In Western Australia, the compensation system for motor vehicle accidents is an at fault system. This means that in order to make a claim for compensation, the injured person will have to prove that the motor vehicle accident is the fault of a driver of a motor vehicle other than themselves.
If the injured person can show that the driver of a motor vehicle was negligent in causing the injury, then the usual situation is that the injured person will be able to claim damages through the liable driver’s insurer, in Western Australia, this is the Insurance Commission of Western Australia. The Insurance Commission of Western Australia will then pay damages to the injured passing on behalf of the liable driver where there is a liability of the liable driver.
Claim by the Driver of a Vehicle (one car accident)
If the driver of a motor vehicle is the only person in the motor vehicle and they hit an inanimate object such as a tree, then in most circumstances it will be that drive themselves who is negligent, and the injured driver will be unable to claim any compensation through the at fault motor vehicle Insurer, the Insurance Commission of Western Australia.
Claim by the Driver of a Vehicle (one car accident) with Passengers
If the driver of a motor vehicle has passengers, and hits an inanimate object such as a tree, then the driver of the motor vehicle would not be able to make a claim for compensation through the at fault Insurer, the Insurance Commissioner of Western Australia, however, on the face of it, it would appear that the driver of the vehicle has been negligent, and the passengers of the vehicle would be able to make a claim against the driver of the vehicle, through the Insurance Commission of Western Australia.
Role of Workers Compensation Insurance
In the above situation, while the at fault driver would not be able to make a claim with the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, depending on the circumstances, they may be able to make a claim in another way. For instance, in most circumstances, if the driver is in the course of their employment, they would be able to make a Worker’s Compensation claim with their employer. In this regard the Worker’s Compensation system is a no-fault system, so the injured person would not have to prove that any other person was negligent in order to make a claim.
Workers Compensation and Motor Vehicle Insurance Claim (Dual Claim)
In some limited situations, such as the passenger situation above, if a person is in the course of their employment they may be able to make a Worker’s Compensation claim as well as a motor vehicle accident injury compensation claims through the Insurance Commission of Western Australia. This would provide the injured person with a good range of remedies. The injured person would be able to get weekly payments of compensation through the Worker’s Compensation claim, and would be in a very good position to reach a good settlement with the Insurance Commissioner of Western Australia at the end of their claim.
Income Protection Benefits
It is also possible that the injured driver may be able to claim income protection benefits. These benefits a usually provided through a person’s superannuation, and commonly provide income protection benefits for around two years, though policies do differ.
About Insurance through Superannuation
It is common for injured people to not be aware that they have income protection benefits. It is common for these to be obtained on behalf of an employee, without an employee even noticing. The normal situation is these benefits start at the same time as an employee starts up with a superannuation provider. You can find out what insurance benefits you have through your superannuation by simply telephoning your superannuation provider and asking for a copy of the most recent member statement. This will ordinarily state the insurance benefits that a person has. The statement will normally state what benefits the press and has for life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance and income protection insurance. In some rare circumstances a person may also have other insurance such as trauma insurance.
Personal injury law is a complicated area of law end it is common for several types of compensation to intersect with each other. If you have an existing claim for compensation it is likely that you will benefit from the services of a trained personal injury lawyer who understands the system in relation to personal injury claims.
Law firm like Foyle Legal specialises in the area of compensation law in Western Australia and takes on compensation claims on a no win no fee basis.