Motorcycle Accident Compensation – Motor vehicle accidents occur on the road almost every single day. Of all motor vehicle related accidents in NSW, motorcycle crashes have been the most prone to resulting in a personal injury or fatality. According to recent government statistics, a staggering 89% of all motorcycle crashes in 2013 had resulted in an injury or death. To put things into perspective, only 40% of car crashes had resulted in at least an injury throughout the same year – Transport for NSW, Road Traffic Crashes Statistical Statement 2013.
This demands extra caution on the part of motorcycle riders in ensuring that they are well practiced in complying with the road rules and avoiding high risk situations. Nevertheless, no matter how safe you ride on the road, there still may be a time where at no fault of your own, you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident. If you are caught in such a situation, you ought to know your rights under the law and the right steps to take to make a claim for any compensation that you may be entitled to as a result of your injuries.
The right to compensation for injury
Whilst compensation legislation differs in each state, a right to claim compensation for personal injury from any motor vehicle accident arises generally as a result of an act of negligence which had caused or contributed to the accident. Specifically, a person may make a claim for compensation if they are;
- involved in an accident as a result of another person’s negligence/fault,
- injured from the accident and;
- have suffered a loss as a consequence of those injuries.
If these elements are proven, the law is set up to compensate the injured person with a lump sum of money that would put them in the same position they would have been, had the accident not occurred. Note that if you were the at-fault driver, there may be also be scope for you to claim compensation – though this only the case if you have suffered from severe brain/spinal injuries, permanent blindness or amputation as a result of the accident.
The types of loss that may be recovered
In NSW, the types of loss that be recovered is primarily regulated by the Civil Liability Act 2002 and the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999. Depending on how serious your injuries are and the extent of your loss from these injuries, you may be entitled to compensation under different heads of damage.
Personal Injury Loss Table
|Heads of Damage||Generally Included Expenses*||Limits to Compensation|
Future Hospital & Medical Expenses
|– Expenses for medical treatment of injuries suffered from the accident
– Travel costs for medical appointments
– Nursing and homecare services
|– Compensation for attended care services will not be awarded unless the services are required to be provided for 6 hours/week for at least 6 months|
Future Economic Loss
|– Loss of past and future income
– Loss of superannuation entitlements
|– Recoverable loss of income capped to $3966/week
– Future losses are subject to a 5% actuarial discount
Loss of Amenities/
Enjoyment of Life
– Loss of expectation of life
– Pain and Suffering
– Loss of enjoyment of life
|– Non economic loss can only be recovered if the person sustains a permanent 10% whole person impairment from their injuries
– $432 000 cap on claims
* Any expense claimed must be an actual loss be a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the injuries suffered in order to be included in the recoverable amount of compensation
Note that any repair costs to motorcycles are not included in claims for personal injury; losses of this nature may be recovered from through third party/comprehensive motor vehicle insurance or directly from the at-fault driver under a separate claim for damaged property.
What to do when involved in a motor vehicle accident
At the time of the accident, make sure you exchange name, address and insurance details with the people involved in the accident as these will be required when lodging any claims for compensation. Also ensure that a police report for the accident is lodged as soon as possible and keep a log of injuries incurred and a firm record of the correspondences with and expenses for medical support, insurance and the police throughout the process. During the reporting process, do not admit to any fault that you do not believe you were responsible for and furthermore, do not make any fraudulent representations to the authorities as both instances could have an adverse affect on your compensation claim.
The claims process
In NSW, it is a legal requirement for a motor vehicle to be covered by compulsory third party insurance i.e. a ‘Greenslip’ for it to be deemed roadworthy. This type of insurance deals with claims for personal injury caused by an at-fault driver and is therefore usually the first port of call when claiming compensation. Disputes of these insurance claims are resolved through the administration of the NSW Government Motor Accidents Authority as insurers assess injuries and negotiate a one off settlement for compensation based on the findings of your claim. Note that there are time limits and specific protocol to be met when processing these claims and it is advised that you speak to a lawyer will help you deal with the complexities of the claims process.
Why an Accredited Specialist
When making a claim for personal injury, you only have opportunity remedy your loss; so it is best that you speak to an expert in the field to deal with your claim. The Law Society of NSW has set up a specialist accreditation scheme to test and recognise experienced professionals in specific practice areas. Walker Law Group Compensation Lawyers are accredited Personal Injury Lawyers.
Approaching an accredited specialist in personal injury law is a safe way of ensuring that you receive the right advice to making the most of your compensation claim. Walker Law Group Personal Injury Lawyers have a wealth of experience working with personal injury cases and are readily able to gauge and maximize your entitlements under the law.