Time Limits in Personal Injury Claims
If you have been injured there are very strict time frames in which you must act to protect your right to compensation. We have put together a brief guide to help you understand the time frames associated with personal injury claims when the injury occurs in Queensland. There are exceptions to the time limits detailed below, in relation to people who were under the age of eighteen (18) at the time the injury occurred. We suggest you seek legal advice about your personal circumstances so you can be sure whether your claim can proceed.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
From the date of the motor vehicle accident, you have three (3) years to commence Court proceedings otherwise you will be barred by legislation from obtaining compensation. However, there are many steps that need to be taken before a claim proceeds to Court so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
If the other vehicle is insured then a Notice of Accident Claim Form must be lodged either within nine (9) months of the accident or one (1) month from your first consultation with a car accident lawyer, whichever is earliest. A claim can be commenced outside this time frame but a reasonable excuse for delay must be provided to the Insurer. You can discuss this delay with your solicitor who will be able to assist you in this regard. If you cannot identify the other vehicle or it was not registered/insured at the time of the accident, then your claim will proceed against the Nominal Defendant. The Nominal Defendant is a statutory body set up to compensate injured people when an Insurer is not in place to do so. All claims against the Nominal Defendant must be lodged within nine (9) months of the date of accident. If a Notice of Accident Claim Form is not lodged within three (3) months of the date of accident a reasonable excuse for delay must be given.
If you are injured at work, you must lodge a claim within six (6) months of the date of injury. A claim lodged after six (6) months will only be accepted where it can be shown that there was a mistake, you were absent from the State or have another reasonable cause. A work injury lawyer will be able to assist you to determine if any delay would be considered reasonable.
Ultimately, to be entitled to compensation arising from an injury that occurred at work, Court proceedings must be commenced within three (3) years of the date of injury otherwise you will be barred by legislation. However, there are many steps that need to be taken before a claim proceeds to Court so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Public Liability and Other Accidents
If you are injured in an incident that occurs at a public place or by a medical facility or healthcare professional, you may be entitled to compensation. The time limit for commencing proceedings in Court is three (3) years from the date of the incident.
A Notice of Claim Form must be served on the other party either within 9 months of the date of the incident (or from the first appearance of symptoms) or within 1 month following your first consultation with a lawyer. A claim can be commenced outside this timeframe if a reasonable excuse for delay can be established. We suggest that you consult a personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and confirm your ability to make a claim for compensation.