Frequently Asked Questions About Road Accident Claims

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Tina Veivers


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.

In Australia, we’re quite fortunate to have pretty safe roads and easy-to-follow road rules. However, while we do have some of the safer roads in the world, road accidents and crashes are still common and can cause injuries that can completely change your life.

In some circumstances, if you’re involved in a road accident, like a car crash, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the injuries sustained. However, given that a road accident can be quite stressful for all parties involved, knowing what to do and if you’re entitled to compensation can be difficult. 

To help, we’ve put together an overview of road accidents and answered some of the common questions that we, as personal injury lawyers in Queensland, are asked about road accidents and compensation claims.

Common Questions about Road Accidents and Compensation Claims

Here’s what you need to know if you’re involved in a road accident.

What should I do immediately after a road accident?

It’s common to feel overwhelmed and scared after a road accident. It can be shocking and leave you feeling distressed but the most important thing you can do is to ensure that you’re safe and that those around you are also safe. This could involve moving to a safer location or seeking medical assistance.

If possible, avoid moving the motor vehicles as they may not be safe to move, and it will help to preserve the scene of the accident for police to review.

You should also exchange contact details with any of parties involved, including insurance details.

Is there any other kind of information I should get at the scene of the accident?

If possible, in addition to the contact details of all people involved in the accident directly, it’s a good idea to get contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident.

You should also take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles involved, road conditions or obstacles, skid marks, and any visible injuries too.

Also make note of the time, date, and location of the accident.

Does the accident need to be reported to the police and/or my insurance company?

If the accident has resulted in significant property damage or if there are injuries, the police should definitely be called. If the accident is a hit and run accident, where the driver and vehicle that caused the accident has fled the scene, the police should be contacted immediately.

Notifying your insurance company is also very important as an accident, whether it was your fault or not can impact your ability to make claims in the future as well as your insurance policy too.

If you plan to make a claim for compensation, it’s recommended to report the accident to both the police and your insurance company.

How do I determine who is at fault in the road accident?

Determining fault is important as it can have an impact on your insurance policy and if you wish to make claim for compensation. The unique circumstances of your accident will play a large role in determining fault and other factors like eyewitness statements, photos, video footage, and expert opinions can also help to determine who is at fault.

There is almost an endless list of possible road accident causes, with some common ones being:

  • Human error where the driver has made a mistake regarding road rules or vehicle operation.
  • Speeding can be a common cause of accidents and impact the severity of injuries and extent of the accident.
  • Distracted drivers where their ability to drive has been impaired. Using mobile phone devices can be a common distraction.
  • Road conditions, if the road is in poor condition or is unfamiliar to the driver.
  • The vehicle may not be safe or may have an issue that contributes to the accident occurring.

These are only some of the potential causes of a road accident.

What types of compensation can I claim after a road accident?

While the type of compensation you could claim for is dependent on the circumstances of your road accident, some of the types of compensation you could be entitled to include:

  • Compensation for medical expenses like hospital bills, doctor visits, medications, and ongoing treatment/care like physiotherapy.
  • Compensation for a loss of earnings, this may be for the duration of your recovery period, or also if your ability to earn an income has been impacted by the accident.
  • Compensation for damage to property, like your vehicle.
  • Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses that could result from your accident, like transportation costs while your vehicle is repaired, or if modifications need to be made to your home due to injuries sustained the accident.
  • Compensation for pain and suffering that you may experience due to the accident and injuries sustained.

What kinds of road accident injuries could mean you’re eligible for compensation?

A wide range of injuries could be experienced as a result of a road accident and many of these injuries could mean that you’re entitled to compensation.

Below we’ve listed a variety of these injuries, but please keep in mind that this list not exhaustive:

  • Whiplash
  • Burns
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Injuries to neck, back or spine
  • Head injuries
  • The development of chronic pain
  • Crush injuries
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Hip injuries.
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Amputations
  • Brain injuries

How do I make a road accident claim?

The process involves gathering information about the accident, making an application for compensation with the appropriate insurance company, and the insurance company will review the claim, potentially offer a settlement, or could possibly reject the claim.

Making a claim for compensation of any kind, including one for a road accident can be complicated and involve providing a lot of information. That’s why it’s recommended that you engage a compensation lawyer to guide you through the process.

A compensation lawyer can help to not only make the application process easier, but they can also help you understand your entitlements and help you receive maximum compensation, and often, the amount of compensation that a lawyer can help you to receive is more significant than that you will get if you go through the process alone.

It’s also no secret that dealing with insurance companies can be difficult and complicated, so instead of stressing yourself out, your compensation lawyer can handle communications on your behalf.

What happens if my insurance company denies my claim for compensation?

If you have applied for compensation and it has been denied by your insurance company, it’s recommended that you seek legal advice from a compensation lawyer.

It’s our role to review your case and ensure that you are eligible to make a claim. We can also negotiate on your behalf with your insurance company or represent you if legal action is necessary.

An insurance company may not deny your claim, but they could undervalue your compensation amount, so if you are offered compensation but it is less than you believe you’re entitled to, engaging with a compensation lawyer can help too.

What if my insurance company offers a settlement and I’m happy with it?

If you’ve been offered a compensation settlement by your insurance company after you’ve made a claim for compensation without a lawyer’s help, we still recommend seeking legal advice.

We can help to evaluate the offer in relation to the extent of your injuries and the impact it has had on you. We can advise you as to whether the offer is fair or if you would benefit from further negotiation.

What information and evidence will I need to provide to support my road accident compensation claim?

The information you need will be dependent on the type of compensation you’re claiming, however, it’s common to need to provide information such as:

  • Medical records, including diagnoses, treatment plans, medical reports, and receipts for expenses.
  • Proof of lost wages or income, such as payslips, tax returns, or employer statements.
  • Photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, injuries, and any visible physical changes.
  • Witness statements and their contact information.
  • Police reports or incident numbers.
  • Insurance policy details and correspondence.

How long do you have to file a compensation claim for a road accident?

Time limits could vary depending on where you are in Australia and the circumstances of your accident. In Queensland, the time limit to make a road accident claim is usually 3 years from the date of the accident.

It’s best to speak with a compensation lawyer as soon as you can after an accident as they can help you understand your options, including how long you have to make a claim. They can also help you with your application to ensure that you meet the deadlines.

What happens if the other party flees the accident or does not have insurance?

Unfortunately, while it is a legal obligation to exchange details when a road incident happens, it isn’t always possible because some people leave the scene of the accident.

The most important thing to do in this situation is to make sure that you’re ok and do not attempt to go after them to get their details.

Try to remember as many relevant details as possible that could help to identify the driver, like colour, make and/or model of car and the number, and call the police to report the accident and provide them with the details of the other driver.

If this occurs and there are witnesses to the accident, get their contact details and any information that they can provide as well. 

When someone flees the scene of an accident, they are involved in their vehicle is considered and unidentified vehicle.

If the driver cannot be found you can still make a claim for compensation and this claim is to be made against the Nominal Defendant, which is a statutory body that provides compensation to victims of accidents where unidentified or uninsured drivers have caused the accident.

It’s also advisable to work with a compensation lawyer when making a claim against the Nominal Defendant to ensure that you’re completing the process correctly.

How is the compensation amount I’m entitled to calculated for road accidents?

The compensation amount is calculated based on a variety of factors that will vary depending on your unique circumstances. Some of the factors that could impact the amount of compensation includes the severity of your injury, who was at fault, the impact the injury has had on your day-to-day life and the impact it may have ongoing, as well as the medical expenses you’ve incurred and if you’ve lost earnings.

You will need to discuss your unique matter with a compensation lawyer to have a more accurate estimation of the compensation you could be entitled to.

Is it possible to still make a claim for compensation for a road accident if I was partially at fault?

You may still be able to make a claim for compensation from a road accident if you were partially at fault. It is likely that the compensation you receive is less than what you would if you were not at fault at all, but it is dependent on a range of factors, and is best to speak with an experienced compensation lawyer before making a claim or deciding against making one.

What if I’m involved in a road accident but I’m not the driver?

Road accidents can affect people other the drivers of the vehicles involved, for example, passengers in the vehicles, as well as cyclists and pedestrians could all be impacted by the accident and thus, could be entitled to compensation too.

The unique circumstances of the incident will determine as to whether you’re eligible to make a claim for compensation.

If you have been involved in a road incident in any capacity, it’s best to speak with a compensation lawyer to get accurate advice for your situation.

How long does it take to resolve a road accident claim?

The time it takes to resolve a claim for compensation for a road accident is dependent on a variety of factors, like the information available, the complexity of the case, the injuries sustained, and the cooperation of all parties involved.

It also depends on whether your claim is negotiated and settled outside of court or whether legal action may also be required. Some cases can be wrapped up in a few months while others could take a couple of years.

Working with a compensation lawyer is one of the best ways to make the process as efficient as possible.

When should I seek legal advice for my road accident claim?

We recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible after a road accident, especially if you’ve suffered significant injuries, especially those we mentioned earlier.

By consulting with us early you can understand whether you can make a claim and the potential value of this claim too. We can also help you with the whole process from start to finish.

If you’ve decided to make a claim yourself and you’re facing issues with the insurance company involved, you can of course talk to us as well. We’re here to help at any stage of the claims process.

Do you need a compensation lawyer in Queensland?

If you’re looking for a compensation lawyer for a road accident claim or for other compensation matters, get in touch with us here at South East Injury Lawyers. We’re here to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Give us a call on 07 5241 7994 or book a consultation here.

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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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