Many Australians are opting to make the switch from cars and trucks to motorcycles and scooters. Smaller, more fuel efficient, and easy to maneuver and park in crowded cities, motorcycles are increasingly common. Unfortunately, the increase in motorcycle use has been paralleled by an increase in motorcycle accidents and deaths.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Queensland, you probably have a lot of questions. Below we cover some of the most commonly asked questions, but it is important for you to reach out to a professionally trained lawyer because every case is unique.
What to do after a Motorcycle Accident
- Get to Safety: In the first few moments after an accident, you may be injured, disoriented, and emotions are running high. The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re safe and remove yourself from the dangerous situation.
- Contact the Authorities:
- Police: If the police are not already in attendance, call the police and have them attend the scene of the accident. If you are injured, they will obtain all of the necessary information from other parties and record details of the location and conditions that were present at the time of the accident. If you later lodge a claim, your lawyer can then receive these details from the police.
- Medical Attention: If you are in an accident, you need to seek medical attention soon, if not immediately, after the accident. Even if you don’t think that you have been severely injured, you should seek medical advice and be medically examined. This way, even if you have injuries that are not readily apparent or injuries which arise later (such as whiplash) you will be taken care of and there will be a record of you having sought medical attention.
- Legal Help: If you are in an accident, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Every case is different and the best person to help you pursue a claim is a lawyer familiar with Queensland laws.
In Queensland there are strict time limits that apply to motorcycle claims. Usually, you will need to bring your claim within three years from the date that the accident happened. However, when the accident involves the driver of a motor vehicle, other time limits apply.
Identifiable Driver: When the driver can be identified, their insurer must be put on notice of the claim either within 9 months after the date of the accident or within 1 month from when you first see a lawyer.
Unidentifiable Driver: In the case of a hit and run, when the driver cannot be identified, the time limits to bring a claim are much more rigid. You must provide notice against the ‘nominal defendant’ within 3 months from the date of the accident or the claim will be otherwise barred. You should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
In Queensland, usually the insurer of the person or entity at fault pays the compensation owed to the injured party. How much the injured party will receive is based on the individual nature of the case. You may be compensated for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, care, out of pocket expenses, and damage to the motorcycle among other things. The accident claims process in Queensland usually takes from 12 – 18 months but can potentially go longer if the case is complex.
Regardless of how severe your injuries or the impact of the accident on your life, it is important to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. The claims process in Queensland can be very intricate to navigate and every accident is unique.