FAQ – Personal Injuries

What are personal injury claims?

Personal injury claims are claims made by injured people for compensation because of the loss they have suffered because of their injuries.

If a person has been injured because of another person, and they have suffered financial loss because of the injury, they may be able to claim compensation from the person who caused the injury or, their insurer.

The injury must be more than merely trivial in nature as it needs to have caused the injured person financial loss for them to be entitled to compensation.

What types of personal injury claims are there?

Personal injury claims in Queensland are governed by the Civil Liability Act 2003 and the Civil Liability Regulation 2014 which provide the general procedure for personal injury claims, when a person can make a personal injury claim and how the damages are calculated in persona injury claims.

There are also specific pieces of legislation that regulate certain types of personal injury claims such as the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994, which governs car accident and Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claims for personal injury in Queensland. Workers’ Compensation claims are governed by the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, which also regulates WorkCover Queensland and The Workers’ Compensation Regulator (also known as QCOMP). Public place accidents and injuries are governed by the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 and the Personal Injuries Proceedings Regulation 2014, this legislation covers the majority of public place claims such as slip and fall accidents in shopping centres, or tripping over a cracked and broken footpath.

There are some more obscure types of claims such as airline crash claims. The legislation that governs these claims depends on a number of different things such as where the plane was going to and coming from as well as payment for the ticket. If the flight is a commercial flight, with a take off and landing within Queensland then the claim will be governed by the Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1964. If it is an interstate flight then the claim will be governed by the Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 (Commonwealth).

What losses can a person claim if they have been injured?

Injured persons are able to claim for pain and suffering and loss of amenities of loss, which is short means their, non-economic loss. These damages are called General Damages, they are usually calculated using Injury Scale Values (ISV) under the relevant legislative Regulations.

Injured persons are also able to claim their loss of financial income both past and future, their medical expenses both past and future as well as the cost of home modifications, nursing services, voluntary or gratuitous care and rehabilitation expenses.

Only the losses incurred, because of the claimed injury, are claimable. It is very important for an injured person to maintain excellent records of all expenses incurred so that they can get as much back through the claim as possible.

What is Gratuitous Care in Personal Injuries Claims in Queensland?

Gratuitous care (sometimes referred to as voluntary services) are, the care or services provided to a claimant, usually by a family member for no charge. Tasks such as domestic chores, personal care tasks as well as home and vehicle maintenance may all be claimable.

A person who is making a claim for personal injury may be entitled to include a claim for the cost of gratuitous care or domestic services provided to them by others. While there are certain criteria that must be met for a gratuitous care claim to be successful, it is always worth knowing what may be included in your claim.

The person providing the services is not the person entitled to claim for the cost of them. Only the injured person can make a claim for gratuitous care. The time spent by the person providing the gratuitous care / services may be recoverable by the injured person at the current market value (for a commercial care provider for the hours provided).

What steps does a person have to take if they are involved in a car accident?

If you are involved in a car crash, you should always take down the name, address and contact details of the other people involved. You should also make sure to get the registration numbers of all other cars involved.

Always feel free to phone the police and ask them to attend the scene of the accident. While it isn’t a legal requirement for the police to attend at the scene it does often make life easier down the track if they’ve been called.

Go and see your GP to make sure any injuries you have are documented and that all injuries you’ve sustained are discovered. It is very important to have all your injuries well documented especially if you wish to make a claim for personal injuries.

Keep records of all of your out-of-pocket expenses as the CTP insurer will usually reimburse you for them during the preliminary part of your claim.

Lodge your claim with the CTP insurer as soon as you can after the collision so they have it on record and the claim can progress.