In the past, getting compensated for injuries caused by a motor accident was a lengthy process. You needed to engage an accident lawyer and bring your claim to a court for a long, expensive and uncertain trial. Fortunately, the courts have updated the compensation laws in Queensland to provide a more efficient claims process that is focused on securing an outcome quickly.
How does the claims process work?
In the claims process, both parties (the injured person’s representatives and the insurance company) work together to share information relating to the accident to resolve the claim at the earliest opportunity.
Throughout the process, the parties must share all relevant information to determine the claim’s value. The law also requires the parties to begin settlement negotiations before being able to start any court case. The parties must make their best offer in writing at the end of the negotiation. It is in this pre-court phase that the majority of claims settle, without the need to commence any court action.
How many claims go to court?
Statistically, approximately 7,000 car accident injury claims are made each year in Queensland. Of these, approximately 95-97% are resolved before taking court action. This means that, on average, just 3-5% of accident compensation claims proceed to a court hearing. Very few car accident claims go to court. In most cases, the parties will agree on a settlement during the pre-court phase.
The risk of court Action
Court action remains a lengthy, costly and sometimes risky process. Neither party can decide what judge will hear the case and how they will interpret the evidence that is presented in court. These factors have a big impact on the outcome of a claim.
In some circumstances, the successful party may be able to recover some of their legal costs from the other party. However, in the injured person’s case, payment will be taken from their compensation to cover the gap in legal fees. If the injured person doesn’t win their case or does not beat the insurance company’s written offer of settlement, they could be required to pay some of the insurance company’s legal costs.
When should a claim appear before a judge?
Sometimes car accident claims need to go to court. Often this is to settle a legal dispute about who was at fault or if the insurance company is not offering fair and reasonable compensation.
As experienced accident lawyers, we can provide you with clear and transparent advice regarding your claim, including any potential court action. We believe in securing the best outcome for you in the shortest amount of time.