CTP Claims Guide NSW - Know Your Rights.
What is a CTP claim?
A CTP claim is an insurance claim that you make to get compensation for being injured in a motor vehicle accident.
It’s compulsory for all vehicles driving on NSW roads to have CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance. If you’re injured in an accident involving a car or any other vehicle you can make a CTP claim for personal injury benefits to cover certain losses you’ve incurred. These losses can include past and future lost earnings, medical, treatment and care expenses and pain and suffering.
The CTP claim process in NSW is regulated by SIRA (the State Insurance Regulatory Authority) but claims are assessed and processed by the CTP insurers.
The CTP claim NSW insurers are NRMA Insurance, QBE, GIO, Allianz, AAMI, YOUI and CIC-Allianz.
What does CTP insurance cover for you?
CTP insurance specifically covers personal injury and doesn’t cover property damage. A CTP claim covers personal injury to drivers, passengers, motorcycle riders and passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians who are injured in motor vehicle accidents.
Your CTP Claim
Am I entitled to make a CTP claim?
If you’ve been injured in an accident in NSW involving a motor vehicle, as a driver, passenger, cyclist, motorcycle rider, motorcycle passenger or pedestrian, then you’re entitled to make a CTP insurance claim for certain losses you’ve incurred.
What if I’m the at fault driver?
Even if you’re the at-fault driver, or the driver mostly at fault, you can make a CTP claim in NSW, however personal injury benefits 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 the other driver was injured, then the other driver may claim personal injury benefits under your vehicle’s CTP insurance policy. You should provide the other driver with your CTP insurer details.
What benefits can I claim on CTP Insurance?
CTP insurance provides personal injury benefits for drivers under three categories, described in the following table:
|CTP Claim||CTP Compensation Payout Process|
|Medical and treatment expenses|
|Income support payments|
Can I claim a lump sum CTP payout?
If your injuries have been assessed as non-minor and you weren’t the driver at fault, you’re entitled to claim a lump sum. A lump sum claim is the only way to get income support beyond 24 months after your accident, and these lump sum payments can be substantial. Minor and non-minor injuries are explained in the next section of this article.
Many injuries get worse over time, and psychological injuries can take some time to develop. So, if your injuries have been assessed as minor but you believe your condition has worsened or you’ve developed symptoms of psychological injuries, you should consider claiming a lump sum. For example, you may have suffered a minor whiplash injury, but the pain medication you’ve been taking has caused you serious and permanent digestive issues, which can be regarded as non-minor.
Read about how a single NSW mum received a $1M lump sum payout she didn’t know she was entitled to.
Find out how much you can claim.
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CTP Compensation Payouts NSW
What is the average CTP payout in NSW?
In the 12 months to May 2021 there were 11,016 motor accident injury claims submitted in NSW and $466M was paid out in benefits and lump sums.*
It’s important to remember that CTP payout amounts depend on the extent of your injuries and your losses (such as lost income). To get an indication of your CTP payout amount you can use this compensation calculator.
Read about how a family man and motorcycle enthusiast received almost $200,000 in compensation after being rear-ended by an SUV driver who was on his phone.
*Based on SIRA Open Data, May 2021.
CTP compensation Payouts NSW – what can I claim?
In NSW, lump sum CTP compensation payouts (common law damages) are available to people with non-minor injuries who are not at fault.
- CTP compensation payouts for non-minor physical injuries are for more serious injuries like fractures. They also include nerve injuries, injuries that require surgery, brain injuries and scarring.
- CTP compensation payouts for non-minor psychological or psychiatric injuries cover diagnosed psychological or psychiatric illnesses such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as a range of others.
People with common law damages entitlements will also have (in most circumstances) entitlements to personal injury benefits (statutory benefits).
People with minor injuries can’t claim lump sum CTP compensation payouts but can still claim personal injury benefits.
- Personal injury benefits for minor physical injuries cover soft-tissue or muscle injuries, like a muscle strain or a sore back. The most common soft tissue injury after a crash is whiplash, which often results in neck pain.
- Personal injury benefits for minor psychological or psychiatric injuries are a for psychological or psychiatric injuries such as acute stress disorder and adjustment disorder.
You can read our detailed article on minor and non-minor injuries explained for more information.
The CTP Claim Process in NSW
How do I make a CTP claim?
- Obtain a certificate of capacity/fitness from your General Practitioner.
- Lodge an application for personal injury benefits on the CTP insurer of the vehicle mostly at fault for the accident.
- You have 28 days after the date of the accident to lodge this application to get back-payment for any lost wages.
- The final deadline for lodging your CTP claim is three months from the date of the accident.
- Note that this application doesn’t cover any lump sum payments you might be entitled to – you need to apply for these separately.
For a more detailed explanation of the CTP claim process in NSW, please refer to this step-by-step guide to lodging your application.
Or for more information on lump sum claims, read this article on what you need to know before you lodge a lump sum claim.
What is the CTP claim time limit?
You must make your CTP claim within 28 days to be eligible for income loss from the date of the accident. The final CTP claim lodgement date is 3 months from the accident, although this can be extended in certain circumstances.
If your CTP injury claim is successful:
- You should receive 95% of your pre-accident earnings for the first 14 weeks
- Your payments will drop to 80-85% of your earnings after week 14
- Income benefits will stop at 26 weeks if you were the driver mostly at fault or your injuries are minor
- Treatment is available after 26 weeks even if your injuries are minor or you were at fault
- Income support stops at 24 months – to receive support beyond that, you’ll need to submit a separate application for a lump sum (an Application for Damages under Common Law)
How long does the CTP claim process take in NSW?
Once you submit your CTP insurance claim it will be reviewed by the insurer, which must send you a letter within four weeks to tell you if it’s accepting or denying the claim. Then the insurer will start making payments to you within 14 days if it accepts the claim.
The CTP insurer will then send you a second liability decision within three months of your claim being lodged. This liability decision indicates whether your injuries have been classified as minor or non-minor and who is at fault for the accident.
However, it’s important to understand that CTP insurer’s decisions can be challenged. The first step is to request an “Insurer Internal Review”, then if you’re still not satisfied with the outcome you can escalate your dispute to the Personal Injury Commission.
Who pays my CTP claim benefits?
When you make a successful CTP insurance claim, payments will be made to you by the CTP insurer of the car that was mostly at fault in the accident. For example, if you were stationary at traffic lights and you were hit from behind by another vehicle, then the CTP insurer for that vehicle will make your CTP compensation payments. In some accidents there might be more than one vehicle at fault – in that case, it’s the insurer of the vehicle that’s mostly at fault that will pay.
If you’re the driver mostly at fault in an accident, then anyone who was injured in the accident may be able to make a claim under your vehicle’s CTP policy. So it will be your insurer that pays the CTP insurance claim.
The CTP claim NSW insurers are NRMA, QBE, GIO, Allianz, AAMI, YOUI and CIC-Allianz.
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How long will I keep getting CTP benefits?
|1. Minor injury|
|2. Non-minor injury|
|3. Non-minor injury over 10% permanent impairment|
Why are my CTP claim benefits being cut off?
If your benefits are being cut off by the CTP insurer, there could be a few reasons why:
- The insurer has determined that you’re no longer entitled to receive benefits as you’re capable of returning to work or your injuries have resolved
- Your injuries were assessed as minor, and you’ve reached the six-month limit for personal injury benefits
- Your injuries were assessed as non-minor, and you’ve reached the maximum weekly payment period
If your benefits have been cut off and you believe the decision is unfair or you haven’t fully recovered, there’s a dispute process available to you. You can call
How can I get free legal help with my CTP claim?
For CTP claims in NSW, lawyers’ fees are regulated. Lawyers can’t charge to help you lodge your application for personal injury benefits. But if you’re disputing a CTP insurer’s decision, then for most disputes you can engage a lawyer at no cost to you.
There are two types of disputes – paid disputes and unpaid disputes.
- A paid dispute is a dispute that a car accident lawyer can charge for, and the fees are fixed.
- Your lawyer will earn generally $1,660 for each paid dispute to a maximum of $6,000 for each dispute category.
- You won’t have to pay anything to have a lawyer assist you with a paid dispute – these fees are paid by the insurer.
- If a lawyer helps you with an unpaid dispute, they must do it free of charge.
Law Partners is Australia’s largest specialist personal injury firm, with legal teams that specialise in CTP claims in NSW. We’re also the team behind ctpclaimadvice.com.au – Australia’s most comprehensive website on CTP claims, with step-by-step guides on how to claim your maximum CTP benefits, including any lump sums you’re entitled to.
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