Motor vehicle accident compensation in WA: what to know

November 28th, 2016

As drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, we all hope that the roads in Western Australia are a safe place for all. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents can and do happen. In WA in 2015, there were 161 fatalities and 170 critical injuries sustained in reported road crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to know what you are entitled to receive. Looking for more information on motor vehicle accident compensation in WA? Read on to find out what you need to know.

Who can make a motor vehicle accident claim?

In WA, third party personal injury insurance has long been compulsory. This ensures every registered vehicle in WA and licensed driver is insured against injuries to others caused by their negligence. Since July 2016, however, the cover has been expanded to better serve Western Australians. This change refers to catastrophic injuries. All individuals who are catastrophically injured in WA motor vehicle accidents will have the costs of their care, treatment, and support covered throughout the remainder of their life.

You can make a motor vehicle accident claim if you have been injured in a car accident as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, if the crash resulted from the part or full negligence of the other driver or owner of the vehicle. This is true whether or not you were also partly at fault. If a close relative on whom you are financially dependent was seriously injured, you may also be entitled to make a compensation claim.

How are claims made?

Claims are made directly against the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA). It is advisable to work with a qualified lawyer to determine whether or not you have a viable claim, and to help you have the best chance of getting your claim accepted. The very first step is to file a Notice of Intention to Claim as soon as possible following your motor vehicle accident. Your lawyer can lodge this claim on your behalf.

The viability of a claim begins with determining who is at fault in an accident. The ICWA operates their own investigation to establish fault. Generally, you will not be entitled to any motor vehicle accident compensation in WA if you are fully at fault for a crash. If you are partly at fault, you may still receive compensation but your payout will often be significantly reduced. Examples of partial fault include failure to wear a safety belt, driving at an unsafe speed, or failure to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.

What can be claimed?

Motor vehicle accident compensation in WA can assist you in covering costs incurred as a result of your injury. You can claim for:

  • Medical expenses including hospital bills and rehabilitation costs
  • Compensation for pain and suffering, trauma, etc.
  • Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of past or future earnings or ability to earn income
  • Future treatment expenses

  • Costs associated with care – in home carer, housekeeper, etc.

If your close relative was killed or injured in a motor vehicle crash, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Funeral service costs

  • Loss of financial support

Need to make a motor vehicle accident claim in WA?

To make the most accurate and effective claim, you need to do so within the legal time period (typically 3 years from the time of the accident) and you need to submit a complete, detailed claim. If you need to make a claim, you need to work with an experienced, compassionate lawyer who will give 100% towards achieving the best outcome for you. Philip Lansell has spent 30+ years working in the WA legal system and Lansell Legal is the right choice for your motor vehicle accident legal support. Get in touch today for your free initial consultation and find out how Lansell Legal can help.