How to Settle a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

Vehicle accident claims can be settled and paid without going to court. Although you are not required to have legal representation to pursue a car accident claim, it is in your best interests to receive advice on your claim as early in the process as possible. In this post, we’ll cover how motor vehicle accident claims are settled, including what you can claim for and what happens when you accept a claim.

When a claim is settled

Your car accident claim is settled when:

  • The insurer has decided liability for the claim
  • Your injuries have stabilised following the accident
  • The full impact and extent of your injuries are known

When to discuss settlement with a CTP insurer

You should discuss a settlement with your CTP insurer once your injuries have stabilised or once they have been resolved. Your insurer should have already decided on the liability for the accident at this stage of the process and they should also have obtained records and information in order to accurately assess your claim.

What you can claim for

All car accident claims are treated on their own merit and compensation is assessed individually. The amount of compensation paid for your claim will depend on the type of accident you were involved in, the circumstances surrounding the accident and the severity of the injuries you sustained.

Following an accident, you may be entitled to claim:

  • Reasonable and appropriate expenses for treatment and rehabilitation
  • Any future treatment expenses (these should be known once your injuries have stabilised)
  • Any money to make up for a loss of income as a result of the accident
  • Money for care and support services (limits apply)
  • General damages such as pain and suffering

In order to claim for any of the above, you will need to show that your compensation claim is directly linked to your accident. As a result, your insurer may obtain records from your employer, hospital or doctor to assess the appropriate level of compensation.

Please note that any compensation you are entitled to may be reduced if it is deemed that you were partially at fault for the accident in question.

What happens when I accept a claim?

If you accept a claim offered by a CTP insurer, then the settlement offer is finalised. This means that you cannot return at a later date to claim a further settlement, as the offer is considered to be ‘full and final’.

As a result of this, you should not accept the offer of an insurer without receiving advice from a car accident lawyer who can ensure that you are receiving the right level of compensation for your injuries.

Do I need to go to court to settle a motor vehicle accident claim?

You do not need to go to court in order to settle motor vehicle accident claims. Instead, court should only be seen as an option if your dispute cannot be solved via mediation or Compulsory Conference.

The majority of car accident claims are settled through informal settlement negotiations, which save time and money. If you cannot agree on a settlement amount informally, or if the insurer continually fails to respond to your demand letter, then you should consider a court case.

However, these situations rarely arise because most insurers and car accident solicitors have a good idea about how much your case is worth, which often makes negotiations relatively straightforward.

If you would like some advice on your car accident claim, then please contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers. You should speak to a legal representative as early as possible, but you can seek advice at any stage of the claims process.