The amount of compensation you can receive for a car accident is determined by the facts of your case and the losses you have incurred. Every case is different.

Types of damages from motor vehicle accidents

These are some common damages in personal injury cases. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and you can claim compensation for virtually any accident-related expense.

Many different things could have happened to you as a result of your car accident that may have altered your life.

Medical Expenses

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you can have the cost of medical expenses covered. Medical is an expense that is calculated through your medical bills.

This includes:

  • Hospitalisation costs
  • Surgery cost
  • Ambulance cost
  • Car rides to and from the hospital
  • Multiple doctor visits
  • Medical device costs
  • Any other medical treatment needed
  • At-home care costs
  • Prescription and over the counter medication
  • Therapy and rehabilitation treatment expenses
  • Any other medical expenses incurred

Lost income and wages from the inability to work

If the motor vehicle accident you have been involved in prevents you from working, you can get compensation for lost earnings as well as the limitations to your future earnings.

Sometimes a car accident leaves people who have been injured unable to work at all or in a circumstance where they can no longer do the same job.

You may receive compensation to account for the job change if you need to take a lower-paying job or re-train.

Property damage – car accident damage

Property damage claim is separate from a personal injury claim and cannot be claimed for under a CTP claim. You can however claim from property damage to your vehicle if your it has been damaged in an accident. The cost of repairs or replacement vehicle can be claimed against the driver at fault personally or against their comprehensive insurer. If you are unable to drive the car due to the accident and need to take taxis, public transportation or use any other service to get around, you may also be able to recover these expenses. To claim for the costs of repair or replacement of your vehicle or any other associated travel expense, you will need to provide receipts and/or quotes as evidence of your losses.

Pain and suffering from your car accident

Pain and suffering can occur from your motor vehicle accident. You may claim compensation for the following:

  • Physical body pain
  • Mental pain
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Disability
  • Loss of consortium

This list can depend on your case and what other pain the motor vehicle accident has caused you.


If a loved one has died in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to recover damages from a death lawsuit.

Any of the expenses mentioned above, as well as any costs related to your loved one’s death, could be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit, including:

  • Expenses for the funeral
  • The price of a burial
  • Financial and emotional help
  • Loss of direction
  • Income or savings capacity lost

Damages for punishment

The judge might give you punitive damages if the at-fault party in the motor vehicle accident was severely negligent. These are additional damages intended to punish the irresponsible party in severe circumstances and deter others from acting carelessly in the future.

Punitive damages may be subject to a cap in your state. If these caps apply to your case, a car accident lawyer can explain them.

How to collect damages for a motor vehicle accident?

To collect damages and claim compensation from a car accident, you must typically show the following:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care
  • The other party failed to fulfil their duty of care
  • The accident was caused by the other party’s breach
  • Your injuries and financial losses were as a result of the accident

If you can prove these points, you can prove that the other party is negligent.

A personal injury lawyer can assist you in this process by gathering all relevant information in your case, including evidence to assess your damages, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Pay slips
  • Police reports
  • Family and friends testimony
  • Employer testimony
  • Eyewitness testimony

This article is a part of our Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Guide which is designed to help you navigate the process of making a motor vehicle claim where you may require a motor vehicle or car accident lawyer.

Need help getting your life back on track?
You’ve come to the right place. 

We can help you make a claim for an event, incident or accident – that happened anywhere in Queensland. We have offices on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns, and video calls available for other regions. We are personal injury lawyers that are ready to help you.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to claim compensation. We will meet with you and establish whether you can make a claim. We’ll also explain your rights, any time limits and the process. We offer initial advice free of charge and with no obligation to progress. Get in touch to find out how we can assist here.