Suffering serious injury in an accident is a traumatic enough experience. But when it impacts on your employment, life becomes even more complicated. If you are unable to work or you are earning less because of an injury, you may be eligible to claim a loss of income. A claim for loss of income is part of a personal injury claim.
In Australia, road accidents are the most common reason for claiming loss of income.
What should I do after a road accident?
After a road accident, taking care of your health is the number one priority. You should immediately seek medical treatment for any injuries you have suffered and keep copies of medical records and other details that will help you with your claim.
You also need to obtain as many details as possible about the other party: their registration number, contact details and CTP insurer.
You should also report the accident to the police as soon as possible. If you don’t do this within 28 days, you’ll be required to explain the reason on your claim.
What is loss of income?
There are a few different examples that can constitute loss of income. If you have been injured to the extent that you cannot do your job, either temporarily or permanently, you’re eligible for loss of income compensation. You are also entitled to loss of income if you have had to reduce your hours or knock back over time and have suffered loss of income as a result of this. You may also have a right to claim loss of income if you have missed out on a promotion or an opportunity to enter into better paid employment.
If your spouse was killed in an accident and was contributing to the household financially before the accident, then you will also likely be eligible for loss of income.
What are my rights?
If you’ve been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, you have the right to claim for loss of income. You need to have held a valid driver’s licence at the time of the accident and not been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you were partly or completely at fault for the accident, you may still be able to receive compensation for loss of income, but at a reduced amount.
In Queensland, strict time limits apply to making a motor vehicle accident compensation claim. You have to place the person at fault on notice of your claim within nine months of the injury or within one month of talking to your solicitor. If the accident is a hit and run and you do not know the details of the vehicle at fault then very strict time limits apply. Every state has its own rules for claiming loss of income benefits.
Am I eligible?
If you have lost your job or your income has been reduced in some way due to somebody else’s carelessness, you may have the right to claim for loss of earnings compensation.
If your spouse was contributing financially to the family and they were killed in an accident, leaving you and your children with reduced income, you also have the right to make a claim.