Car Accident Compensation NSW - Injury Claims | Law Partners

Car Accident Injury Compensation Guide NSW.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in NSW, you might be entitled to car accident compensation. We’ve broken down the car accident claims process into simple, easy to follow steps to help you lodge your claim and make sure you get your full entitlements.

Can you get car accident compensation?

Yes, in NSW you can get car accident compensation by making a claim under the at-fault driver’s CTP insurance policy. A CTP insurance policy, also known as a greenslip, is compulsory for all vehicles in NSW, so if you’re injured in a car accident, you’re entitled to make a car accident claim for your injuries and losses.

For example, if you’ve been rear-ended by another car and you needed hospital treatment and time off work, you can claim car accident compensation for your hospital and treatment expenses and any income you’ve lost. If you’ve had a more serious injury, you may also be able to claim lump sum compensation for future lost earnings and for pain and suffering.

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What car accident injury claims are covered?

Car accident injury compensation is available to drivers and passengers in cars and other motor vehicles such as trucks and taxis. It’s also available in the following situations:

  • If you’ve been hit by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian, you can make a car accident injury claim under the driver’s CTP policy.
  • Motorcycle and bicycle riders hit by vehicles can also claim against the at-fault vehicle’s CTP policy.
  • Public transport accident injury claims are also covered by the CTP scheme, including bus, train and ferry accidents.

Can you sue for injury in a car accident?

You don’t have to sue anyone to get compensation for your injuries. You can simply make a car accident claim for injury compensation through SIRA (the State Insurance Regulatory Authority) or directly with the CTP insurer of the vehicle that was at fault in the accident. Your car accident payout will be paid to you by the CTP insurer.

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Lodging Your Car Accident Compensation Claim

How do I claim car accident injury compensation?

There are three ways to make a car accident injury claim:

  • Lodge your application directly through the SIRA online claim portal
  • Fill out an Application for Personal Injury Benefits form and submit it by email or post
  • Lodge a claim directly with the CTP insurer of the at-fault vehicle

SIRA (the State Insurance Regulatory Authority) manages the claim process, and car accident injury claims are processed by the CTP insurers.

To claim car accident injury compensation, you’ll need:

  • Details of the accident, including the road and suburb and the time it occurred
  • A police event number
  • Details of your injuries
  • Evidence of treatment you’ve received such as receipts and medical reports
  • Details of your employment and income
For more information on car accident claims, here’s a step-by-step guide to lodging your car accident claim that includes links to the SIRA claim portal and the application form.

What’s the average payout for a car accident claim?

Looking at all motor accident injury claims made through the NSW CTP scheme in the 12 months to November 2020, the average payout per car claim submitted was over $35,000*.

It’s important to remember that car accident payout amounts depend on the extent of your injuries and your losses (such as lost income). To get an indication of your car accident injury compensation you can use this compensation calculator.

*Based on SIRA Open Data, November 2020. There were 10,345 claims submitted over the previous 12 months, and the total paid out for that period was $370M.

Can I claim car accident compensation if I was at fault?

Even if you’re the at-fault driver, or the driver mostly at fault, you can make a car accident claim in NSW, however injury compensation will be restricted to lost income, treatment and care expenses for a maximum of six months after the accident.

If you were at fault and another driver was injured, then that driver may claim car accident compensation under your vehicle’s CTP insurance policy. You should provide the other driver with your CTP insurance policy details.

What is the time limit on car accident injury claims?

Motor Vehicle or car accident compensation claims must be made within 28 days to be eligible for income loss from the date of the accident. The final lodgment date is three months from the accident, although this can be extended in certain circumstances.

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Car Accident Injury Claims – What Injuries are Covered?

What are the common injuries in car accident injury claims?

According to the SIRA, the most common injury in car accident compensation claims in NSW is Whiplash. Whiplash is caused by a violent, sudden movement of the neck and head from the impact of the accident and results in neck pain that can be severe.

Back pain is also common in car accident claims. There are a number of injuries that can cause lower back pain after a car accident – here are some common examples:

  • The discs of the spine may have sustained damage. This sort of pain can affect any part of the spine, but the lower back (lumbar spine) is particularly susceptible.
  • Lumbar sprains (when the ligaments of the back are stretched or torn) can also be caused by car accidents because of the sudden trauma of the impact.
  • Disc herniation occurs when the inner filling of the discs of the spine protrudes through the outer layer.

Other common injuries caused by car accidents include:

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Brain and head injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Knee and shoulder trauma
  • Psychological injuries

What are “minor” and “non-minor” car accident injury claims?

Minor injury claims are for “soft-tissue” or muscle injuries; non-minor injury claims are for more serious injuries like fractures, or injuries that affect your organs.

Physical Injury Classification Examples
Minor (soft tissue injuries)
  • Muscle injury
  • Sore back
  • Whiplash
Non-minor (fractures, organ damage)
  • Broken arm
  • Head or brain injury
  • Injuries that require surgery

To be assessed as having a non-minor psychiatric illness, your symptoms must continue for more than one month.

For more information on this, please refer our article on minor and non-minor injuries explained.

Car Accident Injury Claims – How to get the Maximum Payout

How is my car accident injury claim reviewed?

After you submit your car accident personal injury claim the CTP insurer will assess it. Within four weeks of submitting your claim you’ll receive a letter from the insurer stating:

  • Whether it is accepting or denying your claim
  • Whether your injuries are considered “minor” or “non-minor”
  • Who was at fault in the accident
  • What compensation you’re entitled to

Car accident injury settlements and payouts

The amounts you will receive are summarised below:

Payment Description
Medical and Treatment Expenses
  • Reimbursed to you after you submit receipts to the insurer.
  • Insurer will generally approve a number of sessions with your GP and other treatment providers.
  • Insurer will generally write directly to your provider and notify them of the approval.
  • Insurer will pay the GP opr treatment provider directly – these expenses won’t form part of your regular payments.
  • These benefits are not capped.
  • You should receive whatever treatment is necessary to make sure you recover from your injuries.
Care Expenses
  • Generally treated in the same way as medical and treatment expenses.
  • Benefits are capped depending on the severity of your injuries.
Income Support Payments
  • Weeks 1-13: 95% of pre-accident earnings.
  • Weeks 14-26: 80-85% of pre-accident earnings.
  • If the insurer cuts off your benefits it will need to give you four-weeks’ written notice.

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Can I claim car accident compensation for pain and suffering?

If your injuries are more serious and you weren’t at fault in the accident, you might also be eligible to claim lump sum car accident compensation for pain and suffering and for future loss of earnings. These lump sum claims can be substantial, with many running into hundreds of thousands of dollars and some more than one million dollars. Click here for a comprehensive set of articles and making a lump sum claim.

If you have a serious injury, speak to a specialist car accident lawyer and find out if you’re eligible to claim a lump sum settlement.

How do I get the maximum car accident personal injury payout?

Your car accident injuries will need to be assessed by a GP who will provide an opinion on whether they are minor or non-minor. The problem is the GP is likely to be more focussed on helping you recover and may not realise the implications of leaving something off your assessment. If your injuries are not thoroughly documented, then you might have a non-minor injury that’s left off your assessment and miss out on payments you’re entitled to.

To get your full benefits, take an active part in your medical assessment and make sure no details are left out – for more information on how to do this, read our article on how to get a head to toe assessment.

What if I disagree with the insurer’s decision?

If your car accident claim is rejected and you disagree with the insurer’s decision, you can dispute the decision. It’s a good idea to get legal advice before you raise a dispute and you may be able to get your legal fees paid by the insurer. A specialist car accident injury lawyer can advise you on how to get the maximum car accident injury compensation.

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