The most common personal injury claim known to the public is one which derives from a motor vehicle accident. However, there are other personal injury claims that allow for an injured person to recover for their losses.

These claims include;

All personal injury claims made in NSW are governed by the Civil Liability Act 2002. Within this body of law, the legal elements required to make a personal injury claim and the time frame within which such a claim needs to be made, is defined.

To make a successful personal injury claim a number of elements must be considered, however the crux of most personal injury claims comes down to proving that the party at fault was negligent. In proving negligence, the injured party must be able to prove that the person who caused the harm had a duty of care / to be careful, that they did not meet. However, the court could determine that the proper care was taken, and instead, the injured party was careless.

To make this determination the court can look to whether the harm that occurred could have been foreseen by the perpetrator. The more likely that the harm could have been foreseen from a lack of care, the more likely the court will find the perpetrator negligent. The court will also review the likelihood of the harm occurring, and how much effort the defendant would have had to put into reducing the risk of the harm.

The second element of proving negligence is to determine if the negligence caused the harm. It the negligence caused the harm, it is more likely the court will find in favour of the injured party.

Finally, the court will review if the injured party assumed the risk and therefore has no claim. A risk is considered assumed by the injured party if it was one that was known or could reasonably have been known or expected. If the court finds that the injured person assumed the risk of the event or activity, the defendant will not be found liable for the personal injury.

The final element to being successful in claiming a personal injury is to be sure that you file your claim within the legal time frame to do so. The time frames are different depending upon the type of claim you are making.

If you are claiming;

1. Motor Vehicle Accident
a. You will have 28 days to file a report with the local police
b. You will have 6 months to file a claim form with the CTP insurer of the vehicle that caused the accident

2. Other Claims
a. You will have 3 years from the date of the injury or from the time the injury was discoverable
b. You will have 12 years from when the act caused the injury, overall

It is important to remember that the 3-year and 12-year time frames can be reviewed by the court and some exceptions may apply.

Regardless of the nature of your claim, it is important that you take steps to prepare for proving your case.

Be sure to collect the following information:

  • The name and address of the person you were involved in the accident with and the address of the establishment it occurred at
  • The insurance information of the person who caused the injury
  • Pictures of the accident (if possible)
  • Your own insurers should be contacted as soon as possible
  • A written account of the details of the accident
  • Any reports that were filed with police, local authorities, safety inspectors, insurance companies etc.
  • The injuries you sustained immediately or over the course of time
  • The types of treatment you are engaged in, including medical, psychological, and rehabilitation treatments
  • Medications you are taking that were prescribed as a result of the injury
  • Hospital or emergency room visits or stays
  • The names and addresses of witnesses
  • The changes in your daily personal and work life connected to the accident
  • Receipts for any connected costs

To protect any claim, you might have for personal injury it is highly recommended that you seek professional advice immediately after being injured. This should include speaking with your insurance company, seeking medical attention, and most importantly making an appointment to consult with an attorney who specialises in personal injury claims.

Only a solicitor with the proper experience can guide you in a manner that will protect your rights to the fullest.In the event that you find yourself in need of such assistance, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.