Due to recent amendments to the law, claimants for motor vehicle injuries in South Australia have had their access to lump sum compensation significantly reduced.
The process by which accident claims are assessed is now a complex one relying heavily upon specialist medical assessments (called medico legal assessments) often many months following the accident.
In many cases the claimant’s evidence of their injuries, such as x-rays and scarring, does not tell the full story of the extent of their pain and suffering. It is the reporting of the injuries both at an early stage and throughout the claim that has major significance when medical specialists are making objective assessments of the extent and cause of the injury.
It is now vitally important that claimants should obtain and secure evidence in respect of the damage of the motor vehicle in which they were travelling, and if possible, the other motor vehicle. Such evidence includes multiple photographs (for which now there is no excuse not to obtain on the mobile phone), all detailed quotes from the crash repairers, any and all correspondence from the vehicle property insurer, the insurer for the damage to your vehicle being a different insurer from the insurer for your injuries, and lastly any details of witnesses who may have seen the accident and can comment on the force of the collision.
Medico legal specialists who assess injuries, and therefore the insurers, look to the force of the collision as a significant factor in the assessment of injuries and symptoms, not surprisingly, the insurer is prepared to accept significant symptoms arising out of higher impact accidents rather than low impact.
Any evidence that establishes the force of the collision is particularly useful, this is particularly so in cases where the claimant may have pre-existing injuries. It is also important because the at fault driver, when responding to questioning about the accident, will often minimise the force of the collision.
So remember if you are in a motor vehicle accident, descriptive photographs of the damage, details of the repairs and early and consistent reporting of the symptoms make a significant difference in the assessment of personal injury damages in accident claims.
We’re here to help!
If you’ve been in an accident we’re here to help guide you through the accident claims process. We have permanent offices in Adelaide, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Murray Bridge and Clare. We also service Roxby Downs on a regular basis.
We have been operating in South Australia since 1946 and have a proud history of ensuring everyone has fair access to the power of the law. That’s why we offer a free initial consultation for all motor vehicle accident claims and a no win, no fee commitment.