If you find yourself wondering how to file a road accident injury claim, you likely have a lot of questions and concerns. It can be a difficult and stressful time, as you have sustained an injury, have been forced to navigate the medical system, and are faced with navigating the legal system as well. Here we outline a few of the steps necessary to successfully filing a personal injury claim, however there is no substitution for professional legal advice so contact one of our personal injury lawyers today.
First and foremost it is important for you to be aware that personal injury claims are subject to a number of strict time limitations. Therefore it is crucial that you do not delay in taking any of the necessary steps. If you do miss a deadline, you may have the opportunity to continue your claim if you can demonstrate to the Court that there was a reasonable excuse for your delay. In making their determination, the Court will consider a variety of factors including (but not limited to) the extent and nature of your injuries, whether you have reasonable cause of actions, and your reasons for the delay. If they are satisfied you will be granted an extension. However, it is much easier to simply do your best to comply with the time limits, a task your lawyer will be sure to help you with.
1. Report: You must report your accident or injury to the correct authority as soon as possible.
a. Vehicles: In vehicle accidents where someone sustains an injury, the parties involved in the accident are required to contact the police and report the accident.
b. Workplace: When the accident occurs in a workplace, the party should report the event to the employer and human resource officer.
2. Medical Attention: You should seek medical advice soon, if not immediately after the accident even if you don’t think the injury is very serious. Not only can you protect your health and safety, but having a record of your injury and the cost of your treatment will be important in moving your claim forward.
a. Vehicle: If there is any question as to who is at fault for the accident, you should contact the Motor Accident Insurance Commission. Otherwise, you should report the injury to the at-fault parties’ insurance agency.
b. Workplace: You will be working with the company’s insurance agency to process your potential worker’s compensation claim.
4. Claim Form: When you identify the appropriate authority (be it a work supervisor or the insurance provider of the at-fault driver) you should lodge a compensation claim quickly and in the prescribed manner.
a. Under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002: PIPA is the legislative authority which outlines procedural requirements for people seeking personal injury compensation. However, PIPA does not cover claims for personal injuries that arise from, vehicle accidents, work accidents, nor exposure to asbestos or tobacco. So this portion only applies to a limited number of cases.
i. Part 1: The first part of the claim form requires a description of the events surrounding the injury, the injury itself, and the parties involved (specifically the negligent party). A medical certificate must be attached to this portion as well, reiterating the importance of seeking medical attention as soon as possible.
After you send Part 1 to the respondent, they have only one month to either notify you of any failures to comply with PIPA or deny being the correct respondent. If they deny being the correct respondent, they are required to advise you on how to both identify and notify the correct respondent. If they reject your claim because of PIPA non-compliance, they must describe how the claim is defective and you have one month to amend your claim.
If they do not reject your claim within a month, then you can safely assume that they have accepted your claim.
b. Part 2: The second part of the claim must be completed and served within two months of the respondent accepting/responding to the first part.
5. Legal Advice: It is important that if you find yourself pursuing a personal injury claim, you seek legal advice right away. Only a professionally trained personal injury lawyer is going to have the level of expertise required to unravel the complex entanglements of personal injury law. Their familiarity with the system and procedural elements will ensure that you won’t miss any of the important time limitations and that your claim form is submitted to the correct people in the correct way.