Car Accident Claims
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the total or partial fault of another driver insured under a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance policy, you may have a right to make a car accident injury claim against the CTP insurer of the vehicle at fault for the crash.
If you were partially to blame for the crash, then you can still make a CTP claim, but your compensation may be reduced.
What is CTP Insurance?
All Australian motorists must have CTP insurance by law, as this covers claims made against them for either injuring or killing somebody in an accident. If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident, you must prove the negligence of the other driver, as the CTP scheme is a common-law, fault-based scheme.
CTP insurance only covers personal injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident and does not cover damage to property or vehicles.
Time Limits for Making a CTP Claim
Strict time limits apply to all CTP claims. You should record your version of events as soon as possible in order to ensure your rights are protected.
Under the legislation, the notice must be given to the Nominal Defendant within three months if the vehicle cannot be identified. In all other cases, the notice must be given by whichever of these dates is the earliest:
- Within one month of the first consultation with your car accident solicitor.
- Within nine months of the crash or, if the symptoms are not immediately apparent, the first appearance of any symptoms or injury.
Steps for Settling a CTP Claim
In accordance with the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, there are eight steps to settling a CTP claim:
- You should complete your claim form and send it to the CTP insurer.
- Within 14 days of this, you should receive confirmation from the insurer that your claim was lodged correctly and whether the insurer intends to pay for any reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation.
- You should continue with your rehabilitation and treatment as normal.
- Within 6 months (although often earlier in straightforward cases), the insurer will make a decision on liability.
- If the insurer accepts liability, they will then obtain records and information to help assess your compensation.
- Your injury will stabilise or be resolved.
- You can negotiate and settle the claim with the insurer.
- When this has been agreed, your compensation claim will be finalised and paid.
Who Can Make Motor Vehicle Accident Claims?
A CTP claim can be brought by any of the following:
- Drivers who are not at fault
If the vehicle is unregistered or the registration has expired, motor vehicle accident claims can still be brought against the Nominal Defendant, who is taken to be a licenced insurer.
Car accident claims in CTP cases can still be brought in a hit and run circumstance where the registration details of the vehicle at fault are not known and a claim can also be brought when a defect in a vehicle causes an accident.
If the injured person was totally at fault or if no-one was at fault, then an injured person cannot claim compensation. If you’re unable to claim compensation for your car accident, then you’ll need to rely on sick leave, Centrelink benefits, Medicare and the public health system, unless you have private health insurance or income protection.
What You Can Claim
Claims for compensation are assessed on an individual basis, with the compensation received based on the type and extent of the injury, as well as the particular circumstances of the person injured.
Your car accident injury claim could include the cost of any medical treatment undertaken, rehabilitation cost, loss of income, the cost of care and general damages such as pain.
Since July 2016, someone seriously injured in a motor accident in Queensland can claim lifetime treatment, care and support under the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS). By speaking to us as early as possible in the process, we will be able to help you understand what you can claim for in your individual circumstances.
If you are a relative or a dependent of somebody who was fatally injured in a car accident and the accident was either wholly or partially the fault of another person, you can make a CTP claim for loss or expenses.
Legal Advice for CTP Claims
You are not required by law to have a car accident lawyer represent you for your CTP claim. However, it can be in your best interests to seek legal advice; particularly if your claim is disputed or complex.
You should speak to a legal representative as early as possible, but you can seek advice at any stage of the claims process. Contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers.
Who do I send my CTP claim form to?
The CTP claim form should be sent to the CTP insurer of the at fault vehicle, which can be identified online if you know the vehicle’s registration number, the date of the accident and whether it was registered in Queensland.
If the vehicle was registered elsewhere, you’ll need to contact the interstate authority. If you cannot identify the CTP insurer, then you can contact the Enquiry Line on 1300 302 568.
How long will it take my claim to settle?
As all claims are assessed on individual circumstance, there is no set timeframe for how quickly your claim will be resolved. The more complex the case, and whether the case is contested, will have an impact on how long it takes before your case settles.
What treatments will be paid for?
The treatments the insurer pays for in a successful CTP claim will depend on the nature of the injuries suffered. Rehabilitation will be paid for as long as the processes are reasonable and appropriate, are directly related to the injuries suffered and can be validated by receipts.
What information will a CTP insurer require?
The CTP insurer will ask for information from your doctor and your employer, as information on your injuries and rehabilitation process is required to accurately judge the level of compensation you’re entitled to receive.
When is my CTP claim settled?
Your CTP claim is settled when the CTP insurer has decided liability. The full impact of your injuries has to be known and your injuries have to be stabilised.
What if I disagree with the decision on liability?
If you disagree with the CTP insurer’s decision on liability and cannot agree at a Compulsory Conference, then you will need to take your matter to court. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice immediately.