6 types of road accidents where you might need a lawyer:
Know your legal rights in these possible scenarios
Date: March 17 2016
Have you ever been in a motor accident, only to wonder if you should be getting a lawyer to advise you on the best course of action to take? In Australia, about three million motorists are involved in vehicle accidents in any five-year period. So chances are, you may find yourself in some sort of motor or traffic related incident, whether minor or major. In any case, it's best to know the types of accidents for which you might need a lawyer.
1. Driver Injured in an Accident
If you've been injured in an accident that was the fault of the other driver, legal assistance is strongly encouraged. Ensure you enlist legal assistance from lawyers who know traffic law inside and out – like those at Motor Accident Legal Service. They will go to great lengths to recover all that you're entitled to, working with medical professionals to ensure your claim is properly assessed so you receive the maximum compensation under the compensation system. You may be able to claim general damages (pain and suffering), special damages (medical costs), lost income, or care and assistance (costs of family or friends caring for you).
2. Passenger Injured in an Accident
Whether you're involved in an accident with another vehicle, or in a single-vehicle accident, you'll be entitled to some sort of compensation. Even if the driver of the vehicle you're in is partly at fault, a lawyer will do everything in his/her power to recover financial payback, in particular special damages and lost income you may accumulate (though it's not limited to these). And they will work just as hard whether you have a minor injury or something life-altering.
3. Pedestrian Hit by a Vehicle
Providing you were not jaywalking (walking on the road or street in an unlawful manner with no regard for nearby traffic), you should be entitled to claim general damages, special damages, lost income, and possibly care and assistance. You're very likely to be successful in your claims if the driver of the vehicle that hits you was driving under the influence or over the speed limit.
4. Cyclist Hit by a Vehicle
No matter how the general public feels about cyclists, they usually have more rights than other drivers, whether they are hit by a moving vehicle or an opening door of a vehicle (‘dooring’). In some states, even getting injured while trying to avoid a vehicle means it's all the fault of the driver. A cyclist is most likely entitled to all the same compensations as someone hurt in another kind of accident.
5. Motorcyclist Hit by a Vehicle
A lone motorcyclist tends to receive more sympathy than one riding as part of a group. However, unlike cyclists, they're less likely to make a successful claim if knocked down by an opening door of a vehicle. Being hit by a moving vehicle is still a grounds for compensation though - as long as they were abiding by all the rules and not themselves being reckless riders.
6. Driver or Passenger Injured in Defective Vehicle
If a driver or passenger is injured in a single vehicle accident because of a defect in that vehicle, he/she may be entitled to all damages. Oftentimes, a defect in one vehicle means defects in other vehicles of the same make, model and year. Don't be surprised if you're invited to join a large group to form a class action (all seeking compensation).
While minor incidents often don't require a lawyer, you should seek legal advice for anything major, particularly if you're injured. Something to remember – there are usually time limits when injuries are in the equation. You could lose your right to damages if you don't act within the required time limit. If you're ever in doubt after an accident, no matter how big or small, do ask for help.