A Guide to Motor Vehicle Injury Claims Process in Western Australia (WA)

Injuries from a car accident can impact the quality of your daily living for months as you recuperate, and the experience can have a devastating effect on your finances and living standard. Whether you suffer from scrapes and scratches or significant injuries with broken bones, pursuing personal injury claims in Western Australia can be quite intimidating.

To understand this process, you need to know the laws that govern the procedure.

Every WA-licensed vehicle is insured by the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA). If a car is WA-registered, the licensed owner or driver of that vehicle is covered by a compulsory third party policy of insurance for bodily injury through ICWA. In other words, if you are injured through the negligent driving of a WA-registered vehicle, you can make a claim through ICWA.

The prerequisites for the making of a claim are as follows:

ü  You have sustained injuries during the crash whether you were the driver, a passenger, a cyclist, or a pedestrian.

ü  A relative was fatally injured in the accident, and the relative is someone you were financially dependent on.

ü  The accident was not wholly your fault (if you were partly at fault, a pro-rata claim for your loss and damage can be made).

If your injuries are catastrophic but you are unable to establish fault of the other driver, you can still claim for catastrophic injuries support. Similarly, if you are injured by a vehicle that is registered in a different state, you can get in touch with the insurer in that state to submit a claim.

Types of Claims You Can Make for Compensation

Some of the personal injury claims in Western Australia you can make and receive monetary compensation for include the following:

Income Loss – ICWA can cover this cost to replace the income you would have otherwise earned during the recuperation period if you were not injured. To get this claim, you have to send documents that prove your inability to support yourself financially to the ICWA. Even if you can still work part-time with reduced income, you can still be able to make a claim for that.

Support and Treatment – This includes emergency medical support and transportation to the hospital you may have received at the scene of the accident. If made successfully, the compensation you receive should pay for your medical treatment, X-Rays, medical bills, and any assistance you needed post-accident. 

Dependency Claims – You don’t have to be injured to receive compensation for the accident. If you were financially dependent on a relative who has passed away due to the negligent driving of a vehicle, you can submit a dependency claim under the Fatal Accidents Act of 1959. This includes funeral expenses as well as compensation for the loss of services due to the death of your relative.

Pain and Suffering – The pain you experience during the recuperation process or for the loss 

of a loved one post-accident can also be compensated by the ICWA if certain thresholds are met. However, your injuries will need to be examined and assessed to see if they meet the relevant criteria. 

 Starting the Claim Process

Follow these steps to start the claim process:

Step 1 – Fill out and submit the online crash report

After the accident, you need to report it online by filling out a form. The information you need to provide include the date, time, and place where the event took place, the license plate numbers of the WA-registered vehicles, and the names/contact details of all the parties involved. This includes eyewitnesses, if there were any. 

Step 2 – Contact the ICWA to get the relevant forms. 

Do this if you sustained some serious injuries during the accident. ICWA should be able to compensate you for medical bills that covered minor injuries without a form. In either case, you need to provide copies of your medical bills to claim reimbursement. A lot of medical providers these days also send accounts directly to ICWA for payment.

ICWA should send you a Medical Authority Form and a Notice of Intention to Make a Claim Form to obtain reimbursement for serious injuries. You may need fill these out and send them back to them if you are not legally represented.

Once the ICWA receives all these forms, they will acknowledge the receipt and contact you to give you your claim reference number. This is a six-digit number that you can give to doctors and other treatment providers who treat you after the accident. That way, they will know that all of the bills in relation to your treatment have to be directed to the Insurance Commission.

Your claim might be accepted or rejected depending on the investigation that will be conducted in your case. The investigation will be done before the ICWA makes a decision regarding your claim. In other words, they will work to determine liability by reviewing the necessary documents and circumstances surrounding the motor vehicle crash. 

The following factors will affect the final amount you receive as compensation.

ü  Eyewitness accounts.

ü  Whether you were wearing a seat belt.

ü  The medical reports that have been written by doctors who have seen you in relation to the accident.

ü  Copies of invoices of support you acquired post-crash.

ü  Proof of lost wages (if you make a claim for loss of income). 

Submitting a claim without having a lawyer look over the forms and the information may result in you receiving an inadequate amount or the claim being rejected altogether. If you’ve sustained a serious injury in Western Australia during an accident, contact us at Soul Legal today. 

We have strong expertise in compensation law and personal injury law in Western Australia and we will fight to make sure you get the maximum compensation available to you. Our lawyers have settled thousands of compensation claims cases just like yours. We are known for our tough negotiation skills and are passionate about putting our clients first.

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