Claiming Compensation for Injuries on Public Transport in Queensland

Picture of Tina Veivers

Tina Veivers

DIRECTOR / LAWYER QUEENSLAND LAW SOCIETY ACCREDITED SPECIALIST

Tina is the director of the firm and a lawyer who has 20 years of experience running and managing compensation claims for Plaintiffs. In contrast to the industry standard of larger compensation firms, Tina is a strong believer in ensuring that plaintiffs receive the vast majority of any settlement payout they do receive and will often reduce fees to ensure this occurs. In her spare time, Tina enjoys going to the beach and enjoying time with her family.

Public transport in Queensland is a vital component of daily life for many residents and visitors. While it offers convenience, accidents and injuries can occur, necessitating the need to understand how to make a comprehensive public transport accident claim in Queensland.

In this extensive guide, we discuss the steps you should take if you’re involved in a public transport accident.

Understanding Public Transport Accident Claims

Public transport accident claims in Queensland are governed by the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 and the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994. These statutes outline the procedures, obligations, and rights associated with public transport accident claims.

Many of us take public transportation every day and do not think twice, however, public transport operators and companies have a duty of care to ensure your safety is protected. Accidents can happen for a wide range of reasons, sometimes they are complete accidents, in other cases there is an operator error or a fault of the vehicle. Regardless of the cause, if you’re involved in a public transportation accident, you should follow these steps to ensure that you’re not only safe but that if you need to make a claim, you are able to do so a lot easier:

Step 1: Prioritise Your Health and Well-being

After a public transport accident, your immediate priority should be your health and well-being. Regardless of the apparent severity of your injuries, seek immediate medical attention.

This not only ensures your physical health is addressed but also creates a crucial medical record of your injuries, fundamental to your claim.

Step 2: Gather Comprehensive Evidence

Building a compelling case hinges on gathering comprehensive evidence. Key elements of evidence include:

  • Photographic Documentation: Capture detailed images of the accident scene, your injuries, and any contributing factors like malfunctioning equipment or hazardous conditions.
  • Witness Testimonies: Secure contact information from individuals who witnessed the accident and can provide statements supporting your version of events.
  • Incident Report: Formally report the incident to the relevant transport authority or operator and obtain a copy for your records.
  • Medical Records: Maintain meticulous records of all medical treatments, doctor visits, prescribed medications, and rehabilitation related to your injuries.

Bear in mind that if you’re involved in an accident, your safety and the safety of others is extremely important. Please only gather the above information if you’re able to and not at the sacrifice of your own well-being.

Step 3: Notify the Transport Authority or Operator

Promptly notify the responsible transport authority or operator about the incident and your intent to make a public transport accident claim. Typically, this notification should occur within a reasonable timeframe and ensure that you retain copies of all communications for your records.

Step 4: Consult a Specialised Personal Injury Lawyer

Navigating the intricacies of a public transport accident claim demands specialised legal expertise. It is highly advisable to consult a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling public transport accident claims. They will offer invaluable guidance and ensure your rights are safeguarded throughout the complex legal process.

Step 5: Preparation and Lodgement of Your Claim

Your legal counsel will assist you in meticulously preparing and formally lodging your public transport accident claim. This claim generally includes comprehensive details of the incident, a detailed description of your injuries, medical reports, and a comprehensive account of your incurred losses and expenses stemming from the accident.

Step 6: Negotiation and Potential Settlement

Following the lodging of your claim, the responsible transport authority or operator may engage in negotiations with your legal representation to determine liability and establish an appropriate compensation amount. This negotiation process may extend over time, emphasising the importance of legal counsel in securing the best possible outcome for your claim.

Step 7: Potential Court Proceedings

In cases where negotiations do not culminate in a satisfactory settlement, you may need to pursue your claim through legal proceedings. Throughout this phase, your legal representative will provide guidance and steadfastly represent your interests in the court of law.

Key Considerations for Public Transport Accident Claims

When making a claim due to a public transport accident, there are some things that should be considered, including:

Time Limits: Queensland law generally prescribes specific time limits for initiating public transport accident claims. Typically, you have a three-year window from the date of the incident to commence legal proceedings. However, we highly recommend that you consult with a lawyer promptly as they can advise on relevant time limits.

Establishing Liability: An integral aspect of your claim centres on establishing liability. Your legal counsel will diligently work to demonstrate that the transport authority or operator was at fault, either through negligence or a breach of their duty of care.

Types of Compensation: Compensation in public transport accident claims may encompass a wide array of components, including medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, and various other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the accident. A lawyer will be able to help you understand what you may be entitled to.

Legal Costs: Many personal injury lawyers in Queensland operate on a “no win, no fee” basis, meaning that you are not liable for legal fees unless your claim is successfully resolved.

Specific Considerations for Bus, Train, and Ferry Accidents

Public transport accidents can manifest in various settings, including buses, trains, and ferries. Here are some specific considerations:

Bus Accidents: Determining liability in bus accidents may involve factors such as the actions of the bus driver, maintenance of the bus, and road conditions.

Train Accidents: Train accidents can include derailments, collisions, or platform accidents. Liability may be attributed to the train operator, maintenance crews, or even other passengers.

Ferry Accidents: Ferry accidents may occur during boarding, disembarking, or during the voyage itself. The ferry operator’s responsibilities for passenger safety and vessel maintenance are pivotal in determining liability.

Talk to a “no win no fee” public transport injury lawyer today

When injuries result from a public transport accident in Queensland, comprehensive knowledge of the procedures involved in making a public transport accident claim is essential.

Seeking medical care, meticulously collecting evidence, promptly notifying relevant authorities, and securing legal representation are foundational steps toward ensuring equitable compensation for your injuries and losses.

To ensure you are able to be compensated when involved in an accident on public transport, you should seek legal advice from an experienced injury compensation lawyer.

If you’re in Brisbane or the South East Queensland region, our team at South East Lawyers are here to help you. We offer an experienced team that fights for their clients. We will ensure you understand all the options available to you and keep you updated with the progress of your matter at every stage. Call us today on 1300 446 999 or let us review your case by getting in touch with us here.

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If you’ve been hurt, you need to act fast. Get started immediately
with expert advice from a leading compensation lawyer today.

If you’ve been hurt, you need to act fast. Get started immediately with expert advice from a leading compensation lawyer today.

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