Where does fault factor in compensation claims?
A very important factor, and one of the first issues to be addressed in any motor vehicle accident, is whether the injured party represented is at fault. Fault in these claims can be split into three categories: not at fault, at fault, and partly at fault.
Ordinarily, when a person is not at fault for an accident, they may claim compensation for a range of benefits including treatment, rehabilitation, care, economic loss and pain and suffering. It is important to note that
If you found to be partly at fault for your injuries, then it is not the end of the world; the benefits to injured parties will still be available to you. In these cases, being at fault is described as ‘contributory negligence’, which indicates that some of the party’s actions will be deemed to contribute to the likelihood of the accident.
Contributory negligence can consist of (but is not limited to): 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 are found to be at fault to some degree, the access to compensation will not change, only the amount you are able to claim. The amount of compensation will be less than a ‘not at fault’ claim.
In the case where the injured party is completely at fault, the CTP Green Slip Scheme will still cover up to $5000 worth of treatment costs, and lost income for up to 6 months after the accident.
In certain circumstances, injured parties are entitled to compensation regardless of fault:
- Children under the age of 16 in NSW are automatically covered under a Green Slip when injured in a motor vehicle accident.
- If a close relative dies in a motor vehicle accident caused partly or completely by another driver.
- People who suffer severe injuries (spinal cord or brain injuries) are provided with treatment, care and support.
- When there is no driver at fault in an accident (strokes at the wheel, unexplained car failure).
If you, or someone you care about has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively make an online enquiry.
Written by Luke Ramshaw.