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I’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, what steps should I take now? – A step by step guide for those injured in Tasmania

I’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, what steps should I take now? – A step by step guide for those injured in Tasmania

Published on February 7, 2024 by Lucinda GunningLucinda Gunning

Being in a motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic experience, often resulting in physical injury and emotional distress. If you find yourself injured in a motor vehicle accident in Tasmania, it’s essential to take certain steps to ensure your safety, well-being, and to understand your legal rights. This article will guide you through the steps to take after a motor vehicle accident.

1. Seek medical attention

Regardless of the severity of your injuries, it’s crucial to obtain early medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, so it’s best to get a medical evaluation to address any potential health issues. Not only is this essential for your well-being, but it will also provide crucial documentation of your injuries. Depending on the severity of your injury, you might go to the Emergency Department or see your normal treating General Practitioner.

2. Report the accident

You should report the accident to police as soon as possible. They will create an accident report, which may be essential for your claim down the track. This allows you to accurately report the time, place, and details of your accident while they are still fresh in your mind.

3. Exchange information

Exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. This includes obtaining the registration number of any other drivers involved, their names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information. It’s also a good idea to collect contact information from any witnesses as well.

4. Understanding your statutory entitlements

In Tasmania, the Motor Accidents (Liabilities and Compensation) Act 1973 and Motor Accidents (Liabilities and Compensation) Regulations 2010 govern compensation and entitlements for individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Compensation is a no-fault scheme covered by the Motor Accident Insurance Board (MIAB), which means that injured parties, regardless of fault, are entitled to compensation. You can make a claim if:

i. You are a Tasmanian resident who has been injured in Tasmania;

ii. You are a Tasmanian resident who has been injured outside Tasmania but within Australia (so long as a Tasmanian registered motor vehicle was involved in the accident)

iii. You are a non-resident of Tasmania who has been injured in Tasmania as long as a Tasmanian registered motor vehicle was involved in the accident).

The MAIB is a government owned body responsible for managing motor accident insurance and it provides compensation to injured parties. Funding for this compensation is provided by motorists through the payment of third-party premiums on registered motor vehicles.

You should report your accident to the MAIB and file a claim as soon as possible. MAIB make assessments about who is entitled to make a claim for car crash compensation. Your claim needs to be submitted directly to the MAIB. There are strict time limits for reporting accidents and filing claims so it is important to make a claim as soon as possible. You must submit your claim within 12 months of the date of the accident.

Compensation covers:

i. Medical expenses – such as medical, hospital, ambulance, optical, dental treatment, physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment that is reasonably and necessarily incurred together with the reasonable cost of medical appliances, equipment or modifications required to your home or vehicle and the costs of attendant care. Travel costs associated with traveling to obtain treatment can also be claimed in some circumstances.

ii. Funeral and death benefits – these benefits are paid to the dependants of a deceased person or counselling services to assist family members following the loss of someone in an accident.

iii. Loss of earnings allowance – this includes payments to employed and self-employed persons generally based on 80% of your average weekly earnings for the 12 months prior to the accident. There are limits that will apply.

iv. Housekeeping allowance – this includes a payment for up to 26 weeks (or 39 weeks in some cases) from the date of the accident when an injured person is wholly disabled because of their injury from being able to carry out their normal household duties that they would carry out at least once weekly.

5. Common Law entitlements for Negligence

If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, you may also have the option to pursue a common law claim for personal injury. To succeed in a common law claim, you must demonstrate that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries. If you are successful in a common law claim, you will receive a lump sum of damages to compensate you for your injuries. Pursuing a common law claim can be complex, and strict time limits apply. It is recommended that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible to confirm you have a claim and to navigate the process effectively.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice. If you are seeking professional advice on any legal matters, you can contact Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers on 1800 059 278 or via our Contact Page and one of our lawyers will be able to assist you. You can also complete our Personal Injury Claim Check here.

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