Act early to achieve fair car crash compensation

This article is sponsored by AM Legal Compensation Lawyers

It only takes a moment's distraction on the road to radically change your life.

When a collision occurs time suddenly unfolds in slow motion - the flashbacks of the accident hang heavy in your mind and memories are left fragmented.

Amidst such distress it's quite often the important details are forgotten or regarded superfluous. Understanding your rights and entitlements is vital to attaining the compensation you deserve, which are influenced by a range of factors.

As of 1 December 2017, the NSW Government is set to introduce new legislation for motor vehicle accident injury compensation claims that will reduce car crash victims' rights, abolish lump sum payments (in some circumstances), minimise benefits for minor claims like whiplash and soft tissue injuries or minor psychological injuries.

Nonetheless, the hybrid scheme still offers some benefits regardless of fault, especially for victims who are severely injured, including a new statutory payments regime and modified common law damages in some circumstances.

In response to the proposed changes, Mr Antony Mastrogiannis, founder of AM Legal Compensation Lawyers who specialises in motor vehicle personal injury compensation, recommends victims act earlier to achieve the optimal financial support, appropriate treatment and fair compensation.

"The government has introduced this scheme in response to a spike in fraudulent claims that has caused an increase in compensation payments and premiums," Mr Mastrogiannis said.  

“It’s unfortunate that the government’s remedy is taking away rights via this new legislation - which is what will happen and I think that's just unfair."

Depending on the severity of their injury people will miss out; there’s the cost of long term treatment compensation, the cost of future domestic assistance and future economic loss.

Mr Antony Mastrogiannis

Mr Mastrogiannis said "minor injuries" are often not minor at all, and can cause considerable and even permanent pain, disability and losses. 

He encourages anyone who is involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered injury, no matter how minor it seems, to act quickly and to "monitor themselves" to ensure nothing is unaccounted for.

"Car crash victims need to document things, get prompt medical advice and tell their doctors how they're feeling, however trivial it may seem at the time," Mr Mastrogiannis said.

Mr Mastrogiannis said inattention to detail, lack of documentation and communication breakdowns especially between doctors and victims of car accidents are partly hindering their ability to seek fair compensation.

"If you've got problems or symptoms make sure you tell your doctor everything and make sure your doctor records them."  

"I find when people are injured and they may have a range of things wrong with them, they only report on the major issue and forget the minor injuries, which can become bigger problems in the future."

Consideration to injury stabilisation is also paramount in preventing further deterioration post insurance claim.

Mr Mastrogiannis said the impact of a car crash can be both physically and mentally damaging and the cost of suffering can persist long after the accident occurs so it's imperative to know the requirements necessary to achieving fair compensation.  

“They say statistically people who have legal assistance get more compensation and I’ve spoken to a handful of clients that have been offered very small amounts of compensation when they’re representing themselves and when lawyers get involved it tends to lead to a bigger payment of compensation to the client.” 

If you are injured prior to 1 December 2017, Mr Mastrogiannis recommends lodging your claim before that date so that your entitlements are assessed under the “more generous” current compensation legislation.

This article is sponsored by AM Legal Compensation Lawyers.