Is it too late to claim for my injury?
In Queensland, strict time limitations apply to personal injury claims.
How much time do I have to make a claim?
Generally, a 3 year time limitation applies to all personal injury claims.
What other time limits apply to my claim?
Additional time limits also apply depending on whether the claim is due to a motor vehicle accident, a workers compensation injury, or some other circumstance, such as a slip and fall on private premises. For instance, under the Workers’ Compensation legislation, you can apply for a review of a decision by WorkCover within 3 months if you do not agree with their decision. This time limit can be extended if ‘special circumstances’ are found to exist.
In the case Workers’ Compensation Regulator v Pryszladk the Queensland Court of Appeal considered the issue of ‘special circumstances’ that can apply to an out of time review application. In doing so, the Court found the fundamental reason for extension of time provisions is to ensure time limits do not cause injustice in a particular case. This means that injured workers must be provided natural justice and procedural fairness at every step of the claim process.
What happens if I am out of time?
If you miss a limitation date, and certain steps are not taken beforehand, you may be ‘statute barred’ from making a claim. This means that your claim would not be accepted by the other party, and provides a complete defence to your claim. In some special circumstances, the 3 year time limit can also be extended, so seek legal advice urgently.
Of course, as was the case with Mr Pryszlak above, every injury and surrounding circumstances are different. The types of compensation available to an injured person will also depend on how serious the injury is, and the effect of the injury on their work and personal life. Some types of compensation can also have restrictions or ‘caps’ applied. Other injuries may satisfy criteria to make an income protection or TPD claim through a person’s superannuation fund.
If you are injured, it is therefore important that you contact our compensation team to speak with an expert so you are aware of the strict time limitations, compensation, and legal rights that apply to your circumstances.
Compensation Law Team