Motor vehicle accidents occur every day in Queensland, and unfortunately have become an accepted part of everyday life for road users.
The good news however is that road accidents saw a significant reduction in 2014 in Queensland, dropping by approximately 30%. In 2014 there were 3694 car accidents that caused injury in Queensland, compared to over 5000 accidents annually in the previous 10 years.
Although this reduction is good news for Queensland’s road users, when considering the devastating effect car accidents can have on victims and their families, it is still not significant enough.
The impact of a serious traffic accident can even extend to the community at large, affecting not just the people involved. In 2015, a local teacher lost her life after being involved in a road accident at Mt Isa. Reports said 25-year-old Che Mellick was killed when a vehicle driven by an 18-year-old Samford Valley man collided with her small car, sadly impacting the close knit community of Mt Isa.
Motor vehicle accidents impact the community at large
Ms Mellick was travelling with her 26-year-old boyfriend on Saturday night, 2 May 2015, when the accident occurred. When the couple was driving through the intersection of Zena and Camooweal Streets, the vehicle driven by the Samford Valley man suddenly came out of nowhere and ploughed through their smaller car, hurling the vehicle across two lanes before smashing into a power pole.
Ms Mellick was pronounced dead at the accident scene. Her boyfriend survived the incident and was treated for minor injuries.
Friends and colleagues of the 25-year-old teacher were deeply saddened by her unexpected death. They posted messages of support online, remembering the young woman as a devoted teacher and an “angel on Earth.” Sharon Schimming, North Queensland regional director at Education Queensland, said the Barkly Highway State School community, where Ms Mellick was a part of, is deeply saddened by the loss of a good teacher.
“Ms Mellick was well known and much loved, having been in Mt Isa for three years,” Ms Schimming said. “My condolences and thoughts go out to her family and loved ones at this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, reports further revealed that the impact of the crash was so hard it brought two power poles down, cutting off power in more than 2,500 properties in the area. Dough McHugh, who was at the crash scene, said it was impossible to quickly help the victims because the live wires draped across the wreckage made it dangerous to approach the crash site.
“We knew the occupants of the smaller car were in trouble but our main concern was the power lines and stopping cars and pedestrians from walking into them,” Mr McHugh said.
Compensation for motor accident injuries is a Must
In Queensland, we are fortunate to have a Motor Accident Insurance Scheme specifically established to ensure that road accident victims are able to claim compensation for their injuries and the loss and damage they suffer as a consequence of a negligent driver.
Sometimes those who suffer injuries in accidents are not aware of their right to claim compensation, or believe compensation is only available in cases of very serious injuries. Motor accident compensation is available to anyone who suffers injury in a road accident, caused by the fault of another. Compensation is not just limited to physical injuries, but is also available to those who suffer psychologically as a result of viewing a serious road accident, or as the loved ones of those seriously or fatally injured in car accidents. Since 1 July 2016, seriously injured road accident victims may also have rights to compensation regardless of fault as a result of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
An example of a claim that can be brought by a family member is the tragic case of Ms Mellick. The motor accident compensation scheme in Queensland provides her close family and loved ones with the right to compensation for the psychological trauma of their sudden and untimely loss. This is particularly the case given allegations that the man responsible for Ms Mellick’s death was under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred. While monetary compensation won’t bring the young teacher back to life, it will at least provide support and assistance, as well as a measure of comfort, for the loved ones left behind.
Claiming compensation if you are injured or suffer sudden loss as a result of a motor vehicle accident is a must
If you suffer injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident, no matter how minor you may think your injury is, you should investigate your right to claim to determine if you have a claim worth pursuing. Often accident victims do not become aware of the ongoing affects injuries can have on them and their family. More often than not, the full impact of accident injuries are not realised until much later on, when it can then be too late to claim. Pursuing a claim for motor accident compensation is really a must for car accident victims, no matter how minor the injury is thought to be.
Compensation claims are also available to those who lose loved ones or relatives they depend upon for support. These are called “Dependency Claims”. In the case where a person suffers psychological injury as a result of the sudden loss of a close relative or loved one due to a road accident, these compensation claims are called “Nervous Shock Claims”.
Motor vehicle accidents can result in injuries or even death. If you have been hurt in a road accident, contact us. We can help you pursue a compensation claim.