Have you been injured in an accident? Did somebody else cause the accident? These are the first questions asked when considering whether you have a claim for damages for personal injury but often people are unaware that strict time limits apply when considering commencing a claim.

In Queensland, three Acts covering the three main accident types:

  1. For work site accidents, the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003;
  2. For motor vehicle accidents, the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994; and
  3. For most other accidents such as slips, trips and falls, the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002.

These Acts have different time limits and requirements for lodging a claim. If the time limits are not met, the injured person can be statute barred from ever commencing a claim.

To be eligible to commence a claim for a work injury against a Queensland employer, the injured worker first must lodge the relevant claim form with Workcover Queensland within 6 months from the date of the accident or the manifestation of the injury.

A notice of claim must be lodged with the compulsory 3rd party insurer within 30 days from consulting a lawyer or 9 months from the date of the accident, which-ever is the sooner, for all motor vehicle accidents occurring in Queensland.

For slips, trips or falls occurring in Queensland, the injured person again has 30 days from consulting a lawyer or 9 months from the date of the accident to lodge the appropriate claim form. The Acts require different claim forms and the processes, although similar, have different requirements.

The law in this area can be tricky and one wrong step, can result in a loss of your rights. If you have been injured in an accident, we strongly recommend that you obtain legal advice as a matter of priority.