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What Rights Do I Have If I Was a Passenger and Involved in a Car Accident?

passenger in a car accident

Many people who are injured while travelling as a passenger in a car involved in a road accident aren’t aware that they are entitled to make a compensation claim.

Under Queensland’s compulsory third party (CTP) insurance scheme, passengers, as well as drivers and pedestrians, can claim for personal injury caused by a car accident.

The claim will be made against the insurer of the ‘at fault’ driver, regardless of whether that driver is a family member, a friend, a taxi or an Uber driver.

Queensland’s scheme does require the passenger to provide proof that the driver was at fault, and that his or her negligent control of the car caused your injuries.

What should you do if you’re injured as a passenger in a car accident?

While it is usually the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident who will report the incident to police, as a passenger you may also make a report.

The police incident report – whether the police attended the scene or not – is often a crucial component when it comes to proving the fault of the driver who caused the injury sustained in the accident.

Likewise, witness statements and other evidence from the scene such as the state of the road, the weather, the time of day and the traffic conditions can all be vital to sustaining your compensation claim.

Finally, medical reports documenting your injury should be obtained as soon as possible after the accident. These will be important in supporting your claim, including in situations where an injury may only arise some time after the accident.

While investigations by the insurer will help clarify many of the issues involved in the claim, it is important to accurately document your injury and keep records of everything that happens after the accident, such as medical and travel expenses.

Remember, the claim is not personally against the driver

It should be remembered that the compensation claim will be made against – and paid by (if successful) – the insurer. People can sometimes be hesitant to pursue a compensation claim when they are injured as a passenger in a car driven by a family member or friend, fearing that their nearest and dearest will be held personally liable for the damages.

But it won’t be a loved one who will be out of pocket in relation to your successful compensation claim.

What happens if you’re injured as a passenger in an uninsured vehicle?

CTP insurance is integral to the registration of a motor vehicle in Queensland.

If you’re a passenger in an uninsured, unregistered vehicle and are injured in an accident, you can still make a claim against the Nominal Defendant, who acts as the CTP insurer for vehicles that are uninsured or unidentified.

The pool of money used to pay damages claims against the Nominal Defendant is created from Queensland’s CTP scheme.

Why legal advice is important

While some compensation claims are straightforward, many others can be complex and involve a lot of work.

The gathering of evidence, collation of medical reports and the meeting of strict time limits all require the assistance of experts in compensation matters.

For motor vehicle accident claims, the applicable time limits are:

  • within nine months after the accident;
  • if you are making the claim through a solicitor, within one month of the first consultation with the solicitor.

In addition, CTP insurance companies are well resourced and employ lots of lawyers who will make every effort to reduce the exposure of the insurer to a damages claim.

Availing yourself of the experience and expertise of specialist compensation professionals such as Lifestyle Injury Lawyers is the wisest choice you can make, so call us Gold coast compensation lawyers today for an initial consultation.