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Time limitations and personal injury compensation claims: Why do they exist?


If you have been injured in the course of your work, in a motor vehicle accident or in a public place due to someone’s negligence, it is important that you seek legal advice and act promptly as strict time limitations apply for compensation claims in most cases.

What are time limits for personal injury compensation claims?

Around Australia each state is governed by different laws, which at times can make administering the law and access justice a little tricky. Each state has a law called statute of limitation, which restricts the time a person who has suffered an injury to bring forward a claim for compensation.

Below we have outlined the specific timeframes for workers compensation claims, motor vehicle accident claims and public liability claims.

Workers compensation claims time limitations

Individuals who have experienced a workplace injury through no fault of their own can claim for compensation through the WorkCover Authority in each state or territory, under the workers compensation schemes for each state or territory.

Time limitations for making a workers compensation claim exist and you have six months from the date of injury or incident to begin a claim. However, this six month time limit may be extended to three years, but only in certain circumstances.

It’s important to note though, you should always report your workplace accident and or injury to your workplace as soon as possible – usually within 28 days of you being aware of your injury. Be sure you understand and follow your workplace policy and procedure on reporting workplace incidents.

We have a team of expert lawyers that deal with workers compensation claims and are well versed in the knowledge to maximise your claim to ensure you can cover all your unexpected costs after your injury.

To find out more about your state jurisdiction please click on your state to find out more:

Comcare workers compensation claims time limitations

Commonwealth and ACT government employees fall into a different category for workers compensation and will need to access Comcare to make workers compensation claims. If you are injured and need to lodge a workers compensation claim through Comcare you will need to do that within three years from the date of your injury.

Transport or Motor vehicle accident claims time limitations

Generally, a time limit of three years applies for making and settling a claim for motor vehicle compensation claims in Australia. The time limitation is three years from the time of the accident where your injuries were sustained. It is very important to seek legal advice as soon as possible even if at the time your injuries appear minor, as more serious injuries can appear over time.

If you miss the three year time limitation, you may not be able to claim compensation for injuries unless you apply for an extension of time on permitted grounds to the court.

We have transport and motor vehicle accident experts in each of the following states who are can assist with your motor vehicle accident claims.

Public liability claim time limitations

If you have been injured in a public place due to the negligence of someone else then you are able to claim compensation for your injuries and any loss of income you have sustained due to your injuries. You generally have three years’ time limitation for public liability claims. The three years is from the date of the accident and all legal action must be completed within this timeframe.

Public liability claims cover a broad range of incidents including:

  • Injuries in parks, leisure centres or other public places
  • Inuries in rental properties or shopping centres
  • Injuries due to dog attacks in public or animal related activities
  • Mass food poisoning at public events or public places.

We have expert lawyers in each state that have a very broad knowledge in this area of law.

If you miss the time limitations can you still make a personal injury compensation claim?

If a claim is not lodged within the specified time period, there is the possibility of an extension being granted by the court. However, this is not common and will only be allowed where special circumstances are present. It is solely at the court’s discretion as to whether an extension should be granted.

In all cases of personal injury compensation claims, it’s important to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible from one of our Shine Lawyers legal team. Our expert lawyers will advise of all relevant time limitations (which can be subject to change) and ensure documents are lodged correctly and on time.

Contact Shine Lawyers – your personal injury compensation law experts

To ensure you are within any time limits for making personal injury compensation claims and not forgo the opportunity to take legal action and receive compensation, you should call Shine Lawyers today and talk about your options.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: April 21, 2020.

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