When you're involved in a serious car accident and sustain a nasty injury, the last thing you need at that stage is uncertainty. You don't want to worry about loss of earnings, medical expenditure and the fact that you cannot work, and it really won't matter if the accident itself was your fault or not. Up until fairly recently, you may nevertheless have had to deal with uncertainty due to the way that the insurance industry was placed, but recent changes could come to your defence. What should you know about the new approach to compensation?
Where to Turn
If you sustain a serious injury in a car accident, this can be devastating for your future prospects and your everyday life. Remember, the insurance industry is there to accept this risk and provide support, and the process is not as onerous as it used to be.
For example, recent new laws in New South Wales provide a safety net of payments for anybody in this situation, no matter if they were at fault. They could be the driver or passenger in the vehicle, or a third party who was hit by the vehicle in question. These benefits cover loss of earnings, medical expenditures and future treatment costs, so long as the claim is made within a few months of the accident.
Under the new system, a weekly payment will be calculated for loss of earnings, based on a percentage of your income prior to the accident. Typically, this will cover the vast majority of your pre-accident income for the first three months and this will reduce somewhat for the subsequent three. At that point, it'll be reassessed, and if your injuries are considered to be relatively minor, then no more payments will be made. However, if not, then you can expect to receive more money for loss of earnings up until the two-year anniversary. At this stage, you must be in pursuit of a common-law damages claim to enable the payments to continue.
When you pursue a case in the civil courts as a common-law claim, you should know that there are limits placed on the possible payout. There will be a cap based on your average weekly wage prior to the incident, but you may be able to make a separate claim for pain and suffering up to a preset limit as well.
Unravelling the Details
There are some further restrictions related to common-law damage claims, based on the timing of the claim and the level of impairment faced. Taking everything into account, its best for you to engage the services of a motor vehicle accident lawyer if you're in this position, so they can take care of the details and help you to get what you deserve.