Seymour Furlong Lawyers

Last updated on December 1st, 2022 at 09:25 am

One of the most devastating things that can happen to any person is a car accident. Not only can it cause grievous injury, but it can also ruin a person financially whether they were at fault or not. 

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you might be looking at your options for injury compensation. It is important to understand, however, that every incident is different and has its own set of circumstances and factors. As such, the payout for each incident is unique.

Passengers, even if they are in the at-fault vehicle, can bring a CTP claim for injuries they have suffered.

It can be difficult to determine whether your settlement offer is fair or not, so we’ve created this guide to help you with your needs. Here are some answers to the questions you might have about motor vehicle accident injury compensation

Can I claim?

If you have been involved in a car accident and are not the “at fault” driver and you have suffered injuries then you do have a right to bring a claim against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the vehicle at fault. People have a right to bring a claim themselves or they have a right to engage a car accident lawyer to bring a claim on their behalf.

There are many car accident lawyers in Queensland who can assist people in bringing a claim.

In Queensland there is no restriction or limit on a person’s right to bring a claim provided they have suffered an injury from a motor vehicle accident. Even if the injuries are relatively minor you still have a right to bring a claim so as to ensure you can recover medical expenses and also receive any ongoing treatment you may need as a result of your injuries.

What are the steps Involved in a claim?

There are a number of steps which are involved in proceeding with a claim. Initially a claim form needs to be lodged directly with the insurer of the vehicle at fault. There are strict time limits under the legislation for this to be lodged. The claim form must be in the approved form and it must be accompanied by a medical certificate completed by a doctor detailing the full extent of the person’s injuries. If you engage a car accident lawyer then they would typically look at completing this claim form on your behalf and also obtaining the medical certificate required.

Am I entitled to damages for pain and suffering from a car crash?

The answer is yes. Once you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then there are a number of different damages you can claim as a result of the injuries you suffered.

One of the many items that you can claim is damages for pain and suffering. This is an amount which compensates you for the ongoing pain you have had to experience and may still continue to endure as a result of the accident.

This amount of compensation is in addition to any other compensation entitlements you may have which can include ongoing medical expenses, either out-of-pocket expenses you may have had to pay for yourself as well as any likely future expenses you may have a result of your injuries.

You are also entitled to claim damages for time off work, or if you are likely to need time off work in the future due to your injuries, a claim can also be made for these future losses.

The best way to pursue a claim for compensation, and therefore recover damages for pain and suffering or for other items, is to consult a car crash lawyer.

Car accident injury lawyers specialise in assisting people with making a claim. Most lawyers who specialise in personal injury from motor vehicle accidents can ensure that appropriate medical evidence is obtained so that the claim can properly be bought against the insurer at the relevant time.

It is important to ensure that full medical reports or records are obtained as to the extent of your injuries.

It is also important to ensure that your claim is not settled too early, in that the full extent of your injuries may not be known, and it may be the case that you will need to be assessed by a specialist at up to 12 months post-accident, or sometimes even longer. This is to ensure a proper assessment can be done.

Do I have an injury case from my car accident?

If you were not the at-fault driver and have suffered an injury, then you do have a case and you can bring a claim against the relevant CTP insurer.

The best way of pursuing such a claim is to consult a car accident lawyer or car accident solicitor. The lawyer can then perform a search to ascertain who the CTP insurer is as long as you have the registration number of the vehicle at-fault, then the claim can be lodged on your behalf.

It is a relatively simple procedure for the lawyer to undertake the search and then lodge the claim with the insurer. Once the claim is lodged, the insurer has an obligation to investigate the matter and advise whether they accept liability.

They will also look at funding any treatment needs you may need as a result of your injuries. It is important to ensure that all injuries are properly looked at by a doctor and therefore assessed for treatment requirements, and if necessary, a treatment plan can be obtained so as to ensure there can be no criticism of you in seeking appropriate treatment after the accident.

Who can you sue in a car accident?

There are two separate types of claims that you can pursue generally as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

The first claim is in relation to the damage which has been sustained to the motor vehicle, together with the loss of any personal property which may have been within the motor vehicle. This claim should be properly bought against the property insurer of the vehicle at fault.

If you, as a driver have insurance, you should lodge a claim with them and provide to them, full particulars of each of the vehicles involved in the accident.

If you are not at fault and can provide to your insurer full details of the at-fault driver, then your insurer should, in general terms, waive any excess for this payable under the terms of your policy.

This is a matter that you must discuss with your own insurer when lodging the claim. The terms of your policy generally provide that an excess is payable. On occasions, the insurers may ask you to pay it and then agree to refund it once they recover it from the other party.

If, however, you aren’t at fault, you should ask your insurer to waive the excess if you do provide to them the full particulars of the at-fault vehicle. This saves you from having to outlay an excess in circumstances where the accident was not your fault.

Most of the insurers do it and if your insurer requests for you to pay it, we suggest that you ask them to waive it on the basis that you understand it to be common practice within the insurance industry.

If you are having difficulty with this, we are happy to discuss this with you and suggest that you contact our office.

The property insurance claim will also cover any personal items such as sunglasses, laptops or any other personal belongings which may have been damaged as a result of the accident.

The second type of claim which you can bring is a personal injury claim. This claim is bought against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the vehicle at-fault of the accident.

The majority of claims bought under the CTP scheme are whiplash injury claims. CTP insurers are used to dealing with whiplash compensation claims and are therefore well set-up to look at and process these claims.

An injured person should seek appropriate legal advice from a personal injury lawyer or an accident injury lawyer as soon as they can after the accident.

The lawyer can assist in lodging the claim with the relevant insurer and therefore ensure that any rehabilitation that may be required for the whiplash injury can be obtained and funded by the CTP insurer.

There is a regulated claims process in Queensland with respect to CTP claims. You do not actually sue or commence any court proceedings, and the claim is just initially lodged with the insurer company. Most of the claims settle before court and you never have to commence court proceedings in relation to such a claim.

Over 99% of claims which are made from CTP accidents are settled prior to proceeding to a court hearing.

Who am I really suing with my car accident?

By pursuing a CTP claim, all that a person is doing is lodging a claim with the relevant insurer. There are no court proceedings that are commenced, and there is a whole process which needs to be undertaken including obtaining medical reports or records, obtaining treatment and settlement discussions prior to commencing court proceedings.

In Queensland, the CTP scheme is designed so as to ensure that claims are resolved as quickly and expeditiously as possible.

The relevant insurance company is required to make offers to you as part of the settlement process. Those offers must be fair and reasonable, and if the insurer does make offers which are inappropriate or far less than the entitlement you have to compensation, then a court can make orders against them down the track if the matter proceeds to a trial.

If you do commence court proceedings, then the claim is covered wholly by the CTP insurer. The driver at-fault is not separately represented and the proceedings are served directly on the insurer.

Claims can be bought when people are passengers within a vehicle that may be driven by their husband or loved ones. In these circumstances, even if their partner or loved one was at fault, the claim can still be bought against the CTP insurer and there is no extra liability placed upon the driver.

What determines how much my payout is?

The circumstances surrounding every accident are different. A few of the things taken into consideration when calculating how much money should be paid to an injured party are the circumstances of the accident, the resulting medical and financial losses, and the complications the injury might lead to in the future. It includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Future financial losses from healthcare needs resulting from the accident
  • Past gratuitous services 
  • Medical expenses

The payout should cover the money you lost dealing with the injury, including the money you spent, the potential income you lost, and whatever amount you are likely to spend in the future on paying for the injuries. It should also cover the extent to which your income has been limited by the accident. 

The compensation for a loss of quality life, such as pain and suffering is referred to as “general damages.” It should be noted that not all injuries are severe enough to warrant compensation, as general damage.

The way this is determined is by working out the extent of the damage of your injuries through the Injury Scale Value (ISV) (Civil Liability Regulation 2014). The ISV uses a point value system between 0 and 100, where 0 represents an injury not severe enough to warrant a general damages award and 100 represents the most serious injury possible.

Your ISV score is calculated by medical and legal professions who refer to specific sections of the Regulation which assist in specifying the ISV points and its associated dollar value. For more general information regarding this topic, visit the page: 

Depending on the nature of your injuries and other various complications, the payout may occasionally stray from your calculated figures. When determining your payout, it is important to seek help from a professional. Our team of motor vehicle accident lawyers can assist you in determining your ISV, provide you legal representation and most importantly help you get the most out of your claim.

Who is going to pay for the claims for my injuries?

All motor vehicle owners in Queensland are required to take out compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance against liability for death or personal injury of others as it relates to accidents involving motor vehicles. This insurance is normally paid for when the owner renews their vehicle’s registration.

As such, the payout will be made by this third-party insurance entity. However, before this payout is made, the burden of proof is on the injured to prove that they were not at fault for the accident and that it was caused by someone for whatever reason. 

When can I file motor vehicle accident injury claims?

The time limit for making claims for personal injuries resulting from car accidents is three years. If a claim is not made within three years, you may lose all rights to a payout. As such, one of the most important things to do in the event of a motor vehicle accident is to consult a lawyer about your options. For more information about time limits for a claim caused by a car accident, check out our article here.

What to expect physically after a car accident?

It is difficult to predict how a person will recover as a result of a car accident.

Often, unfortunately, given the nature of whiplash-type injuries, then they do tend to linger around and can affect people for quite a long period and in some cases, years after an accident.

It is also difficult to predict and doctors are sometimes uncertain as to giving a definitive prognosis, particularly in the earlier periods after an accident. Therefore it is important that proper treatment is obtained.

The doctors generally look at undertaking x-rays and other scans so as to ensure there is no structural damage, and once this is done, then an active course of physiotherapy may generally be considered appropriate.

It is important for you to discuss with your treating doctor whether this is the best for you and whether you should be seeking this or some other form of alternative treatment.

Generally speaking, the sooner you seek the appropriate and proper care and treatment, the faster you will look towards recovery.

Funding of treatment before the claim settles

Under the terms of the legislation, there is provision for the insurers to pay for an injured person’s treatment whilst it is ongoing and prior to the claim settling. This is often of particular importance as after an accident it can take some time before a person’s injuries are stabilised.

By using a competent car accident lawyer, he/she should be able to arrange with the insurers to fund all reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation which you may require to recover from your injuries.

What do car accident lawyers do?

The role of a lawyer is to conduct the claim on your behalf. They should talk you through in detail the process that’s involved and handle the claim from day one until the conclusion. By doing this, it allows you to concentrate on your recovery and not have to deal with the insurers and it enables the claim to be handled on a stress and hassle-free basis. An experienced car accident lawyer would have many previous dealings with the insurance companies and their rehabilitation divisions. As such your lawyer should be able to assist you in obtaining the rehabilitation treatment which you need.

Should I use a lawyer?

In almost all cases in which a person suffers injuries it will generally be better for them to engage a lawyer to pursue the claim on their behalf. Even though the circumstances of the accident may not be particularly complicated and the claims process itself may seem relatively straight forward, a person does risk not receiving the full extent of the compensation they deserve unless they are properly represented.


Injuries from car accidents, no matter how seemingly small, can have unseen effects over the course of time. In the event of a motor vehicle accident claim, it is important to have the knowledge and aid of a professional so that you can navigate the legal system better and increase your chances of a higher payout.

If you’re looking for someone to help you with motor vehicle accident injury claims in Queensland, send us at Seymour Furlong a message. We have the expertise needed to help our clients in this difficult time in their lives.