If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in NSW, there are a number of circumstances in which you may be eligible to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Other driver or owner at fault
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and you can show that a driver or owner of a vehicle, other than you, was partially or completely at fault you can make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Any kind of road user can make a claim including a driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist or pillion passenger.
If you were partly at fault in causing your own injuries, you may still be able to make a claim, but the compensation you receive will be less than it would have been if you were not partly at fault. Examples of where you may be partly at fault include:
- not wearing a seatbelt
- driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- travelling in a vehicle where you know the driver to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- driving at an unsafe speed
- not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle
If you were 16 years or older, and were completely at fault in the accident in which you were injured, you may not be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Special benefit for children injured in accidents on or after 1 October 2006
If you were under 16 years old and a resident of NSW at the time of the accident, you can make a claim for the children’s special benefit regardless of who caused the accident. The children’s special benefit provides for hospital, medical, rehabilitation, pharmacy, respite care and attendant care expenses.
If the accident was caused, either partially or completely, by the driver or owner of a motor vehicle you may also be able to claim for other types of compensation.
Blameless accidents from 1 October 2007
If you were injured in a blameless accident on or after 1 October 2007, you can make a claim for personal injury compensation. A blameless accident is an accident where a driver or owner of a motor vehicle is not at fault. Examples of blameless accidents may include:
- accidents caused by a driver suffering a sudden illness, such as a heart attack or stroke
- accidents caused by an unexplained mechanical or vehicle failure, such as brake failure
- accidents caused by an unavoidable collision with an animal on the road
Any road user can make a claim for a blameless accident, however, there are restrictions that apply to drivers (including motorcycle riders) injured in blameless accidents.
Drivers may not be able to make a claim if they were injured in a single vehicle accident or if they were driving the vehicle that caused the accident, i.e. they were the driver that suffered the heart attack or they were the driver of the vehicle that failed resulting in the accident.
You may also be able to claim compensation if you are a close relative of a person killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by the fault of another driver.
For more information about who can make a claim, contact the MAA's Claims Advisory Service on 1300 656 919 or visit www.maa.nsw.gov.au
All claim forms are available on the MAA Forms/Claim Forms page.