QLD Car Accident and Personal Injury - What am I Entitled to?

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11 August 2015
Had a car accident 8 months ago. I have obtained a personal injury lawyer, but I'm after a second opinion.

I have injuries to my neck, back and shoulder. This leaves me unable to drive and sit for long periods of time. It's been difficult to attend appointments and injections in the shoulder and neck for pain relief, as I live in a remote area with no public transport. After the pain relief I am unable to drive or sit for long periods, I have no family or friends close by that I can obtain assistance through.

To date my lawyer has been unable to obtain any taxis's or accommodation and states the insurance company does not have to do this and is difficult to get from them.

My referral for my shoulder, was misplaced by the lawyer's office. After a few months they had found it and forwarded it onto the insurance company. Additionally, the insurance company requested I attend an appointment. I notified the personal injury lawyer that it was difficult to attend and if it could be rescheduled and put to a place closer to home not 75km away, then they promised to call me back and I never received a call. I did not attend the appointment.

Now the lawyer is using this as an excuse for me not attending when it was their fault. The insurance company has admitted liability, however this was admitted only a few weeks after car accident and the lawyer only notified me a few days ago, using the excuse it was sent to me (never received it), and don't understand why personal injury lawyer could not find this out in the time I had been with them.

I feel like my lawyer is letting my personal injury claim slip through the cracks, and is hurting my case with the lack of acting and shabby handling.

My question is what am I entitled to and what has happened to date with my lawyer, can it hurt my case?


Active Member
11 May 2015
Hi Lornick, if you're not happy with your current lawyer you should contact another personal injury lawyer and see if he/she would be happy to take your case on going forward.
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Well-Known Member
31 October 2014
Hi Lornick.

I am really sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you feel better soon.

I responded a bit late to this, but your issue really interested me and I took the time to try and research this myself. I received consultation from my principle at the law firm I work for, but please note I am a Law J.D. student, not a lawyer. This information is purely just for discussion purposes and it shouldn't be taken as legal advice. I am a paralegal in Canada though and I focus on accident benefits for personal injury claims, so I do have court and negotiation experience which I hope may be useful to you.

According to the Motor Accident Insurance Act Qld, if they admit liability, the insurance company MUST make payments for private hospital, medical and pharmaceutical expenses reasonably and appropriately incurred because of the injury, as well as reasonable rehabilitation expenses.

This stuff is found in the legislation in s51 and 42 here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/maia1994243/s51.html

However, under the definition of "rehabilitation" in s4, it does NOT include transportation so maybe your lawyer might have a point. Technically, the insurance company might not have to pay for transportation costs.

If you are interested in my opinion however...

I did a little digging up on the case law at work and in McMullen v Suhr, it was held that rehabilitation services must be considered in a BROAD, not narrow sense. Also, even though there were no transportation related cases I could find but there were some interesting ones...

Aldridge v Allianz - a paraplegic was given a house as a reasonable expense

Re Walker (this was taken from one of my lawyer's CPD notes so I don't have the exact citation. If you Google this, you will find other cases named the same way.) - a person with difficulty driving could not claim a second hand car as a reasonable expense, nor could he have his family come from overseas to assist him. However, a food blender to help him chew food was considered reasonable.

That being said, you can probably make a decent argument that transportation expenses are reasonable rehabilitation expenses (again, this is my opinion only) if you decide to make an application in court. I cannot imagine a judge saying it's a bad idea to compensate for transportation, especially if it could save hundreds in medical costs.

In general though, if I were your lawyer I would just negotiate with the insurance company and be blunt. If you get treated earlier, you will get better sooner which is less medical costs they have to pay. Common sense.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. While I can't really help you in terms of deciding what you should do, I definitely agree that speaking with another lawyer might be a good idea. It definitely can't hurt you.

Please get well soon. You're in my prayers.

Lawyering mum

Well-Known Member
26 September 2015
Sunshine Coast
I know this post is late but definitely speak to another lawyer...you only get one chance to present your best case for compensation and if you feel your lawyer is letting your matter slip through the cracks then time to change.