Nobody wants to be involved in a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, there are times when being cautious on the road may not be enough to keep yourself out of harm’s way. When you get into such an accident, the first thing you need to know is how to make a personal injury claim.
Being injured in a motor vehicle accident gives you the right to claim for personal injury compensation under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme. Nowadays, however, it is not enough to just show that the other party is protected by insurance—you need to establish that he was at fault and should therefore be held accountable for your personal injury or property damage.
In this guide from Turner Freeman Lawyers, we will help you determine if you are eligible for a personal injury claim following a motor vehicle accident and if so, teach you how to make a claim.
Establishing who is at fault
This part is probably the trickiest of all. When one of the drivers was drunk, over-speeding, or failed to follow the traffic lights when the accident occurred, it is easy to determine who was at fault because the accident can be automatically charged to the negligence of the drunk or over-speeding driver. In most cases, however, deciding who should be solely blamed for the accident is not that easy. And in cases where it is almost impossible to establish which of the two parties in the accident was at fault, the court is the one that assigns the damages between the parties involved. Usually, the apportionment is based on the degree of each of the party’s role in the occurrence of the accident.
Under the law, when a party shares responsibility for a road accident, that party can be considered as contributorily negligent. This type of negligence often applies to accidents that occur at road intersections, where both drivers are usually considered at fault.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may only be eligible to make a personal injury compensation claim if you are able to show that the other party was partially or completely at fault. You may still make a claim if you were partly at fault, but your compensation will be less than if you were completely not at fault. According to the law, some of the reasons you may be considered partly at fault include not fastening your seatbelt, drunk driving, riding a motorcycle driven by someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, over-speeding, and riding without a helmet.
You may also claim for personal injury compensation if the accident is considered a blameless accident. Any accident is considered blameless if it was caused by a driver who suffered from a sudden illness while driving, an inexplicable mechanical failure, or an inevitable crash due to an animal who suddenly appeared on the road.
The only instance in which you may not be eligible to make a claim is when you were the one driving the vehicle that clearly caused the accident.
How do you make a claim?
Once you have established that you are eligible to lodge a personal injury claim, the next step would be to make a formal claim. You need to pursue this claim against the driver or owner of the vehicle at fault if you seek compensation that exceeds $5,000 and is not payable by the insurer under the early payment process.
For a smooth processing of your claim, make sure that you report the motorcycle vehicle accident to the authorities within 28 days of its occurrence. Otherwise, this could result in issues that might prevent you from receiving compensation. You must also know the identity of the insurer of the vehicle at fault and send them the filled out personal injury claim form before long.
Remember to provide all the required information on the personal injury form and return it to the insurer as soon as possible. Do not send the completed form later than six months from the date of the accident; otherwise, this might have a negative impact on your claim.
What can you claim following a motorcycle vehicle accident?
The amount and type of compensation you will receive following your personal injury claim will depend on the injuries you sustained following the motor accident and the circumstances when it occurred. Depending on your situation, you can make a claim for either economic or non-economic loss, or sometimes both.
Under the law, economic loss covers all your reasonably necessary medical expenses and reasonably necessary attendant care expenses you will need after the accident. This also includes all the other losses you suffer due to your injuries, including your loss of ability to return to work and make a living. When it comes to this, you can claim for income but the amount will not go beyond the annually indexed amount per week. To make these claims, you must be able to prove that the amount you are claiming is reasonable and that it is directly related to the injuries you sustained after the accident.
Meanwhile, compensation for non-economic loss is not as well defined as compensation for economic loss. Generally, non-economic loss includes the pain and suffering that you have gone through following the accident. While you can make a claim for such losses, the amount of compensation you get for them has limits. In fact, in most cases, you will not receive compensation for such losses unless your injuries are severe enough to result in permanent impairment.
If after making a claim, the other party fails to respond to your letter or the insurer denies liability for the damages the motor accident has caused you, legal proceedings may be necessary. A formal letter may also be sent to the other party informing them that if they still fail to finalize the claim until a designated due date, you may be forced to take legal action against them.
Making a claim for personal injury compensation following a motorcycle vehicle accident is a bit complicated, but everything becomes easy when you have an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process. If you happen to be involved in a motorcycle accident and believe that you are entitled to compensation, refer your case to a personal injury lawyer to know your chances of being compensated.