Q. What should I do if I am in an accident?
A. If the accident is not your fault it is important to ensure you obtain the details of the other vehicle. That includes the make, model and type of car, the registration details, name and address of the driver and the drivers licence. These details are important as the green slip insurer can be identified from these details.
It would be helpful to take photos of the vehicles with a camera or mobile phone and record the details of any witnesses who saw the accident.
Q. How long do I have to lodge a claim form and what happens if it is lodged late?
A. It is a requirement under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act that a claim form be lodged within six months of the date of the injury. The form must be fully completed, with an original medical certificate attached and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or Solicitor.
If the form is lodged outside the six month period then you must provide the insurer with a reasonable and satisfactory explanation for delay. The delay must be in the form of a statutory declaration and must outline all of the facts and circumstances which are relevant to the delay including your state of mind, knowledge and any other facts relevant.
Q. What if I am not happy with the insurer’s offer to settle my case?
The insurer has an obligation to make an offer of settlement at the first available opportunity. Their first offer is often based on little evidence and will not generally be considered a fair assessment of your injuries and ongoing disabilities. Whenever an offer is made it is important that you determine exactly what the net result to you is as the offer will often have deductions such as medical expenses paid by the insurer, any repayments to medicare and centrelink.
It is strongly recommended that before accepting any offer by the insurer that you obtain legal advice as once you have signed the settlement documents you are bound by the settlement whether it is fair or not.