accident?
Parties involved in a minor car accident may only suffer a minor injury. A minor injury often requires a small amount of treatment and time off work. If you are injured in a minor car accident, please follow the steps above on what you should do immediately after a car accident.
In the case of minor injuries, and it is not your fault, ICWA will determine liability and pay for your medical and treatment costs, as well as income support payments for the days you are unable to work due to the accident caused by the at-fault driver.
In many minor car accident injury claims, it can be difficult to get a lump sum settlement payout from ICWA and a lawyer can help. In more serious injuries, ICWA is more likely to make settlement offers for a lump sum amount which includes money for economic loss, medical treatment costs and other types of damages.
A minor motor vehicle accident may cause serious injuries
When a minor accident happens, it may also lead to serious injuries. The severity of the serious injuries can often not be ascertained until the later stage of the personal injury claim process. For this reason, it is highly recommended to consult specialised personal injury lawyers to assist with your personal injury law matters. When a specialised personal injury lawyer is involved in managing the claims process, it often results in more compensation. For example, a whiplash injury claim is one of the most common motor vehicle compensation claims. Many people who suffer from whiplash simply view it as a sore neck and believe it will go away over time. In reality, some do go away and some don’t. When the injury has a long-lasting effect on a person’s ability to perform pre-injury work duties, it is more than a minor injury. Additionally, it’s also common that the initial physical injury may result in psychological injury which has a further impact on one’s ability to work and live a pre-injury lifestyle.
What should I collect after a car accident?
You should collect the following information after a motor vehicle accident:
- license details of all drivers involved
- car registration number of the other vehicle
- insurance company’s details including policy number
- residential address of the other driver
- photography evidence of the accident scene
- contact information of witness involved
The above are important initial information you should collect after a car accident. Once you have made a car accident claim, additional information will be needed to assist with your claim. Please follow the advice from the insurance company or your legal representative to make sure all information is collected in a timely manner.
How much should I settle for after a car accident?
How much you should settle for after a car accident depends on a range of factors, such as age, the severity of your injury, pre-injury income, current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other factors. The settlement range often varies largely. For example, quite a few of Foyle legal’s clients have received settlements for car accident compensation ranging from a five-figure lump sum settlement to a six-figure settlement. If you have made a car accident injury claim in WA, contact motor vehicle accident injury lawyers at Foyle Legal for an obligation free initial consultation.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure you are getting the best compensation settlement you are entitled to when you settle a car accident injury claim in WA.
- Never settle your motor injury claim before you reach medical stabilisation.
- Work with a good compensation lawyer in Perth to assist your personal injury claim in WA.
- Do not take the first offer ICWA made to you without consulting a motor vehicle accident lawyer.
- Do attend medical treatments regularly.
- Do attend independent medical examinations organised by ICWA, ICWA’s lawyers, or your own lawyer.
- Do not communicate directly with ICWA or ICWA’s lawyers if you are legally represented. It’s a good idea to always refer any questions to your legal representative. This is because experienced MVA lawyers know how to best manage ICWA and their lawyers.
How do I claim compensation after a car accident?
Please follow these steps to claim injury compensation after a car accident:
- Report to the police as soon as possible
- Obtain the name and insurance policy detail of the other driver
- Note down the vehicle registration number of the other vehicle
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Complete an online crash report
- Submit the Notice of Intention to Make Claim & Medical Authority Form to ICWA
If you have appointed a motor injury lawyer to assist your injury compensation claim after a car accident, you don’t need to submit your Medical Authority Form to ICWA.
Legal Assistant for Motor Injury Claims
If you have made a motor injury claim, please be sure to request an obligation free initial consultation with one of the creditable MVA lawyers in your state. Foyle Legal is an award-winning law firm with a team of well recognised No Win No Fee Lawyers in Perth. This means we don’t charge you upfront legal fees unless we get a compensation payout for you. We are specialized in injury compensation for car accidents, injury compensation for motorcycle accidents, and injury compensation for truck accidents.