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START OF Personal rights and safety
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The information below may help you to resolve your matter or find out who else can help.
You may have a claim for damages if you:
There are laws which set strict time limits and requirements for making a personal injury claim.
There are different laws covering:
Personal injury claims have a time limit to notify the other party of the claim.
For general personal injuries, the time limit to notify the person you are claiming against is:
There are special forms for notifying the person you are making the claim against. Copies of the forms are available on the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's website.
For children the obligation to notify the other party of the claim begins when the child turns 18. A parent or guardian of the child may notify the other party of the claim before the child turns 18.
For any claim on behalf of a child, for medical negligence cases, a parent or legal guardian of the child must give a Part 1 Notice of Claim within six years of the day when the guardian or parent knew or ought to have known the injury had occurred.
Personal injury claims also have a three year time limit to start court action.
Legal Aid Queensland does not provide advice about personal injury matters.
This is because Legal Aid Queensland does not practice in the area of personal injury law. If you need legal advice about personal injury law you should seek legal advice from a private solicitor.
Can Legal Aid Queensland help?
The Civil Law Legal Aid Scheme can help with the payment of costs in personal injury claims. The Scheme has a list of firms who can assess your claim and represent you on a speculative basis - that is they do not require you to pay their costs unless you are successful.
See The Civil Law Legal Aid Scheme brochure(PDF, 166KB) for more information.
The Queensland Law Society can also provide you with the names of solicitors who:
You can contact the Queensland Law Society or you can search their website referral service.
Before deciding to hire a solicitor for a personal injury action you need to be clear about some basic information.
Ask the solicitor:
The solicitor may not be able to provide you with precise answers but they should be able to give you a range of likely outcomes. You can then weigh up this information and decide whether it is worth going ahead with the claim.
If you decide to go ahead you need to be very clear about what you are signing up for.
A solicitor taking on your personal injury case will ask you to sign a client agreement. This is a contract which sets out the basis on which you will pay the solicitor. You should not sign this agreement unless you understand what it means.
Before committing yourself by signing the client agreement you need to be clear about:
There are limits on:
You should discuss these issues with the solicitor before signing the client agreement.
You need to be satisfied that you will receive enough money in the end to make it all worthwhile.
You may need legal advice if you have suffered a personal injury which resulted from someone else's actions, and you are considering making a claim for damages.
Legal Aid Queensland cannot provide legal advice on personal injury matters.
If you have suffered a personal injury because of someone else's actions, you should speak to a private solicitor who practises in this area of law as soon as possible, as strict time limits apply.
Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private solicitor for advice or representation. Some private solicitors may provide the first consultation free for personal injury matters.
These organisations may also be able to assist with your matter. They do not provide legal advice.
Department of Justice and Attorney-General can provide the appropriate forms you need if you are making a claim for personal injury.
Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs administered the Redress Scheme for former residents of Queensland children's institutions, including placement under either a Children's Service Act or relevant Aboriginal Protection Act. Applications to the Redress Scheme were closed on 30 September 2008.
Motor Accident Insurance Commission deals with compulsory third party (CTP) and personal injury claims.
Nominal Defendant can help with compensation for people injured as a result of the negligent driving of unidentified and/or uninsured motor vehicles.
The National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland (NIISQ) is a no-fault scheme that provides necessary and reasonable lifetime treatment, care and support to those who sustain eligible serious personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident or work related accident in Queensland, on or after 1 July 2016.
Workcover can help with general enquiries about injuries (physical and mental) arising due to work.
Disclaimer: This page is provided as information only, and is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should contact us or speak to a lawyer. View our full disclaimer.
Last updated 26 May 2022