Yes, in Australia, you can still claim compensation even if you were partially at fault for a motor vehicle accident. This is based on the principle of ‘comparative negligence’, which applies in most Australian states and territories. Here’s how it works:
Comparative Negligence: Under this system, each party involved in an accident is assigned a percentage of fault. Your compensation amount can be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For instance, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by 30%.
Contributory Negligence: In some cases, if your actions contributed to your injuries, this may be considered contributory negligence. However, this does not necessarily bar you from receiving compensation; it just means that the compensation could be adjusted to reflect your share of the responsibility.
Limits of Claims: There are limits on this principle. If you are found to be more at fault than the other party (usually more than 50%), the possibility and amount of compensation you can receive might be significantly affected.
Variations by State/Territory: The exact rules and how they are applied can vary depending on the state or territory where the accident occurred. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the specific laws applicable in your area.
Statutory Benefits: In some regions, you may be entitled to certain statutory benefits regardless of fault, particularly for immediate medical expenses and loss of income. These are usually covered under compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance schemes.
Legal Advice: Given the complexity of determining fault and how it affects compensation, it’s advisable to seek legal advice. A lawyer experienced in personal injury law, especially within the relevant jurisdiction, can provide guidance on your rights and the best approach to your claim.
Remember, even if you think you were partly at fault, there are still options available for seeking compensation. It’s important to get expert advice to understand your position and to ensure that your claim is handled correctly.