Category

Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

e-scooter lawyers

Who Could Be Liable for E-Scooter Accidents in Australia?

By | Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, Public Liability Claims

Legal liability will depend on who is at fault – the answer can be any of the following parties:

· E-scooter riders;

· Pedestrians;

· Motor vehicle drivers/riders or businesses owning these vehicles;

· Cities, councils or other responsible regulatory authorities/public corporations/agencies;

· E-scooter hire companies and/or manufacturers;

Many issues remain for Australia’s regulators to adequately address in light of the fact that e-scooters do not meet Australian Design/Safety Standards for road use. As such, e-scooters cannot be registered as motor vehicles and are not covered by Compulsory Third Party(CTP) insurance schemes.

Road use regulations vary across Australia, but in most states and territories e-scooters are banned from public roads and can only be used on private property.

Outside of current trials underway in Brisbane and Adelaide, strict penalties may be imposed on e-scooter riders who unilaterally acquire and ride e-scooters in public spaces (e.g. footpaths, parks etc.) in contravention of existing state laws and local council regulations.

It is important to keep abreast of regulations in your local area. (Read more about current regulations throughout Australia, HERE).

Australia’s city leaders and regulators appear to be taking a prudent approach and are cautiously undertaking trials of e-scooters. It is commendable that they haven’t permitted swarms of e-scooters being released on citizens and our crowded and bumpy footpaths. They have also limited maximum speeds to 20km/h during trials.

However, many important issues need to be resolved to prevent a cascade of legal liabilities, personal injury and economic loss for communities broadly. Prime concerns include:

· How will pedestrian and rider safety best be maximised?

· Will e-scooter riders be afforded the same treatment as bicycle riders and be permitted to use dedicated bicycle lanes? Or will dedicated e-scooter zones be regulated?

· Where and under what conditions is it reasonable to permit e-scooters to co-mingle with pedestrians?

· What speeds and other precautions are deemed safe for e-scooters around pedestrians? Current Australian trials have limited maximum e-scooter speeds to 20km/h.

· What safety induction training or perhaps even licensing is appropriate?

· What limitations will be optimal for e-scooter interaction with motor vehicle traffic?

No doubt, trials of e-scooters are designed to address these and an ocean of related issues by providing experience-based data for all stakeholders to mould better policy and safer scooting conditions.

Trial periods do not mean however, that people injured in e-scooter accidents should remain uncompensated data-points.

Gajic Lawyers is a specialised personal injury law firm, operating Australia-wide. We understand the nuances of complex personal injury claims arising from e-scooter injuries.

If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident in Brisbane or Adelaide (either as a rider or member of the public) , our lawyers can cut through the often confusing issues related to your e-scooter personal injury entitlements. For your peace of mind, we undertake to do so on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Talk to us at your earliest convenience, we can certainly assist in maximising your compensation potential.

“Gajic Lawyers, where personal injury compensation is treated as a fundamental human right.”

e-scooter accidents

E-Scooters in Australia

By | Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, Public Liability Claims

Trials of motorised foot scooters – e-scooters – are currently underway in Brisbane, Adelaide and parts of Victoria. City councils are conducting these trials in conjunction with licensed e-scooter hire companies. E-scooters are powered by electric motors, and appear to be favourably received by riders in these cities.

Councils in Sydney and Western Australia are also planning to implement public trials with e-scooter hire companies in the near future.

E-scooters are marketed as an efficient and environmentally-friendly means of transport for short journeys. They offer utility in terms of mobility, fuel-cost savings over cars, time efficiencies for day-to-day activities, and a fun recreational activity.

Recent US experience, where e-scooters have been released into communities en-masse, has been met with a mixed reception by communities and regulators. Some cities have banned the use of e-scooters due to safety and public nuisance issues.

Also, lawsuits are mounting throughout the USA for personal injuries, public nuisance, product liability and negligence claims. Some early and limited clinical research from various US emergency rooms indicates that the incidence of e-scooter related injuries is similar to bicycle injuries. E-scooter accidents imperil riders, pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers. Injuries can range from grazes, bruising, minor fractures, to debilitating incapacity and sadly, even death.

Current e-scooter trials in Brisbane and Adelaide are demonstrating that danger lurks in many places and unexpected encounters. Here also, e-scooter riders, pedestrians and even other road users are suffering debilitating physical injuries and economic losses as a result of e-scooter related accidents.

Injury and losses are being caused by many factors including:

· Road hazards poorly maintained riding surfaces and chaotic environments (such as around construction sites);

· Panic stopping attempts by riders;

· Not wearing safety equipment;

· Poor visibility, insufficient traffic management or signage;

· Reckless behaviour of riders, other road users and pedestrians;

· Poorly maintained or faulty e-scooters;

These factors raise many important questions for the public at large, including:

· Where do you turn for relief if you are injured as an e-scooter rider in an accident?

· What if you suffer injuries and you lose your capacity for work and incur burdensome medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses?

· Who is liable for injuries that you as a pedestrian, or your loved-ones, suffer as a result of an e-scooter rider colliding with you in a busy pedestrian zone?

· Where do you turn for relief if you are injured in a “scoot and run” scenario?

· What if you are driving your motor vehicle and swerve to avoid a panicked e-scooter rider careening out of control in front of your vehicle? You may have successfully managed to avoid hitting them, but are injured as a result of colliding with other vehicles -what then?

· What recourse is available to you if the e-scooter you were riding suddenly loses a wheel, or the brakes fail and you are injured and cannot work as a result for extended periods of time?

· What do you do if you are riding an e-scooter in a designated area and sustain injuries and economic losses as a result of poorly maintained surfaces or as a result of encountering chaotic riding environments that weren’t supervised or controlled appropriately?

· Are E-scooter hire companies attempting to minimise their liability with unfair contractual clauses in their hire agreements?

· How do you, or your loved ones recover losses?

These are just a sample of pressing issues for e-scooter riders, pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers alike. Answers to the above questions are not always straightforward, particularly in these early e-scooter trials in Australia.

Gajic Lawyers is a specialised personal injury law firm, operating Australia-wide. We understand the nuances of complex personal injury claims arising from e-scooter injuries.

If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident in Brisbane or Adelaide (either as a rider, a motor vehicle driver or member of the public) , our lawyers can cut through the often confusing issues related to your e-scooter personal injury entitlements.

For your peace of mind, we undertake to do so on a no-win, no-fee basis.

 

mva claim nsw

What to Do When Making a Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation Claim in New South Wales

By | Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Vehicle accidents happen every day and therefore comprise some of the most frequent types of legal claim made throughout the world. And while the frequency of car accidents might suggest related claims are a bit more cut-and-dried than other legal claims, this is unfortunately not the case.

Even when you were not the party to blame for the accident, there are still several steps you must take, time limits you need to be aware of, and requirements you need to adhere to in order to make a claim. If you don’t you can damage your claim or even bar yourself from making it.

Below are some of the steps people need to take when making a claim for motor accident compensation.

  1. Seek medical attention: First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself and the best way to do that is to see a medical professional, even if your injuries seem minor or even nonexistent. Some of the most serious injuries, like concussions, whiplash, spine and neck injuries, initially present with few or no symptoms but can worsen significantly over time, especially if left untreated. Secondly, you will want to establish the costs of these injuries. By receiving medical attention, you are establishing the history, severity and cost of treating those injuries. This is your proof of the financial toll of the accident on you.
  2. Report the accident to the police immediately: Whether it’s a small fender bender or a huge crash, accidents will need to be reported to the police within 28 days in order for you to be able to file a claim. Sometimes you may want to take the time to determine whether the accident caused enough damage to justify the claims process, but it is imperative to not wait too long and miss that 28-day window or you risk complications when filing.
  3. Send the claim to the insurer within three months of the accident: The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (NSW) that came into effect in December 2017 changed the time frame in which a Motor Accident Personal Injury Claim Form needs to be sent to the insurer from six months to three months. You can determine the insurer of the at-fault vehicle by contacting the Motor Accident Authority. It should be noted that if the claim form is not served within 28 days, then the injured person is not entitled to weekly benefits for any period prior to service of the claim form.

If you are off work and missing out on earnings because of an injury sustained in a motor accident, you may be entitled to income support payments which will be a percentage of your pre-accident earnings. For the first 13 weeks the maximum is 95 per cent and after 14 weeks, the maximum is 85 per cent (depending on whether you have total or partial loss of earning capacity).

After six months your income support payments will end if you were at fault or mostly at fault in causing the accident, or your injuries are assessed as ‘minor’. The legislation defines a minor injury as a soft tissue injury, such as whiplash, or a minor psychiatric or psychological injury, such as changes in mood and behaviour due to involvement in, or witnessing the accident.

  1. Retain the services of a lawyer: The claims process is complicated, stressful, and can be overwhelming to those without experience. In the aftermath of an accident, you should be focused on healing, not whether or not you’ve missed your filing deadline. An experienced lawyer will be familiar with the ins and outs of the claims process and will alleviate some of the stress of the experience by taking care of everything. More importantly, a lawyer will be able to coach you in how to talk to the insurance investigator who will be determining fault and ultimately how much compensation you are entitled to.
  2. Choose the ‘right’ lawyer: When deciding who you want to represent you, you should consider their experience, the type of law that they practise, their reputation in the community, and the way that they communicate with you. Your lawyer should be transparent about their fees and should be able to communicate in a way that works for you.

Gajic Lawyers are specialists in personal injury, with diverse experience in motor accident claims, public liability claim, medical negligence and more. If you have suffered because of an incident involving a motor vehicle, we can help you claim the compensation to which you’re entitled. Call us to assess your case today on 1800 413 755.

Injured on a Bicycle WA

Injured on a Bicycle in Western Australia. Can I Claim Compensation?

By | Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

As people across the globe become more ecologically conscious, many are opting to ride their bike instead of driving a car to help reduce their carbon footprint. Others ride for recreation and the joy of flying down the open road.

While biking is excellent for the environment and your health, it’s an activity that does carry the risk of significant injury to the rider. If you’re a cyclist who finds themselves injured in an accident with a negligent motor vehicle, do you know what types of compensation you might be entitled to?

How can I protect myself on the road?

The most important step you can take to ensure your own safety is to observe all of the rules of the road. You should also make sure to wear protective gear, such as helmets or padding. While it may not provide as much protection as you would like, something is better than nothing in the case of impact with either the road or a motor vehicle.

What can I claim?

If you are a cyclist who is injured in an accident with a negligent motor vehicle, there are a number of different types of compensation that you may be able to claim depending upon the unique circumstances of the incident. These can include pain and suffering; past and future lost wages; loss of future earning capacity; past and future medical expenses; the cost of rehabilitation; and economic damages (cost of the damage caused to your biking equipment).

Under Western Australia’s CTP scheme, any third party injured or killed as a result of the negligent driving of a WA-registered motor vehicle is entitled to compensation payments for personal injury suffered, subject to certain statutory thresholds. For cyclists, compensation is paid only if the driver is fully or partly at fault in a motor vehicle accident with the cyclist. The cyclist’s compensation own contributory negligence in causing the accident (if any) is also taken into account.

It’s important to note that the CTP insurance policy only covers personal injury. It does not provide any cover for damage to motor vehicles or property (including bicycles or personal items).

Injured cyclists can also make a claim even if the offending vehicle cannot be identified or is unknown – such as in a hit-and-run situation.

How much will I receive in compensation for my injuries?

The greater the fault of the other driver, the more serious your injuries, and the less culpable you are in your own accident, the more compensation you are likely to be awarded.

The damages that you try and claim must be related to, or caused by, the accident to qualify. It is important that you save all receipts, medical bills, prescription orders, and insurance claims during this time to prove the amount of your damages. You should also document your injuries by taking pictures of  yourself at various stages of recovery.

What other claims might I be entitled to?

If your cycling injury occurs in a public place as a result of the conditions at that location (such as an uneven pathway), you may be entitled to file a public liability claim.

A professionally trained lawyer will be able to advise you as to the claim’s likelihood of success, ensure all claim elements are submitted on time, and alleviate some of the stress involved in making a claim, allowing you to focus on what matters most: getting better.

Gajic Lawyers are specialists in personal injury, with diverse experience in claims related to motor accidents and public liability. If you’re a cyclist who has been injured in an incident with a motor vehicle, or gone over the handlebars in a public area and are unsure of your rights, get in touch with our Perth office on 1800 413 755 today to have your case assessed today.

fatal car accident

What Compensation is Available for Fatal Car Accidents?

By | Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Car accidents are undoubtedly tragic events which claim many lives on our roads every year. In New South Wales alone during 2017 there were over 12,000 car crashes and 407 fatalities.

The death of a loved one in such circumstances is an emotional and traumatic time for any family. Thankfully, compensation is accessible for eligible families to help deal with the trauma of the experience. There are many factors that determine what sort of compensation might be available in the case of a loved one’s road death. Primarily, these centre on your relationship to the deceased and who was at fault during the accident, as discussed in further detail below.

Who is eligible for compensation?

Often, immediate family members of the deceased are eligible for compensation following the death of a family member. The deceased’s parents, siblings, children and spouse or de facto partner are usually entitled to compensation. Compensation can cover not only fatal car accidents but also other collision accidents involving motorbikes, bicycles, boats, trains, planes or other motor vehicles.

Who was at fault?

In scenarios where the deceased was not at fault in the accident that caused their death, they are eligible to receive compensation. This eligibility applies not only to the driver of the vehicle, but also to pedestrians or passengers involved in the accident.

In circumstances where the deceased was partly at fault, compensation is still available but the pay-out is generally lower. If the deceased was fully at fault in causing the accident, then surviving family members will unlikely be able to claim compensation. Some scenarios in which either of these situations can arise, as well as scenarios where pedestrians or passengers may be found guilty of causing the accident and thus are unable to claim compensation, include:

  • Failing to wear a seat belt;
  • exceeding the legal speed limit;
  • failing to follow pedestrian road rules;
  • driving while under the influence of alcohol;
  • driving while under the influence of drugs;
  • travelling in a car where the deceased was aware that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or the deceased was aware that the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle was compromised;
  • distracting the driver;
  • assaulting the driver;
  • crossing the road in a reckless manner.

When the fatal accident is a blameless accident – that is, nobody in particular can be held at fault – compensation can still be awarded. Examples of this situation include:

  • Accidents caused by animals;
  • accidents caused by falling trees;
  • accidents caused by sudden illness, such as a seizure or a heart attack.

The only time that one might not be entitled to receive compensation in one of these blameless accident scenarios is when the accident is caused by the deceased suffering from a sudden illness.

If the deceased victim was under the age of 16 and a resident of New South Wales at the time of the accident, compensation may be claimed on the child’s behalf, regardless of who was at fault.

Receiving compensation and the requirements to do so

To be able to file a compensation claim, there are a number of steps that need to be undertaken. The first is that the accident must be reported to the police. It is also important that an event number is received. Following this, the registration number of the motor vehicle that prompted the accident must be obtained. The CTP insurance company of the motor vehicle responsible for the accident must also be noted. If the registration number or insurance details cannot be located, it is acceptable to make enquiries for these details from the police, and also seek out any witnesses to the accident. Records such as expenses (hospital records, medical expenses, funeral expenses, etc.) and other related documents and receipts should also be kept in order to file an accurate claim. In instances where the accident was caused by a hit and run, compensation is still eligible under the Nominal Defence Scheme.

The types of compensation that may be available includes:

  • Medical and hospital expenses prior to the death;
  • funeral expenses and cremation expenses;
  • loss of financial support that the deceased would have provided to their children or other relatives prior to their death;
  • loss of services, such as the care the deceased would have provided to dependant children;
  • loss of earnings prior to the death;
  • nervous shock – psychological conditions such as severe stress or anxiety resulting from the news of the death, or witnessing the accident.

Compensation claims are paid by the insurers of the driver and/or owner of the car that caused the accident because all car owners within Australia are required to pay Compulsory Third Party (CPI) Insurance.

Time limitations and conclusion

Compensation claims must be made as soon as possible, regardless of the tough time that families might be going through. Once compensation is secured, it will be easier to focus on caring for family and making necessary arrangements through this difficult time. Legal advice should be sought if you or a loved one is involved in a serious car accident in order to know your rights and quickly ascertain what types of compensation may be available to you.