Guide to Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation NSW.
As much as we hate to think about it, motor vehicles can be dangerous, and accidents happen. Motor accidents can cause significant physical and psychological injuries, and they can also cause financial stress from time off work and treatment expenses. In NSW, the CTP insurance scheme is there to support injured motorists. So if you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident in NSW and you’ve suffered an injury or loss, you can claim a motor vehicle accident compensation payout to ease the financial burden.
Vehicle accident claims in NSW
If you’ve been injured in an accident in NSW, you can make your vehicle accident claim under the at-fault driver’s CTP insurance policy. CTP insurance is compulsory for all vehicles on the road in NSW.
For example, if you’re rear-ended while waiting at traffic lights, and you’re injured to such an extent that you need hospital treatment and time off work to recover, you can make a motor vehicle accident compensation claim for your treatment, lost wages and home care if you need it. If your injuries are serious you can also claim additional lump sum compensation.
Even if you’ve only suffered very minor injuries, you might still be able to claim vehicle accident compensation—it costs nothing to find out how much you can claim.
Which motor vehicle accidents can I claim for?
Motor vehicle accident injury compensation in NSW is available to drivers (whether they are at fault* or not), passengers, riders and pedestrians involved in the following types of accidents:
|Motor Vehicle Accidents||Who’s Covered under the NSW CTP Scheme|
|Car accidents||Drivers and passengers of all registered cars in NSW|
|Truck accidents||Drivers and passengers of all registered trucks in NSW|
|Bicycle accidents||Cyclists involved in accidents with any motor vehicles – including cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses|
|Motorcycles accidents||Motorcycle riders involved in accidents in NSW, whether or not they involve another vehicle|
|Pedestrian accidents||Pedestrians hit by motor vehicles in NSW|
|Taxis and private hire cars||Drivers and passengers in taxis and hire cars involved in accidents|
|Bus accidents||Drivers and passengers of buses involved in motor accidents in NSW|
|Forklift accidents||Drivers of forklifts and people involved in accidents with forklifts in NSW. If the accident is work related, you will also need to make a workers compensation claim against your employer’s workers compensation insurer|
*Motor vehicle accident compensation payout amounts for at-fault drivers are limited to a maximum of six-months’ benefits.
You can’t make a claim if you:
- Have been charged with or convicted of a serious driving offence in connection with the accident, or
- Were the at-fault driver of an uninsured motor vehicle and you knew the vehicle was uninsured.
Which motor vehicle accident injuries can I claim for?
Strictly speaking, you can claim for any type of injury that you suffer following a motor vehicle accident in NSW, as long as your injury has resulted in time off work or treatment expenses.
According to the SIRA (the State Insurance Regulatory Authority), the most common injury is whiplash, however, other common injuries include:
- Bruises, cuts, and lesions
- Fractures and broken bones
- Trauma to the head
- Psychological trauma
You can claim for:
- Reasonable and necessary medical and treatment expenses
- A percentage of your pre-accident weekly earnings if you need time off work because of your injuries (even if you’re self-employed)
- Paid domestic and personal care if you need help while you recover
You might also be able to claim vehicle accident compensation for pain and suffering and future loss of wages if you weren’t at fault and you’ve sustained more serious injuries (referred to as “non-minor” injuries). These amounts are paid as lump sums and, depending on the extent of your injuries, they can be significant amounts.
How long does a motor accident claim take?
Once you submit your vehicle accident compensation claim it will be reviewed by the CTP insurer, who must send you a letter within four weeks to tell you if they’re accepting or denying the claim. Then the insurer will start making payments to you within 14 days if they accept the claim.
The CTP insurer’s letter will state the insurer’s decision on whether your injuries are considered “minor” or “non-minor”, who was at fault in the motor vehicle accident and what payments you’re entitled to.
How does the vehicle accident claims process work?
The motor accident claim process in NSW is managed by SIRA (the State Insurance Regulatory Authority) but claims are assessed and processed by the CTP insurers.
You must make your claim within 28 days to be eligible for income loss from the date of the accident. The final lodgement date is 3 months from the accident, although this can be extended in certain circumstances.
To claim motor vehicle accident compensation in NSW you’ll need:
- Details of the accident, including where and when it occurred
- A police event or log number
- Details of your injuries and supporting medical evidence
- Evidence of any treatment you’ve received, including receipts and reports
- Details of your employment and income
For more information about the CTP scheme and how to lodge your own motor accident claim, read our step-by-step guide to lodging your claim.
How long does a motor accident compensation claim take?
When motor vehicle accident compensation NSW claims are submitted, they’re assessed by the relevant CTP insurers. Within four weeks of a claim being lodged, you’ll receive a letter that states:
- Whether the insurer is accepting or rejecting your claim
- Whether your injuries are classified as minor or non-minor
- Who was at fault for the accident
- What compensation you’re entitled to receive
Then the insurer will start making payments to you within 14 days if they accept the claim.
Do I need to be a driver to claim motor vehicle accident compensation payouts?
No—anybody injured in a motor vehicle accident in NSW can make a claim.
Compensation is available for drivers and passengers in cars and other vehicles, including motorcycles. The CTP scheme also covers pedestrians, cyclists, and passengers on public transport or in private hire vehicles.
Is there a time limit?
Yes—it’s important to make your claim as quickly as possible. The sooner the better. The current legislation places restrictions on claims where the accident took place on or after December 1, 2017.
These restrictions mean that if you don’t make your claim quickly enough, you could be entitled to less (or no) compensation depending on the circumstances of your case.
For more detailed information, refer to CTPClaimAdvice – this site includes detailed articles and how-to guides on CTP claims.
What if my claim is rejected?
If your claim is rejected and you disagree with the decision, you might still be able to claim compensation.
A rejection doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not entitled to motor vehicle accident compensation. It may be that you filled out the claim form incorrectly or that the evidence that you provided wasn’t detailed enough.
In this situation, your first step should be to get free legal advice so that you can decide how to take your case further.
How much vehicle accident compensation can I claim?
The amount of motor vehicle accident compensation you’re able to claim depends on your accident and the circumstances surrounding it. Although claims cases can stretch into seven-figure territory, there are many factors that influence the final outcome. These include:
- How old you are
- Whether you were at fault the accident
- The seriousness of your injuries
- Your pre-accident income
- The extent of your financial losses
If you’d like to find out how much you could be entitled to, speak to the motor vehicle accident compensation NSW experts at Law Partners today.