When you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, and are eligible to seek compensation, you generally have three years to start your claim. However, there are certain situations in which you may be able to extend the time available to seek compensation.
In this article we are going to discuss some specific information which will be helpful to you when commencing a claim for personal injury compensation. We will also discuss the time limits for compensation claims, and then look at the time limits which apply for specific types of personal injury claims.
Need help starting a claim for personal injury compensation? Speak to our team of dedicated lawyers today and get the help you need to get back on track.
Being injured as a result of someone else’s negligence is a difficult thing to go through. You have been injured, and your life is now different. You may suffer from pain, you may have had to change your job or duties to accommodate your injuries, you may have mental health complications which have arisen from your injuries, and other factors in your life may have changed. You are also potentially going to go through the process of claiming for compensation, which can unfortunately be a lengthy and complicated process.
When assessing a claim for compensation, decision-makers look at some key things:
Essentially, a claim is assessed by looking at your life up to your injury, and then making an estimate of where your life would have gone without your injury, and how you have been impacted. The diagram below outlines the assessment that takes place by looking at your previous life path, and then comparing it to your new life path after your accident.
Every person’s life is unique. Everyone lives with multiple factors impacting on their life and their ability to earn money, to sustain themselves (and their families), and to gain fulfilment.
With this in mind then, it is possible to see how assessing a claim for compensation can be complex.
Each claim for compensation requires a thorough assessment of injuries and the related impacts. This requires detailed and ongoing reporting from medical and healthcare professionals, and an economic assessment of your life and the impact your injury has had on you.
It is vital, then, that you seek legal advice as soon as you are able to when making a claim for compensation following an accident. While you may have up to three years to commence your claim, the reality is that you should start your claim as soon as you are able to. That way you can be sure that the evidence you gather is strong, and your witness information is reliable and clear.
A person under 18 when injured still has the same right to claim compensation as an adult, but they are not considered to have legal capacity until they are 18.
The laws around personal injury claims permit people injured before they are 18 years old to have three years from the age they turn 18 to commence their claim.
Despite being able to take three years to commence a claim, there are various requirements under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld) which relate to time limits no matter the age of the injured person:
If a child is injured at eight years old, and the parents wish to wait until their child is 18 to commence their claim, they would still need to provide notice to the proposed defendant within nine months of injury, or within one month of engaging a law practice, whichever is sooner.
Time Limits for Workers Compensation Claims in Queensland
When injured at work you must ensure that you formally report your injury to your employer as soon as is practical. A claim for WorkCover is generally only valid if you have lodged the claim within six months after your entitlement to compensation arises.
It is worth noting that injury compensation does not permit ‘double dipping’ - that is, if you are paid an amount by WorkCover and are successful in a claim for legal compensation, the amount paid by WorkCover will be deducted from any final financial entitlement.
Example: Linda cuts her finger on some broken glass left in a sink by another employee at work. She reports the injury immediately to her employer. She goes to hospital, gets stitches, and is off for three weeks while she recovers. She lodges a claim for WorkCover within the six months time limit and receives pay for the three weeks she is off recovering.
Example: Bryan injures his back while heading to the cafeteria at his mining camp site. He slips on some water which has accumulated in a drain - an issue that was known to his employer. He reports the injury to his employer the next day, and makes a claim to WorkCover the next week. He receives payment from WorkCover, but also makes a legal claim for compensation due to his employer’s negligence. He commences the claim three months after suffering his original injury. The pay he received through WorkCover is deducted from his final settlement amount.
Car accidents are sadly all too common on Queensland roads, and when injured as a result of someone else’s driving you are often eligible to seek compensation. The three year time limit applies for starting a claim for compensation when you are injured, remembering that it is important to commence your claim as soon as you are able to.
In some cases, you may have been injured in a hit and run accident. In this case, you can still claim but you will be making a claim to the Nominal Defendant.
If you are injured in a hit and run and cannot identify the other driver you must give notice to the Nominal Defendant within three months that you intend to claim.
If you can identify the other vehicle but they are uninsured - say, for example you are injured by the driver of an unregistered vehicle:
When injured in a public place the usual three year time limit applies. You also need to adhere to the limits relating to notice - that is, to provide notice to the proposed defendant within nine months of your accident or within one month if engaging a solicitor to act on your behalf.
The time limit to commence a medical negligence injury claim is three years. As noted above, if you are under 18 when you are injured you have three years after turning 18 to commence your claim, noting that you still must advise the at-fault party within nine months of injury, or one month of engaging a solicitor no matter your age.
Being injured as a result of medical negligence can be traumatic. You have trusted a medical professional and have suffered injury as a result. Despite the associated complications, it is imperative that you report your medical negligence injury to the at-fault party as soon as possible so that you can commence the process of claiming for your injuries.
Murphy’s Law is a team of personal injury lawyers who are dedicated to ensuring that you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Speak to our team today and get started with your claim for compensation.