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Important Points To Remember
There are a number of points you should remember in relation to motor accident claim. They include:
a) Ensure you lodge the personal injury claim form within the six month time limit. Even if you are unsure you will have ongoing injuries or difficulties you should lodge the claim form regardless. To ensure the claim form is accepted by the insurer you should ensure:
i) It is fully completed in all parts; and
b) If the police did not attend the scene, ensure the accident is reported to the police within 28 days.
c) If the insurer offers a sum of money to settle the case, do not accept any offer without legal advice first. The offer can sometimes be confusing and may not result in the figure you thought you were getting. Remember, the insurer does not have to advise you to obtain legal advice, and once it has been accepted you cannot undo the settlement.
d) After settlement you may be prevented from claiming for any Centrelink benefits into the future for a period of time. There is a formula that is used by Centrelink to calculate that period. If you have received benefits from Centrelink at some time after the accident and before any settlement or judgment then you may be required to repay those benefits to Centrelink. The insurer is required by law to check with Centrelink in every settlement to confirm whether any money is owing to them and send the money directly to them before it is released to you.
e) Any settlement or judgment is a full and final settlement and will bring to an end all entitlements under the legislation. If you have any workers compensation rights it will bring an end to those as well, so you should ensure all your losses have been taken into account.
f) Medicare will often pay for some benefits before the insurer is involved in the case. Initially after treatment you will attend the hospital, GP or some other medical professional and those expenses, when the insurer is considering the claim may be paid by medicare. Those benefits will be repayable to medicare and should be taken into account during settlement.