In Queensland, the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 provides a compensation system for persons who are injured in motor vehicle accidents.  

Initial steps

Immediately after an accident, it is essential to call the police if anyone is hurt, if property is damaged, or if the other driver fails to stop or give their details. It is an offence to leave an accident scene without exchanging relevant information with the other parties involved in the accident.  

Next, it is important that any persons who are involved in a serious accident see a doctor, as the extent of their injuries may not be immediately evident. This will also provide a contemporaneous record of any injuries a person has sustained during the accident.  

Common Law Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

All motor vehicle owners in Australia are required to take out a compulsory third-party (“CTP”) insurance against liability for the death or personal injury of others arising out of motor vehicle accidents.  

If a person suffers a personal injury as a result of the negligent driving of an unidentified or uninsured vehicle, a claim can be made against the Nominal Defendant. If the vehicle is uninsured, the accident must have occurred on a road or in a public place for the Nominal Defendant to be liable.  

tor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld), a person can receive compensation through a negligence claim for personal injury or wrongful death. A person can make a common law motor vehicle accident claim if: 

They suffered an injury; 

     – Their injury was due to another driver’s failure; and 

     – The accident occurred in Queensland.  

Examples of driver negligence include: 

     – Drug and alcohol impairment;  

     – Fatigue;  

     – Speeding;  

     – Distracted driving (manual distraction (such as texting), visual distraction (watching a screen instead of the road), or cognitive distraction (such as talking to someone, even on a hands-free device)); and  

     – Tailgating.  

In regards to damages, an eligible injured person could claim for damages such as:  

     – the cost of medical treatment;  

     – the cost of rehabilitation; 

     – loss of income (past and estimated future); 

     – the cost of care and support services; and  

     – general damages (pain and suffering).  

National Injury Insurance Scheme

In 2016, the Queensland Government introduced the National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Act 2016 (Qld). This Act establishes the Queensland branch of the National Injury Insurance Scheme. The aim of this Scheme is to provide lifetime treatment, care and support to persons who have sustained serious personal injuries, irrespective of fault.  

At present, this Scheme only applies to particular serious injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. 

Time Limits

In Queensland, an injured person generally has three (3) years from the date of injury to commence proceedings in relation to a motor vehicle accident. It is only in exceptional circumstances that this time limitation can be extended.  

There are also additional timeframes to be aware of when bringing a claim against the Nominal Defendant for accidents involving an unidentified vehicle, so it is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident. 

Emily Wright and our team are specialist personal injury lawyers who can assist you with your claim on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. If you would like advice in relation to a personal injury claim, please reach out to Emily Wright and Littles Lawyers today. 

Like? Share it with your friends.