It’s amazing how much people know or think they know about car accident injury claims. So many myths are doing the rounds and it’s these myths that prevent people from seeking to find out their real legal rights and entitlements.
Believing in myths that are misleading may result in your injury claim being minimised, rejected or disputed.
In this article we seek to expose the top five myths regarding injury compensation following an accident on the road.
Myth One: If you were to blame you won’t get injury compensation
This is not necessarily true. Depending on where your accident happened and the particular circumstances of your accident you may still have rights.
In some States and Territories in Australia there are ‘non-fault’ schemes in place. A non fault scheme means it doesn’t matter who is at fault as you will still be entitled to injury compensation.
If you were partly to blame for the accident but the other party was also at fault, you may still have entitlements as contributory negligence. Again it will depend on where the accident happened as to what entitlements you have if you were at fault.
Myth two: If the other driver is unknown you cannot make a claim for injury compensation
This is not true. If you are in this situation you may be entitled to injury compensation under a government scheme. There is by law in each State and Territory a central fund that will pay out individuals if they are injured by an unknown driver or vehicle.
The police must be involved and agree a motor vehicle accident took place and thereafter the laws of the individual State or Territory apply to what entitlements the injured person has.
These types of schemes offer injury compensation to victims of a hit and run as a driver, passenger or injured pedestrian.
Myth three: If your car accident happened on the way to work you won’t get work compensation
In some States if you were travelling to or from work, you may have work compensation entitlements. If you do have workers compensation entitlements it will be irrespective of fault or responsibility.
Myth four: You can negotiate the best possible payout with an insurance company without the help of an accident injury lawyer
Dealing directly with an insurance company directly is not recommended until you have contacted an independent organisation. An insurer will want to offer the lowest possible payout. A lawyer can obtain everything you are entitled to under the law.
Even if you were negligent, you may get a much better payout by engaging a lawyer despite a proportionate reduction for being partially liable (or partly responsible).
In some parts of Australia the legal fees are paid by the insurance company and are not deducted from your payout. A lawyer will not act if it is not in the client’s best interests.
Myth five: I can apply for injury compensation whenever I want
This is a common mistake many people make. Strict time limits apply in most parts of Australia. The time limits vary from State to State. The moral of the story is to seek injury compensation information and make a claim for injury compensation as soon as possible