A Simple Guide to Understand Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

A motor accident is a type of accident where a vehicle (including cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and bicycles) is involved. Each year in Australia, at least 1,000 people lose their lives in a fatal motor accident. Likewise, the number of injuries far surpasses that figure. 

No other state comes close to the number of MVA claims in WA. In terms of the total number of injuries, WA had almost three times as many injuries from MVCs as Victoria and over five times as many as Queensland. In terms of the MVC injuries per 100,000 population, Western Australia had over three times the rate of Victoria and around ten times the rate of Queensland. Western Australian Police estimate that up to 50% of crashes in WA are hit-and-runs.

In this article, we take a closer look at motor vehicle accidents. This is your simple guide to understanding motor vehicle accident claims in Australia. Here’s what you need to know:

What is a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?

In general, a motor vehicle accident (MVA) claim involves a person (the claimant) claiming compensation (treatment/loss of wages) for injuries suffered in the MVA against the third party insurer (typically the Insurance Commission of Western Australia) of the driver of the motor vehicle at fault for the accident. A motor vehicle accident claim will often result from a traffic collision between two or more vehicles. 

Who Can Make MVA Claims?

Any person who becomes a victim of a motor vehicle accident can make an MVA claim. For example, a person injured in a car crash caused by another driver’s negligent driving may make an MVA claim against the negligent driver. Or a person who is injured in a hit-and-run accident may make an MVA claim against the person or organisation who was allegedly responsible for the accident. 

In simpler terms, you can make an MVA claim if you are one of the following:

  • Driver
  • Passenger 
  • Cyclist 
  • Pedestrian 

Is There a Time Limit for Making an MVA Claim?

The short answer is yes. A person must make an MVA claim within a certain period of time. This is known as the limitation period. Whether or not a person’s MVA claim is out of time will depend on the claimant’s circumstances. 

According to Australian law, a person has up to three years to make an MVA claim. This means a person has up to three years to make an MVA claim after the accident. The time period begins when the person becomes aware of the accident and its consequences. This means a person is expected to claim for MVA injury as soon as possible after the accident.

What Types of Injuries Can I Make a Claim For?

Motor vehicle accident claims are made because of personal injuries resulting from the accident.  

When a person claims as a result of a  motor vehicle accident, they may have to prove that another person was responsible for the accident. This person may be the defendant in the case. 

That said, the specific types of injuries you can claim for are the following: 

  • Physical injuries 
  • Pain and Suffering (Emotional Distress)
  • Loss of earnings

Other than the types of MVA claims, you can make listed below:

  • Family members suffering psychological trauma following a car accident 
  • Children injured in a motor vehicle accident
  • Injuries to drivers or their passengers, even if the offending driver is uninsured or driving an unregistered vehicle
  • Road users injured while traveling to work and from work
  • Single vehicle road accidents

The Bottom Line

Motor vehicle accidents are the highest cause of death and injury in Australia. In WA, the largest state in the country, MVCs have more injuries per capita than in any other state. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, be sure to get checked, contact your loved ones, and  if you lodge a claim get legal advice.

If you are looking for Perth personal injury lawyers, we can help you. D’Angelo Legal is a full-service law firm committed to providing our clients in Western Australia with solutions to resolve their legal challenges. You can contact us today to learn more. Start the conversation!