Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claims in WA: ICWA Claims
Injuries caused by motor vehicle accident can be severe and sometimes fatal. This page will address frequently asked personal injury claim questions arising from a motor vehicle accident. If you have made a motor vehicle related personal injury claim, it is recommended to consult a personal injury compensation lawyer specialises in motor vehicle accident claims. Most good personal injury lawyers would provide you with obligation free assessment.
Motor Injury Insurance Cover: Do I have it?
Every licensed vehicle in Western Australia is insured by the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (Insurance Commission, or ICWA). The insurance fee is charged as is part of compulsory third party insurance (CTP insurance) when a registered vehicle is licensed every year. If you are a licensed owner of a WA registered vehicle, your vehicle has motor injury insurance. If you are injured due to the negligence driving of WA registered motor vehicle, you should be covered by the negligent driver’s vehicle’s motor injury insurance. It is important to realise that a claim is made against the negligent driver’s vehicle’s insurance and not a person’s own insurance as the insurance is ‘third party’ in nature.
Road injuries often involve road vehicles like cars, motorcycle, buses, forklift and trucks. Victims of marine accident injuries may also be entitled to compensation. This FAQ is mainly focused on road accident injuries. If you have an marine injury claim, please contact Foyle Legal, our senior personal injury lawyer will help you to assess your options on obligation free basis.
A similar motor injury insurance scheme exists in other States and Territories in Western Australia. If you are injured due to the negligent manner of driving of registered motor vehicle from other state, you should be covered by the vehicle’s motor injury insurance by a similar insurer to ICWA.
Motor Vehicle Injuries: Can I claim Injury Compensation?
Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim – None fatal or Catastrophic Injury
Injured people who are not entirely at fault may have an entitlement to claim personal injury compensation. This is means that if you are partially at fault, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries. Take a car accident injury claim case for example, the passengers, the drivers (who is not entirely at fault), and the pedestrians (who are not entirely at fault) may be entitled to compensation. In a serious car crash or bus crash, there may be multiple parties involved, all injured parties may be able to claim compensation against the at fault vehicle. There is no minimum age limit on who can claim injury compensation. For example, in a bus accident, it is uncommon to have caused injuries to passengers who are minors like toddlers or school children, all these young passengers may be entitled to compensation for their injury caused by the negligent driver.
Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim – Fatal Injury
If the motor injury is fatal, the financial dependents of fatally injured people may be entitled to compensation.
Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim – Catastrophic Injury
Catastrophic injuries are severe injuries that often result to high degree of disability, in some cases total and permanent disability, these typically include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, multiple amputations, severe burns and permanent traumatic blindness. It is estimated that it costs approximately 4 million to provide a lifetime of care and support for catastrophically injured people though this will vary from person to person. This would be a big financial burden for the families involved.
From 1 July 2016, all catastrophically injured people in a motor vehicle crash or accident are entitled to claim personal injury compensation. Unlike non catastrophic injuries, both at fault and not at fault parties in a motor vehicle accident are entitled to injury compensation. Furthermore, all States and Territories have agreed to provide treatment, care and support for catastrophically injured people arising from motor vehicle accidents that occur in their respective jurisdictions. In other words, if you are catastrophically injured by a vehicle which carries an interstate plate you will be entitled to compensation.
Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claims – Hit and Run Accident Injury
In the situation of a “hit and run” accident, the car accident injury victim may not be able to identify the at fault driver or at fault vehicle. You may still entitled to claim compensation for your car accident injury.
Injury Claim Time Limits
Generally, time limitations for personal injury claims, including motor vehicle accident injury claims is 3 years from the date of the accident. However, this time limitation does vary based on the age of the claimant at the time injury symptom occurs and different provisions apply to minors.
Who Pays Your Personal Injury Claim?
If you have made a personal injury claim for motor vehicle accident, you are claiming against the at fault driver but the compensation is paid by the vehicle insurer, which is ICWA if the vehicle is a WA licensed vehicle. In other words, if you are a passenger in a car accident, and your family member is the at fault driver, your injury compensation is not paid to you by your family member.
Motor Vehicle Injury Claims Process: The Key Steps and Considerations
Online Crash Reporting
Once a car crash, or other motor vehicle crash occurs, there is a requirement for an owner or a driver to report the accident. In Western Australia, you can do some by lodging an online crash report . Once you submit the online crash report, you will satisfy the legal requirements for personal injury claims. Please note, if you do not submit your claim promptly, you may not able to claim personal injury compensation as Limitation Act 2005 sets limitations.
Claim Form and Medical Authority
Your Notice of Intention to Make Claim Form, Medical Authority and Online Crash Report are all necessary documents for ICWA to acknowledge the receipt of the motor injury claim. If have appointed a lawyer to assist your motor vehicle injury claim, ICWA will write to you, or your lawyer to acknowledge your personal injury claim for motor vehicle accident, and a claim reference number will be issued and communicated to you.
Investigations, Negotiations and Settlement of Claims
Once your claim is lodged, there may be enquires and investigations into your personal injury compensation claim to determine liability. The settlement of your claim often occurs when your injuries at reach stabilised point. This is the point when further treatment is not likely to provide a long term benefit.
Most of the disputes in motor vehicle accident injury compensation disputes occur at this stage. Typical disputes are arounds the topics:
- should liability be accepted?
- Is the medical treatment being sought as a result of the injury?
- Is any economic loss due to the injury, or is it due to something else?
- Is the settlement offer fair for my personal injury?
The majority of motor vehicle claims are settled by negotiation without court proceedings. However, there cases that court proceeding would be necessary to protect the interests of injury victims.
The 3-year time limitation applies to commencing legal proceedings in a personal injury motor vehicle claim. If have not settled your injury claim within 3 years from the time the accident, you must ensure that court proceedings are commenced within 3 years of the accident to preserve your motor vehicle injury claim.
What can I claim in Motor Vehicle Injuries?
If your motor vehicle injury claim is accepted, you will be able to claim economic loss, pain and suffering, medical treatment, care and support. Car accident compensation for pain and suffering is part of non-pecuniary damages, which is quantified as part of a personal injury judgment or settlement, In Western Australia, a threshold amount applies for non-pecuniary loss.
Compensation Payout Amount for Motor Vehicle Injuries
The amount of an injury compensation payout will vary depending on the severity of your motor accident injuries, your economic loss, and pain a suffering. You need to be aware that the compensation payout amount is often a negotiation outcome between the insurer and yourself, or your lawyer if you are represented by one. Your ability to negotiate with the Insurer will have a significant impact on the compensation payout you receive. A simple car accident personal injury claim calculator is often inaccurate, because it doesn’t factor in the value derived from negotiation.
Motor Vehicle Injury Compensation Lawyers: Do I Need One?
It is possible to proceed a personal injury claim by yourself. The benefit of hiring a good personal injury lawyer specialising in motor vehicle accident claims is that they use their experience and insight to assist to you in better case building and achieving a better settlement outcome of claim. In addition, a good personal injury lawyer will guide you through every step of the personal injury claim process, so that you will have a higher certainty winning or settling with a better outcome, and eliminate the time wastage in your personal injury claim process.
For most people injured in a motor vehicle accident who have made a claim, the determinant between hiring a personal injury lawyer and not hiring a personal injury lawyer is the legal cost. The best way to decide is to call a few lawyers, and ask about their fees. Many of the specialist motor vehicle injury compensation lawyers provides No Win No Fee solution to injured people.