What is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a legal process in which you can seek compensation for injuries sustained because of another party’s negligence or wrongful actions. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with the injury. Notably, compensation for personal injury claims covers both psychological and physical injuries.

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To have a valid personal injury claim, you will need to prove that the other party acted carelessly or recklessly, failing in their duty of care. You also need to show that their negligence directly caused your injury and that you suffered losses as a result.

What are the Common Types of Personal Injury Claims?

Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
Different Personal Injury Claims

Motor Vehicle Accidents

These are the most prevalent personal injury claims and involve cars, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians. Injuries can range from minor whiplash to severe, life-altering conditions.

Workplace Accidents

Injuries sustained at work due to unsafe conditions, lack of training, or employer negligence fall under this category.

Medical Malpractice

This occurs when a healthcare professional’s negligence results in a patient’s harm. This can include surgical errors, misdiagnoses, and medication mistakes.

Slip and Fall Accidents

These accidents happen when a person slips, trips, or falls due to hazardous conditions on someone else’s property, like wet floors or uneven pavement.

Product Liability

Injuries caused by defective or dangerous products can lead to product liability claims against manufacturers, distributors, or retailers.

Assault and Battery

These are intentional acts of harm, like physical attacks, and can form the basis for personal injury claims.

What Personal Injuries can you File a Claim for?

Physical Injuries

  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprains, strains, whiplash, and bruises cause pain and limited mobility.
  • Broken Bones and Fractures: Ranging from minor to severe, these may need surgery and rehab.
  • Head and Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can affect cognition, motor skills, and emotions.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These can lead to paralysis, requiring extensive care and lifestyle changes.
  • Burns: Painful and scarring, burns may need treatment and pain management.
  • Amputations: Losing a limb has major physical and psychological impacts, requiring prosthetics and rehabilitation.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: Scars can affect self-esteem and quality of life.

Psychological Injuries

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Develops after trauma, causing flashbacks and anxiety
  • Depression: Persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities
  • Anxiety Disorders: Includes general and panic disorders, causing distress and daily life disruptions

How to Make a Personal Injury Compensation Claim

How to Make a Personal Injury Compensation Claim
Steps for Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim

1. Consult with a Lawyer

The first step in making a personal injury claim is to consult with a personal injury lawyer. During this meeting, your lawyer will evaluate your case, explain your legal rights, and outline the next steps.

It’s important to give your lawyer all the information and documentation related to your injury, like medical records, accident reports, and any correspondence with insurance companies.

Your lawyer will assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and determine if you have a valid claim for personal injury. This initial consultation sets the foundation for the rest of the process and will help you understand what to expect.

2. Gather Evidence

After the initial consultation, your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into your claim. This involves gathering all necessary evidence to support your compensation claim. Key pieces of evidence include:

  • Medical Records: Documentation of your injuries and treatment
  • Police Reports: Details about the accident
  • Witness Statements: Corroboration of your account
  • Photographs or Videos: Visual evidence of the accident scene and your injuries

3. File the Claim

The next steps will depend on the type of claim being filed. At this stage, your personal injury lawyer will draft and submit the legal documentation on your behalf.

Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, your lawyer will help you file a claim with the relevant insurance company. This claim will detail the circumstances of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the compensation you seek. The insurance company will review the claim and may conduct its own investigation before responding.

Workplace Injury Claims

For workplace injuries, your lawyer will assist in filing a workers’ compensation claim. This involves submitting documentation to your employer’s workers compensation insurer, outlining your injuries, how they occurred, and the medical treatment you have received. The insurer will evaluate your claim and determine the benefits they believe you’re entitled to.

Public Liability Claims

If your injury occurred in a public place or on someone else’s property, your lawyer will file a public liability claim. This claim is submitted to the responsible party’s insurance company. The claim will detail how the injury happened, the resulting damages, and the compensation you seek. The insurance company will then investigate the claim and respond accordingly.

Medical Negligence Claims

For injuries resulting from medical negligence, your lawyer will file a claim against the medical professional or institution involved. This involves drafting a complaint or claim that outlines the negligent actions, the harm caused, and the compensation you are asking for. The medical professional or institution will be notified of the claim and given a period to respond.

4. Damages Assessment

Once your lawyer has gathered the initial evidence and filed the appropriate claim, the next step is to assess the damages. This involves determining the full extent of your losses and how they relate to your injury. The assessment of damages includes several key components:

  1. Medical Expenses: Your lawyer will compile an account of all medical expenses you have incurred, as well as projected future medical costs related to your injury. This includes hospital bills, doctor’s visits, medication, rehabilitation, and any other medical treatments.
  2. Specialist Medical Report: A medical report from a suitably qualified specialist will outline the cause and extent of your injury. This report helps prove the link between the accident and your injuries and establishes how severe your condition is.
  3. Psychological Impact: If you’ve suffered psychological trauma as a result of your injury, you will need a psychological report from a qualified healthcare professional. This report will detail any mental health issues you’re experiencing, such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression, and their connection to the accident.
  4. Loss of Income: Your lawyer will prepare a financial report to highlight any past and future loss of income if your injury has prevented you from returning to work. This includes wages lost during your recovery and any long-term impacts on your earning capacity.
  5. Pain and Suffering: The assessment will also consider non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. These are more subjective, but are important in providing a full picture of how the injury has affected your quality of life.
  6. Expert Evidence: To support your claim, expert evidence may be necessary to prove the liable party’s negligence or wrongdoing. This could include testimony from accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, or other specialists.

5. Settlement Negotiations

After assessing the damages, the next step is to negotiate a settlement. This phase involves discussions between your lawyer and the responsible party’s insurer to agree on a fair compensation amount. The negotiation process can take some time, as the insurer will generally attempt to reduce the payout. Your lawyer will always strive to get the best possible outcome for you. It’s worth noting that effective settlement negotiations can often lead to a resolution without the need for a trial, saving time and reducing stress for all parties involved.

6. Go to Court (If Necessary)

It’s uncommon for personal injury cases to reach the courtroom. Typically, this step is considered only as a last resort to secure the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will advise you about the risks and benefits of taking your case to court.

If you decide to move forward with litigation, your lawyer will represent you, advocate for your rights, and present your case effectively. They will guide you through the entire court process, aiming to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

What is the Time Limit for Making a Personal Injury Claim?

In Queensland, the time limit for making a personal injury claim varies by the type of injury and claim, ranging from 6 months to 3 years.

Below are the critical deadlines in detail listed down:

  • General Personal Injury Claims: You have 3 years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim. This includes complying with pre-court requirements like informing the police and lodging complaints with the appropriate authorities.
  • Workers’ Compensation Claims: Generally, you have 6 months from the date of the injury to file a claim. However, this period can sometimes be extended under specific circumstances.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: You need to act within 9 months from the date of the accident or within 1 month of consulting a lawyer about your claim, whichever is earlier.
  • Public Liability Claims: You have 3 years from the date of the injury to file or make a claim. This applies to injuries sustained in public places or on private property.
  • Medical Negligence Claims: You have 3 years from the date the injury occurred or from when the injury was discovered or should have been discovered with reasonable care and attention.

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:

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How Long Can It Take to Complete a Personal Injury Settlement?

The personal injury claims settlement time can greatly varies depending on the following factors:

Severity of Injuries

If your injuries are severe or require long-term treatment, the settlement process may take longer. This is because the court needs to understand the full extent of your injuries and any ongoing medical needs before finalising a settlement.

Complexity of the Case

Cases involving multiple parties, disputed liability, or extensive evidence gathering can extend the settlement timeline. Complex cases often require more detailed investigations and expert testimony, which can add time to the process.

Negotiations

The negotiation process can be lengthy, especially if the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement initially. Your lawyer will work to negotiate the best possible outcome, which may involve several rounds of offers and counteroffers.

Pre-Court Procedures

Complying with pre-court procedures and requirements, like informing relevant authorities and gathering necessary documentation, can take time. These steps help build a strong case but can extend the overall timeline.

Court Proceedings

Court cases can take significantly longer due to the time required to schedule hearings, present evidence, and await a judge or jury’s decision.

Insurance Company Delays

Sometimes, insurance companies may delay the process in the hope of pressuring claimants into accepting lower settlements. Persistent follow-ups and legal pressure are often necessary to expedite these delays.

How is Compensation Calculated?

How is the Personal Injury Claims Compensation Calculated?
Personal Injury Claims Compensation Calculation

The Civil Liability Act of 2003 outlines that the amount of a personal injury settlement is determined by assessing “heads of damages.” This method evaluates the evidence for each claimable aspect. The compensation is categorised into two main types: economic and non-economic (or general) damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages, also known as special damages, cover the financial losses that result directly from the injury. These damages are measurable and can include:

  • Medical Expenses: This covers all past and future medical costs related to the injury, including hospital bills, doctor consultations, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatments.
  • Loss of Earnings: Compensation for lost wages from the time of injury until the settlement is reached, as well as any loss of future earning capacity if the injury affects your ability to work in the future.
  • Travel Expenses: Costs for travelling to and from medical appointments.
  • Care and Assistance: Expenses for in-home care or assistance needed as a result of the injury, including professional caregivers or home modifications.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursement for any property that was damaged in the incident, like a vehicle in a car accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, aim to compensate for the non-financial impact of the injury. These are more subjective, only applicable in common law or at-fault claims, and include:

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and discomfort caused by the injury.
  • Emotional Distress: Damages for the psychological impact, like anxiety, depression, or trauma resulting from the accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the reduction in quality of life due to the inability to participate in activities and hobbies enjoyed before the injury.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the effect of the injury on your relationship with your spouse or family, including loss of companionship and support.

How Much is the Average Personal Injury Claim Payment?

The average personal injury claim payment varies based on the type of incident and severity of the injuries, with payouts ranging from $13,883 for minor workplace injuries to up to $1,968,500 for severe or critical motor vehicle accident injuries.

These figures have been calculated on the average payout statistics provided by Queensland’s government on CTP statistics, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), and Safe Work Australia workplace incidents compensation claims.

It’s important to remember that every personal injury case is different, and the amounts below are not guaranteed. You can speak to one of our personal injury lawyers at WT Compensation Lawyers, who will thoroughly assess your case.

Motor Vehicle Accidents: Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance

  • Minor Injuries: Starting at $82,100
  • Severe or Critical Injuries: Up to $1,968,500

Workplace Incidents

  • Minor Injuries: Starting at $13,883
  • Severe or Critical Injuries: Up to $55,270

Total Permanent Disability (TPD)

  • Minimum Compensation: $50,000
  • Maximum Compensation: $500,000

Public Liability Accidents

  • Minor Injuries: Starting at $20,000
  • Severe or Critical Injuries: Up to $414,000

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:

🔒 FREE CLAIMS CHECK TAKES 2 MINUTES

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Claim

Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries, medical bills, and insurance companies. Hiring a personal injury lawyer offers several advantages that can significantly impact the outcome of your injury claim process.

Expertise in Personal Injury Law

Personal injury lawyers are experienced in cases like yours. They have extensive knowledge of Queensland’s legal system and the specific laws that apply to personal injury claims. This expertise means your case is handled correctly from the start, avoiding common mistakes that could harm your claim.

Accurate Claim Valuation

Determining the true value of your claim involves more than just adding up medical expenses. A personal injury lawyer can assess all factors, including lost wages, future medical costs, and pain and suffering. This comprehensive evaluation helps make sure you receive fair compensation.

Negotiation Skills

Insurance companies often aim to settle claims for the lowest possible amount. A personal injury lawyer has the negotiation skills needed to advocate on your behalf, increasing the likelihood of a favourable settlement. They know the tactics insurers use and how to counter them effectively.

Access to Resources

Experienced personal injury law firms have access to a network of professionals, such as medical experts and accident reconstruction specialists. These resources can be crucial in building a strong case, providing the evidence needed to support your claim.

Peace of Mind

Dealing with a personal injury claim can be stressful, complex, and time-consuming, particularly when you are trying to recover. Having a lawyer on your side offers peace of mind. You can rest assured that a professional is handling the complexities of your case, giving you the time and energy to focus on healing.

No Upfront Fees

At WT Compensation Lawyers, we work on a No Win, No Fee basis. Like many personal injury lawyers in Brisbane, this is also referred to as a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay unless you win your case. This arrangement makes it financially feasible to hire a lawyer, regardless of your current financial situation.

Better Chances of Success

Statistically, individuals who hire personal injury lawyers tend to receive higher settlements than those who handle their claims alone. Lawyers understand the intricacies of the law and the strategies needed to maximise your compensation.

Personalised Support

A personal injury lawyer provides personalised support and legal advice tailored to your specific situation. They listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and guide you through each step of the process, so you feel supported and informed.

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Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:

🔒 FREE CLAIMS CHECK TAKES 2 MINUTES

Personal Injury Claims FAQs

Yes, you may be entitled to claim compensation for a personal injury or death of a family member if it happened due to someone else’s negligence. In Queensland, the law recognises the impact a serious injury or death can have on loved ones.
Dependency Claims: If your family member’s injury or death resulted in a loss of financial support, you might be eligible to claim compensation for lost income, funeral expenses, and loss of household services.
Wrongful Death Claims: If your family member died due to negligence, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim. These claims can cover funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of consortium (companionship).

If you receive a settlement offer you feel is inadequate, you’re not obligated to accept it. Here’s what you can do:
Negotiate: Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to try to secure a higher settlement amount. They will leverage their experience and knowledge of similar cases to advocate for your best interests.
Mediation: If negotiations stall, consider mediation. This involves a neutral third party who helps facilitate communication and find a mutually agreeable solution.
Litigation: If negotiations and mediation fail, you can proceed to court. This is a more formal and time-consuming process, but it may be necessary to obtain fair compensation.
Remember, you have the right to pursue the full compensation you deserve. Don’t settle for less than what your claim is worth.

Yes, even if you’re partially at fault for your injury, you may still be eligible to claim compensation in Queensland. This is due to a legal concept called “contributory negligence.” This means that your physical injury compensation may be reduced based on your degree of responsibility for the accident. For instance, if you are found 20% at fault, your compensation could be reduced by that percentage.
It’s important to be honest with your lawyer about your role in the incident. They can assess how contributory negligence might affect your claim and develop a strategy to maximise your potential compensation. Get in touch with us for a free online claim check!

What our clients say

Thank you WT Compensation Lawyers for your hard work, commitment and dedication towards settling my case. This was my first ever experience having the helping hand of a lawyer and I’m glad it was with your firm! Thank you very much for making everything seem so easy and clear for me to understand. I will definitely know who I can trust in regards to seeking legal aid

Asipeli Feki

Warm, kind, compassionate, knowledgeable… I could go on and on about Jono and his great team at WT Compensation Lawyers. The words thank you don’t even begin to describe how grateful I am to this great team of personal injury lawyers and for the way they help people and show that they genuinely care about their clients.

R Rasul

I am beyond grateful for the genuine assistance of WT Compensation lawyers to get through with my claim. Absolutely every single person I had contact with at the team were amazing. I especially want to thank Jono Wu who helped me achieve an outstanding outcome.

Virginia Su

Jono, Sinny and everyone at WT Compensation Lawyers are the best car accident lawyers in Brisbane I’ve come across. The genuine care, compassion and human kindness they show to their clients is clear from the very first moment you speak to them. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer and would not hesitate at all to refer any of my family or friends. Thank you guys always for all your great work.

Ru McKinnon

Big thanks to WT, Jono, Sinny and the entire team. I couldn’t be happier with boys and the help they’ve given me and my family over the years. Both my sister and partner had car accidents and got unreal results from their claim. These guys are talented, empathetic and genuinely want the best for their clients and I couldn’t recommend them more if you want the best car accident lawyers.

Tylor Bunting

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:

FREE CLAIMS CHECK TAKES 2 MINUTES

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