How Long After an Accident Can You Claim in Australia?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, time limits apply to claiming compensation for your injuries, and also to how long you can continue to receive compensation. But regardless of how long it’s been since your accident, you should check your entitlements and find out what you can claim. This article summarises everything you need to know about how long after a car accident can you claim in Australia, based on the NSW CTP scheme.
Summary of time limits
There are several stages to the claim process with time limits you should be aware of:
|Claim Stage||NSW Time Limit (from the accident date)|
|Notify the police||Within 28 days|
|Apply for back-dated payments for income loss||Within 28 days|
|Apply for statutory (weekly) benefits||Within 3 months|
|Receive statutory benefits (threshold injury)||Up to 12 months|
|Receive statutory benefits (above threshold injury)||Up to 2 years|
|Apply for lump sum benefits (above threshold, 10% or less WPI)||Within 3 years|
|Apply for lump sum benefits (above threshold, more than 10% WPI)||Any time|
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FAQs about claim stages and time limits in NSW:
How long do I have to notify the police?
You need to notify the police within 28 days of the accident. The police will give you a police event number, which you’ll need for your ‘application for personal injury benefits’. This is the application for weekly benefits for income support (to cover your lost income if you have time off work), medical and treatment costs.
How long do I have to claim income loss backdated to the accident date?
You’ll need to submit your application for personal injury benefits within 28 days of the accident to get your income support payments backdated to the date of the accident. If you submit your application more than 28 days after the accident, you’ll only receive income support from the date of your application.
How long do I have to claim all my statutory (weekly) benefits?
The final deadline to submit your application for personal injury benefits is three months after the date of the accident.
How long will I keep receiving weekly benefits?
- If your injuries are classified as threshold (minor), you’ll receive weekly benefits for a maximum of 12 months.
- If your injuries are classified as above threshold, you can continue receiving weekly benefits for up to two years.
How long do I have to apply for a lump sum compensation payment?
- If your injuries have been assessed as above threshold and you weren’t mostly at fault in the accident, you can make a lump sum claim for past and future loss of income.
- If your WPI is 10% or less, you can submit your lump sum claim up to three years after the date of the accident.
- If your Whole Person Impairment (WPI) has been assessed at more than 10%, then you’re entitled to claim lump sums for past and future income loss and for pain and suffering, and you can make these claims at any time.
How can I get help with my claim?
This article provides a good summary of how long after a car accident you can claim compensation in Australia. However, there are situations where you might be able to get an exemption from the general deadlines. It’s also important to understand that injuries can worsen over time, and insurers’ decisions can be challenged and overturned. For example, if you’ve been assessed as having a threshold (minor) injury, it could develop into an above threshold injury over time. If that has happened to you, we can help you get your injuries reassessed and find out if you qualify for more compensation.
If you have any questions about your car accident compensation entitlements, you can 13 15 15 and get free legal advice from a specialist car accident lawyer.
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