Motor Vehicle Accidents

The operation of the law of negligence and a person’s legal rights under that law

You are entitled to claim for damages as long as you are not at fault in an accident or if the accident was only partially your fault.

In Queensland all vehicles must have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, and a claim by a passenger will proceed against the CTP insurer of the vehicle at fault. This means that CTP Insurance will compensate you for your injuries.

If the vehicle is a “hit and run”, and you cannot identify the vehicle at fault, then you can still make a claim against the ‘Nominal Defendant’.

The following are common scenarios which are covered by CTP insurance:

  • the driver of a vehicle where another vehicle is at fault;
  • a passenger who suffers injuries in a motor vehicle accident – such as whiplash injury, neck injury or back injury, may have a claim for compensation.  This can include passengers in motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents;
  • a pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle;
  • a cyclist who is injured when they are hit by a vehicle; and
  • a motorcyclist who is injured where another vehicle is at fault.

A claim for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident can include compensation for; loss of past income, loss of future income, pain and suffering, out of pocket expenses and any necessary care or assistance you will require due to your injuries.

The quantum of your claim will depend on how much the accident has affected your life and your earning capacity. It is important to get legal advice about the damages you may be entitled to before accepting an offer of compensation from an insurer.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form should you have any queries.

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Black Lung Disease – it’s a minefield!

Are you exposed to dust at work?

“Black lung” is a common term for a respiratory disease caused by breathing in coal dust. These coal dust particles are often so small, they cannot be seen with the human eye. They coat the lungs and affect the respiratory system permanently. There is no cure for Black Lung.

With a spike in potential cases in Queensland over the past two years, recent reforms have been announced by the Queensland Government to review testing and safety standards of coal mines. Lung tests and checks are compulsory for all coal miners before, during, and upon leaving the mining industry.

However it isn’t just coal dust that can cause injury to workers. Another common dust found on job sites is silica dust. This dust is generated when you drill into concrete, jackhammer or excavate sites. With each breath this dust is deposited into the worker’s lungs and causes scarring. Scarring can occur after only a few months of exposure.

If you are, or someone you know is, exposed to any form of dust at work, they may be impacted.

Many workers do not even realise they can access workers compensation when seeking treatment for a dust related injury. Others are not aware of the protections in place for injured workers when they are temporarily unable to return to work.

The Compensation Team at Wallace & Wallace Lawyers can assist you with all aspects of a dust related disease. We will help you navigate through the claims process and give you practical and up to date advice.

Call now on (07) 4963 2000, or complete our online contact form, for an obligation free initial consultation.

Bronwyn Green
Solicitor
Compensation Law

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Unhappy with a WorkCover Decision

A common enquiry received by our Compensation Team is whether a decision of WorkCover can be reviewed or appealed.

Some examples of decisions which can be reviewed or appealed are:

  • A decision to reject an application for Workers Compensation;
  • An assessment of permanent impairment.

If you have applied for Workers Compensation and your application is rejected, you generally have three months after the decision is made to seek a review. The review is conducted by the Workers Compensation Regulator and there is no fee payable to have a decision reviewed. The review process involves an independent assessment of the same information to see if the same, or different, conclusion is reached. If your application is rejected and you do not seek a review, you may forever lose your ability to claim WorkCover benefits for that injury. It is therefore very important that you seek legal advice immediately upon receiving a decision from WorkCover so that you can protect your rights.

If you are a worker who has had an application for Workers Compensation accepted, you can be assessed for permanent impairment once your injury is stable and stationary. The assessment of permanent impairment is important as this determines the amount of any lump sum payment payable by WorkCover to you, and/or determines the common law damages you can seek for pain and suffering as a result of your work injury. The timeframe to review is short so it is crucial that you act quickly if you do not agree with the Notice of Assessment you have received from WorkCover.

What if I disagree with the review decision of the Regulator? If you have applied to the Workers Compensation Regulator for a review and you are still unsatisfied with the outcome, you have the right to appeal this review decision in certain circumstances. This involves lodging a notice of appeal with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (‘QIRC’). Upon the hearing of the matter, the QIRC will make its decision.

The Compensation Team at Wallace & Wallace Lawyers are experienced in all aspects of Workers Compensation legislation. If you are, or know someone who is, unhappy with a decision of WorkCover, call us now on (07) 4963 2000 or contact us via our online contact form for practical legal advice on how you should proceed.

Bronwyn Green
Solicitor
Compensation Law

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